84th NRA Annual Convention

October 23-27, 2017 · The Ritz-Carlton Bacara · Santa Barbara, California

The following preliminary schedule is designed to provide a general overview of this year’s convention events. Upon arrival at the convention, be sure to use the meeting app’s detailed schedule for accurate times, locations, listings and other helpful information.

NRA committee meetings are open to all attendees. Industry policies and issues are addressed at these meetings with members exchanging ideas and viewpoints. The committees make recommendations to the NRA Board of Directors on policy and the future direction of the organization.

Monday, October 23, 2017

9:00am - 12:00pm

FPRF Research Committee Meeting

12:00pm - 2:00pm

FPRF Executive Committee Meeting/Lunch

3:00pm - 5:00pm

NRA Executive Committee Meeting

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

8:00am - 9:30am

FPRF Membership & Board of Directors Meetings

9:30am - 11:00am

NRA APPI Committee and Membership Meeting

11:00am - 1:00pm

Canadian Renderers Association Meeting

FPRF Emerging Issues Forum

1:00pm - 4:00pm

FPRF continues to focus research to directly address high priority problems for renderers and to find new market opportunities for rendered products. Significant advances have been made at the Animal Co-Products Research & Education Center (ACREC) at Clemson University, and with investment at other universities. This year’s Emerging Issues session will include overviews of areas important to the rendering industry, updates on a few examples of exciting research work, and discussions of future work.

1:00pm 1:10pm

Welcome, brief remarks on FPRF research as background

1:10pm - 1:50pm

Presentation of 2017 Dr. Fred Bisplinghoff FPRF Innovation Award and presentation by the winner: Dr. Annel Greene, Director, Animal Co-Products Research & Education Center at Clemson University, “ACREC: The Past, Present and Future—A Legacy of Innovation and Progress for Rendering”

1:50pm - 2:30pm

Dr. Rafael Garcia, USDA/ARS Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA,
“Developing A Bio-Based Flocculant from Blood Proteins That Facilitate the Removal of Contaminants from Water.”

2:45pm - 3:25pm

Dr. Jennifer Martin, Colorado State University,
“The FPRF/Colorado State University Alliance to Better Fund and Focus Research to Meet Pet Food Market Needs”

3:25pm - 4:00pm

Dr. Charles Starkey, Auburn University,
“Emerging Challenge--Antibiotic Residues in Meat By-Products and Potential Strategies to Control Them”

2:30pm - 5:30pm

NRA IMDC Meeting

4:00pm - 5:00pm

NRA Biofuels Committee Meeting

6:30pm - 7:30pm

NRA Welcome Reception

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

7:15am - 8:30am


7:45am - 8:45am

NRA Communications Committee Meeting

8:45am - 9:30am

NRA Feed Regulation Committee Meeting


Spouse/Guest Program - Old San Juan Driving Tour & Shopping

9:30am - 10:15am

NRA Sustainability Committee Meeting

10:15am - 11:00am

NRA Environment Committee Meeting

11:00am - 11:45am

NRA Legislative Action Committee Meeting

NRA Welcome Luncheon

12:00pm - 1:45pm

This year’s Welcome Luncheon will feature the following presentations:

  • Don Franco Distinguished Service Award by Tim Guzek, NRA Chairman
  • “ReInvention for Rendering” presented by Guest Speaker Damian Mason

2:00pm - 4:00pm

NRA Opening General Session

4:00pm - 5:30pm

World Renderers Organization Meeting

6:30pm - 7:30pm

Chairman's Reception

Thursday, October 26, 2017

6:30am - 8:30am


7:30am - 8:30am

Eastern Region Breakfast Meeting

International Market Forum

8:30am - 11:30am

Moderator – Mike Gilbert, IMDC Chairman

  • “European Union Report” presented by Niels Nielson, Daka Denmark A/S, Member of Saria Group, on behalf of the European Fat Processors & Renderers Association
  • “Australia Update” presented by Andy Bennett, Australian Renderers Association
  • “Brazil Review”- Invited Lucas Cipriano Associação Brasileira de Reciclagem Animal
  • “International Market Overview” presented by Kent Swisher, NRA Vice President
  • “NRA Latin America Report” presented by German Davalos, NRA Director, Latin America
  • “NRA Asia Update” presented by Peng Li, NRA Director, Asia
  • “NRA European Union Review” presented by Bruce Ross, Ross Gordon Consultants SPRL


Spouse/Guest Program - Taste and History of the Enchanted Island


Box Lunch Pick-Up


NRA Annual Golf Tournament

11:30am - 4:30pm

Optional Tour - The Forts of Old San Juan w/Rum Tasting

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Optional Tour - Deep Sea Fishing

7:00pm - 9:30pm

NRA Tabletop Reception & Exhibit

Friday, October 27, 2017

7:00am - 8:30am


7:30am - 8:45am

NRA Audit & Budget Committee Meeting

Industry Issues Forum

8:30am - 11:45am

Moderator- Doyle Leefers, NRA 2nd Vice Chairman

  • “Looking to the Future: the U.S. & Global Livestock Industry” presented by Randy Blach, CEO, Cattle-Fax
  • “Charting the Course through Demographic Change” presented by Ken Gronbach, President, KGC Direct, LLC

11:00am - 11:45am

NRA Convention Planning Committee Meeting

12:00pm - 2:00pm

NRA Board of Directors Luncheon Meeting

2:00pm - 6:00pm

Free Afternoon

6:00pm - 10:00pm

NRA Friday Night Beach Party Reception & Dinner

“As usual, the speakers were very informative and it is great to have that data available for download on the website”

NRA Member