NIAA Hosts Newest Antibiotic Symposium with NIAMRRE

(July 18, 2019) – The 9th Annual NIAA Antibiotic Symposium will be in Ames, Iowa at Iowa State University, October 15–17, 2019. The theme of the Symposium will be Communicating the Science of Responsible Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture. This year’s Symposium will be hosted by NIAA in collaboration with the prestigious National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE).

“NIAA’s new partnership with NIAMRRE facilitates another important step towards addressing antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic stewardship. That partnership makes this year’s Symposium especially meaningful for all stakeholders,” says NIAA Board Chair, Dr. Nevil Speer.

“The NIAA Antibiotic Symposium has provided outstanding information for the animal health industry over the last eight years, and this year’s conference will continue that tradition,” says NIAMRRE’s Executive Director, Dr. Paul Plummer. “NIAMRRE is excited to help host the NIAA Antibiotic Symposium here in our hometown of Ames, Iowa on the Iowa State University campus.”

As misreported or inaccurate statistics continue to be repeated in negative media coverage of animal agriculture, and the public makes purchasing and family nutrition decisions based on garbled or distorted information, the Symposium will study how the industry can better communicate to the public in an effective and positive manner.

“We are especially excited to provide the participants with an opportunity to start to explore the “science of science communication” related to antibiotic use, stewardship and resistance, a field that NIAMRRE focuses on as a priority initiative,” says Dr. Plummer.

Presentations and a hands–on workshop developed in partnership with the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication will help attendees understand how to take science updates and new advances in research, technology and innovation and convey useful information to meet the needs of consumers, which may help shift the attitudes of the public and media in the future.

“Having the 9th Annual NIAA Antibiotic Symposium here in Ames will also provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about NIAMRRE and how they can get involved,” says Dr. Plummer.

NIAMRRE was competitively selected in 2018 to lead the collective efforts of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities’ efforts related to Antibiotics in animal, human and environmental health. While located in Ames in the Iowa State University Research Park, they represent a growing consortium of academic, industry and government partners all focused on helping to foster collaborative and outcomes driven research that is unbiased and considers the full spectrum of health impacts.

The Symposium’s attendees and presenters will include beef, dairy, pork and poultry producers, processors, and retailers, private practice and state agency veterinarians, researchers and scientists from the FDA, USDA and CDC as well as University animal agriculture and veterinary program academia. In addition to the communication segment, the Symposium will unpack science updates from across the industry and interact with industry representatives of new and evolving technologies to help meet the demands of responsible use of antibiotics.

  • Formation of diverse, cross-disciplinary research teams to conduct necessary research on the basis of need and funding opportunities.
  • Better describe the educational component of their mission to clarify messaging and identify and prioritize audiences.
  • Construct avenues and opportunities for collaboration between scientists working on the human and animal side of the problem.
  • Developing advocacy programs to build support and identify funding to support the institute’s important work.

The group also discussed the need to shape the organizational structure in a way that maximizes efficiency, accountability and success; the need to better articulate the nature, role and responsibilities of membership in the institute; and the importance of building a broad base of awareness and support for the institute’s activities. NIAMRRE was established at Iowa State University as the result of a joint Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture that AAVMC and APLU created in 2014. The group released a report the following year that offered an array of research and education recommendations designed to address the problem.The institute is led by Executive Director Dr. Paul Plummer. Over 100 research faculty with expertise in a variety of scientific disciplines from multiple academic institutions are allied with the effort.

Iowa State is partnering with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Iowa, and the Mayo Medical Clinic. The institute is also partnering with two major USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facilities, as well as a collection of agricultural stakeholders representing over one-fourth of the U.S. swine and beef industry.

For more information or to register for the 9th Annual NIAA Antibiotics Symposium, go to