AFIA Hosts Largest EMC Since 2004
Keith Epperson, vice president of maufacturing and training
Monday, March 10, 2014
by: Keith Epperson, vice president of maufacturing and training

Section: Spring 2014

The American Feed Industry Association’s annual Equipment Manufacturers Conference generated a successful turnout, with the highest attendance rate since 2004. The conference, held in Amelia Island, Fla., Nov. 7-9, 2013, focused on “Developing Your People for Tomorrow’s Business, Today.”
Attendees kicked off the conference by raising funds for the Equipment Manufacturers Committee Scholarship Fund at the four-person scramble golf tournament. Participants also made donations through a raffle for a Bose speaker that was donated by Maxi-Lift, Inc. and individual contributions. In total, $2,665 was donated, up almost $800 from last year. 
The Equipment Manufacturers Committee Scholarship Fund is historically administered to students pursuing agricultural degrees at Kansas State University. It was announced at the meeting that the committee would expand the fund, adding two additional scholarships to selected colleges or universities. The new scholarships will be five-year commitments and chosen this spring. 
“The addition of not one but two new scholarship opportunities to the EMC Scholarship Fund is a highly anticipated move forward by the Equipment Manufacturers Committee,” said Committee Chair Randy Stauffer (InterSystems). “The fund has been beneficial to KSU students for years and now those benefits will be shared with students enrolled in agricultural programs at like institutions.”
AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman opened EMC conference presentations with a detailed Washington update, including a discussion on the continually stalled farm bill, explaining that both the House and Senate versions include AFIA priorities. Newman talked about Congress’ dismal ability to work cohesively, the effects of the recent 16-day government shutdown and the significant regulatory burden that is being focused on the industry. He updated attendees on AFIA’s extensive project revolving around reviewing and commenting on the recently released FSMA animal food rule. 
Guest speakers included Phil Phillips, Sulzer Chemtech; Tom Henrich, AGRA Industries; Mike Smith, Ag 1 Source; Steve Narans, Behlen Manufacturing Co.; and Dr. Michael Johll, The Johll Consulting Group. Sticking with the conference’s theme, the speakers all touched on employee recruitment, retention and morale in the workplace. 
The 2014 EMC will be held Nov. 6-8, in Palm Springs, Calif. 
For more information on EMC, contact Keith Epperson, vice president of manufacturing and training, at or (703) 558-3568.
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