The origin of the ANNA conference is the ANPSG ( = Ammonium Nitrate Pollution Study Group ) meeting which was started in 1970 as an initiative between fertilizer engineers in the USA to overcome pollution problems associated with AN prill towers.
The ANPSG concept was developed in particular by two people who also became the first co-chairmen of the ANPSG. They were Gene Comeau of Cooperative Farm Chemicals Association in Lawrence, Kansas and Joe Stafford of Farmers Chemicals Association in Harrison, Tennessee. The first meeting was in the fall of 1970 in Lawrence, Kansas where 15 companies attended and the concept was developed. The primary purpose of the group was to find a solution to the problem of visible particulate emissions from ammonium nitrate prill towers, especially high density towers.
At that time no technology was yet available to solve the problem. The problem could not even be defined in the first meeting, but efforts were begun to define the problem and to start searching for a solution to that problem.
During the first five years the group met twice a year. A host company took care of all the practicalities around the meeting. In 1991 in Wilmington exhibitors showed up around the meeting to present their products to the participants and they have joined ever since and have become an important sponsor of the conference. Over the years the pollution problem came under control and in 1995 the group changed name to ANPSG = Ammonium Nitrate Producers Study Group, which covered all issues related to the production of AN and urea ammonium nitrate solutions, UAN.
Attendees at the 2001 ANPSG meeting agreed to co-host the following years meeting together with the nitric acid producers group (NAPG) meeting seeking synergies and efficiencies. To reflect this, the meeting is now since 2002 called the ANNA conference. Inthe 2005 meeting attendees accepted to let vendors be present and participate during the presentations and discussions in the ANNA conference and vendors have ever since been allowed to this part of the ANNA conference. During the 2007 meeting in Park City, Utah, the two groups, ANPSG and NASG, were formally merged under the common ANNA banner.
As from the Sixth ANPSG meeting producer representatives from foreign ( non –US-Canadian ) companies have been attending the meeting/conference. The conference has over the last twelve years become a truly international organization with representatives from all continents representing approximately twenty-five countries. Approximately 40% of the participants are now non US-Canadian participants.
Realizing that the ANNA conference has become truly international, the first conference outside North America took place in Europe in 2010 hosted by Yara International and was attended by 380 people. 26 new fertilizer companies were introduced to the ANNA group.