Opening Session: Alltech’s 28th International SymposiumPrint
Welcome to the Bluegrass State
Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson welcomed a packed arena of visitors to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the land of bluegrass. Abramson told of the many unique facets that Kentucky offers including the obvious ones, the equine and bourbon industries, along with a booming auto industry, and a national championship basketball team at the University of Kentucky.
“Thanks to Alltech, Kentucky is beginning to make its mark in the international discussion,” said Abramson. “This Symposium gives an opportunity for people from all over the world to think about the future, to begin to focus on what needs to happen to ensure that the future is bright for our kids and grandkids.”
Kentucky is the leader in the bioscience area, the life science area, and the high-tech companies. You think of us in terms of horses and bourbon, auto manufacturing, but the fact is 1,800 bioscience and life science companies are here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with over 100,000 people working at those companies.
“This industry is challenged every day by Dr. Pearse Lyons. He pushes us all to grow and think beyond what is the norm,” said Abramson. “To think about opportunities where technology in life science can be used to ensure that the world is a better place for us all in the future. “
Governor Brown awarded Medal of Excellence
“How do you introduce someone who has changed our lives? How do you introduce somebody who was the owner of the Boston Celtics? Was elected by Harvard as one of the top five entrepreneurs in the last 50 years along with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet? How do you introduce such a man?,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech.
“How do you introduce a man that addressed the Democratics as they went forward at the time when Clinton was to become the president? In fact, people were picking that he would be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. How do you introduce a man who had a vision of a man with a little goatee, Kernal Sanders, today the most recognized image around the world,” said Lyons. “Our recipient this year is this man.”
Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. purchased Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) at age 29 with partner Jack Massey. From 1964 to 1970, Brown built KFC into the world’s largest food service company and is credited as being instrumental with making the fast food field what it is today. Brown also served as the 55th Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and was honored by Alltech for his excellence in building and changing an industry, and creating a “super brand.”
The Icons of chicken and beef
Governor Brown remained on stage as Dr. Lyons introduced Tim Gannon, a founder of Outback Steakhouse, and opened up a discussion of the food industry from the king of chicken and king of beef.
“One of the biggest things at Outback is that we’ve grown to 28 countries, and we’re serving about 140 billion customers per year. About 55% of our menu is beef, 45% is non-red-meat items, and the source of commodities is getting tighter,” said Gannon of the challenges facing Outback. “You see diseases like mad cow and things like that scare you, but our real threat is supply and how we can get a safe product to our customer. “
Brown and Gannon talked about the importance of high-quality ingredients to make a high-quality menu item, and talked of the shift to all-natural ingredients.
Closing of opening session
Karl Dawson, Chief Scientific Officer for Alltech, discussed how nutrigenomics will redefine the products that we create. He also showed how the technology can provide significant improvements in beef such as tenderness, lower fat and cholesterol content, and olfactory senses.
Dr. Lyons wrapped up the opening session with his presentation entitled, “An Incredible Journey” where he read a poem called “The Dash.” The poem discusses the dates on a tombstone and how the dash between the two dates is the most important part. “The dash is how much we live and love,” said Lyons. “What will you do with your dash?”
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