The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) is seeking individuals to participate in Petfood Forum Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, from March 29-April 1, 2016. In an effort to help Kansas small businesses in the pet food and pet care market, this conference will allow the representatives to explore export opportunities, conduct market research and begin to establish a network of contacts.

KDA plans to take a group of five representatives of Kansas companies within the pet food industry. Interested individuals should complete the application forms available on the KDA website. Pet food-related companies meeting the Small Business Administration’s definition of a small or medium-sized business are invited to apply to participate. Applications are due by January 29, 2016.

The dog and cat food sector contributes approximately $2.53 billion annually to the Kansas economy, and supports more than 1,900 jobs in Kansas.

“The pet food industry is a priority area of economic growth for Kansas agriculture,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “There is great potential in opportunities available internationally and we are pleased to help small businesses in Kansas explore the export market by providing programs that encourage growth.”

Petfood Forum Asia is a premier networking and educational conference for global pet food manufacturing industry professionals held in conjunction with Victam Asia/FIAAP Asia Pacific (Feed Ingredient and Additives), one of the largest agri-feed trade shows in the world. Participants will meet with the industry’s leading suppliers of equipment and ingredients, and observe exhibitions displaying the latest technology available that is used in the manufacture and processing of feeds for animals, pets and aquatics.

Attendance at Petfood Forum Asia is supported by a State Trade and Export Program (STEP) grant, funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, which helps Kansas non-exporters get started and existing exporters to export more. Since the grant’s inception in 2012, more than 30 Kansas small businesses have participated and achieved $9.2 million in actual export sales.

For more information, contact KDA Agribusiness Development Director Lynne Hinrichsen at Lynne.Hinrichsen@kda.ks.gov or +1.785.564.6757.