Feed Industry Insiders, Obama Team Engage in Dialogue About Key Issues
23 Sep 2008
ARLINGTON, VA., Sept. 23, 2008 – Leaders of the American Feed Industry Association were pleased to have the opportunity to speak with representatives of Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) presidential campaign today. Obama’s team initiated the meeting as an outreach effort to prominent agricultural organizations.
AFIA President and Chief Executive Officer Joel G. Newman and members of AFIA’s Executive Committee stressed the importance of feed safety, energy and trade policies during the nearly 90-minute conference call.
“We had a good, candid discussion of the major issues facing the feed industry,” said Newman. “We did not hesitate to let the Obama team know why AFIA members feel the way they do about certain issues, and we had an honest exchange about some matters where we may not see eye to eye with Sen. Obama. Taking time to educate the campaign about our industry and issues was a worthwhile and unique experience.”
Greg McLean of Murphy-Brown LLC presented members’ views on energy-related issues, particularly regarding ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard. AFIA chair-elect Brian Rittgers of Elanco Animal Health and Steve VanRoekel of Ridley Inc. shared AFIA perspectives on trade and feed safety, respectively.
“Any time AFIA members have the chance to share their views with a presidential campaign is an opportunity not to be missed,” said Newman. “The Obama campaign heard our perspective as the voice of the feed industry. We also have a relationship and open door for further discussions on key issues.”
In addition to Rittgers, McLean and VanRoekel, other members of the AFIA Executive Committee on the call were Bill Barr, Bill Barr and Company; Al Gunderson, Vita Plus Corporation; Ross Hamilton, Darling International; Mike Horn, Pennfield Corporation; Mike Manning, ADM Alliance Nutrition; and Dean Warras of Prince Agri Products Co.
Representing the Obama team were agricultural advisers David Lazarus and Dallas Tonsager.
AFIA has contacted Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign to offer his team a similar opportunity this fall.