NIAA Introduces New Leadership Program to Advance Animal Agriculture

NIAA Introduces New Leadership Program to Advance Animal Agriculture

Participant Applications for First Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders Cohort due Jan.15

Manhattan, Kans., Oct. 31, 2021 – Emerging leaders in agriculture now have a new opportunity to gain next-level leadership and professional development training specifically focused on the animal agriculture segment of the industry. Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders, a new leadership development program created and sponsored by the United Soybean Board and National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), will empower professionals in the early or middle part of their careers to build on previous leadership development experiences and collaborate with peers across the industry.

“Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders is a win for program participants and a win the animal agriculture industry. Developed as a 2.0 leadership experience, the program will not only give participants world-class hands-on training, but also put their training into practice, while creating meaningful connections with one another. In the end, the group will advance real solutions to real animal agriculture challenges,” said J.J. Jones, NIAA executive director.

The 16-month program combines five in-person meetings with additional virtual working sessions and focuses on four areas of development: critical thinking, leadership development, connecting and relating skills, and operational excellence. Members of the program will work together on applied-learning, small-group capstone projects, which will focus on topics identified by supporting NIAA sponsors. Project outcomes will be shared at the NIAA annual conference.

Participants in the program will represent a range of agricultural sectors but focus together on advancing animal agriculture’s role in today’s food system. Because of the program’s advanced leadership focus, candidates will bring to the table past leadership experience from their place of employment or through local, regional, or national organizations.

The United Soybean Board serves as the founding sponsor of the Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders Program, with additional financial support provided by NIAA and its members and partners. Sponsorship funding allows participants pay a fee of $1,000, while receiving an estimated $10,000 in training and resources. The enrollment fee also includes one year of NIAA membership.

The program aligns with NIAA’s recently updated mission and guiding principles.

“Part of NIAA’s mission is to foster collaboration and cooperation throughout the industry, and we intentionally developed this program to build upon existing leadership experiences, so professionals advance their leadership and, specifically, collaboration skills,” said Kevin Maher, NIAA board. “We are excited to offer this opportunity as it’s an essential part of advancing our efforts in exploring, discussing, learning and developing knowledge for continuous progress in animal agriculture.”

NIAA is accepting applications for the program’s first 20-member cohort now through January 15. The application process begins with a nomination from a sponsoring organization. More information about how to nominate an individual for the program or become an applicant is available at


About the National Institute for Animal Agriculture

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is a non-profit organization focused on advancing and advocating for animal agriculture. The organization’s mission is to convene animal agriculture experts and allies in collaborative settings to explore, discuss, learn, and develop knowledge that fosters interdisciplinary cooperation for the improvement and continuous progress of animal agriculture. Learn more about NIAA at


Listen to board member, Chelsea Good, speak with Mick Kjar on Ag News 890 about Annual Conference.

NIAA 2021 Annual Conference Speakers Announced 

Manhattan, Kans. – The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) has introduced the keynote speaker lineup for their Annual Conference, Exploring Sustainability in Animal Agriculture – A Comprehensive Approach. The virtual event will convene April 21-April 23, 2021.

The 2021 conference theme and agenda provide the opportunity to engage with visionary leaders as, together, we explore their insights and expertise. The annual conference, which overlaps Earth Day on April 22, will feature industry leaders and explore a holistic view of sustainability. As animal agriculture leaders throughout the industry seek to better understand current agriculture and food system issues affecting their sector of today’s food system, the NIAA Annual Conference provides a forum to learn, collaborate and act.

“Whether you are new to conversations about holistic sustainability in animal agriculture or you’re more seasoned, this year’s Annual Conference is designed to lean in on the environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability while inspiring and challenging all of us to do better,” shared planning team and board member Chelsea Good.

Keynote speakers for Annual Conference include:

  • Charlie Arnot, The Center for Food Integrity
  • Erin Fitzgerald, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action
  • Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas
  • Ernie Shea, Solutions from the Land

In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference will also feature economic, environment and social issue panelists. For the first time since their work in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, former chief agriculture negotiators, Ambassadors Gregg Doud and Darci Vetter, will kick off these discussions and engage in a conversation to share their learnings and insights as animal agriculture leaders plan for the future of global trade.

Like many organizations hosting events, NIAA leaders have opted to host this event virtually. “The health and well-being of our members and stakeholders were the cornerstone of our decision to host the event virtually. It is our hope that our 11th Annual Antibiotic Symposium will be hosted in-person, November 2-4, 2021 in Kansas City,” said Kevin Maher, Chairman of the Board.

To review the full agenda and register for annual conference, visit


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National Institute for Animal Agriculture | 1310A Westloop Place, #122, Manhattan, KS 66502

Phone: (833) 877-0121 | Email:

NIAA Announces Brand Refresh


The National Institute for Animal Agriculture Announces Rebrand


Manhattan, Kans., Feb. 3, 2021 – The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), a non-profit advocating for animal agriculture, has announced a rebrand to reflect the organization’s new strategic vision to be the leading resource for the animal agriculture industry and provides value to all stakeholders involved in providing safe and healthy food for the world.

The new logo utilizes clean straight lines and features a green horizon, signifying the organization’s future thinking. In addition to a new logo, website ( and membership portal, NIAA has updated the vision, mission and guiding principles that lead the organization’s endeavors and programming. The rebrand reaffirms the commitment to producers and organizations that serve animal agriculture.

“The rebrand is more than a cosmetic update. The board has taken this opportunity to evolve our vision, mission and guiding principles to reflect the many changes we’ve seen in animal agriculture since our inception in 2000,” said Kevin Maher, NIAA Chairman of the Board. “We believe our new strategic direction will lead our organization today and into the coming decades.”

The updated mission of NIAA is to convene animal agriculture experts and allies in collaborative settings to explore, discuss, learn, and develop knowledge that fosters interdisciplinary cooperation for the improvement and continuous progress of animal agriculture.

NIAA’s Guiding Principles:

  • We facilitate dialogue within the animal agriculture industry on the most relevant and emerging issues affecting animal agriculture.
  • We convene the leading experts and agriculture producers to deliver science‐based, reliable, and trusted perspectives on the industry’s most challenging topics.
  • We educate stakeholders and serve as a resource to support the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of animal agriculture.
  • We are a resource for supply chain and thought‐leading consumers.
  • We lean in on tough issues.

To learn more about the organization, membership and programming, visit



Morgan Young
National Institute for Animal Agriculture
Director of Communications and Outreach
(405) 595-7678