Emu farmers from around the United States will attend the 2017 American Emu Association National Convention July 14-16 at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield.

AEA members and other emu growers will meet for education opportunities with a chance to meet new people and visit with old friends. AEA board members, Certified Business Members and state presidents will meet prior to the start of the convention.

Convention attendees will be brought up to date on industry concerns and have the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions. Time will be included to network with other emu farmers, product companies and processors from across the nation and around the world.

There will be an opportunity to browse booths that showcase items such as health/beauty and emu-related products, while others will offer merchandise or information. This exhibit area will be open to the public on 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 14-15.

The focus of the convention is "Facing Today’s Challenges.” Topics will include Industry Status, Profitability, Business Opportunities, Marketing, Benefits of Emu Oil, Emu Oil Trade Rules and the Emu Oil Certification Program and the Basics of Raising & Handling Emus.

Featured speakers Maria Minnaar, author of the “Emu Farmers Handbook,” Volumes I & II, and Todd Greene, an Anatomy & Paleontology PH.D. student at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will talk about emus and the human culture. Minnaar also will speak about how wound care has changed over the years.

A guided tour of the new American Emu Association website, a review of the Certified Oil Program, tips on marketing, a look at the emu meat market, a look at NPIP Bio Security, a “Birds of a Feather” session and the annual AEA business meeting, along with a Friday evening welcome night, a Saturday night banquet and a roundtable discussion between board members and the membership fill the event.

“There will be an incredible amount of material provided to attendees," said Terry Turner, 2017 convention co-chair. “We plan to share a lot of information about the emu industry and we will have the opportunity to spend quality time with other emu growers."