Last month, I dedicated this column to the changes taking place at industry trade shows and how our industry is focused on giving back by supporting charities at these venues. This month, I’d like to thank those individuals who are giving back to the food and beverage industry by participating as speakers at Food Engineering’s 2014 Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference scheduled for April  6-9 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Representatives from Campbell Soup, Diageo, Chobani, Snyder’s-Lance, Kellogg, Roll Global, Keystone Foods, Sargento Foods, Johnsonville Sausage, High Liner Foods and Green Flash Brewing Company are taking time out of their busy schedules to support  food and beverage industry education by sharing their manufacturing challenges and success stories at the conference.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all the speakers who’ve participated in Food Engineering’s conferences over the past two decades. We salute your support. You’ve inspired us to constantly strive to improve our educational program year after year.

For a look at the 2014 FA&M program that focuses on food and beverage manufacturing’s key challenges, please turn to pages 132-133 in this issue. Our speakers will address topics from Being Fully Prepared for FSMA and Building World-class Engineering and Technical Teams to Understanding the Business Value of Automation, Workforce Engagement Culture Change and Sanitary Equipment Design.

The Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference is much more than a yearly educational program. It is a venue where networking is a key component. In addition to the numerous educational sessions and expo displays, networking with industry colleagues remains one of the leading reasons why so many attendees return to the conference each year.

To find out what you can look forward to, visit for the latest program information. I hope to welcome you and your colleagues to our conference in Fort Lauderdale this April.