AFIA's Oldest Committee Continues Its Historic Tradition
3/11/2015
Richard Sellers, senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
by: Richard Sellers, senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs

Section: Spring 2015




One of the primary objectives in forming the American Feed Industry Association’s predecessor, the American Feed Manufacturers Association (founded in 1909 and changed to AFIA in 1985), was to promote the uniformity of feed labeling and regulation across the U.S. By that time there were some 30 new state feed laws with differing label requirements, making it difficult to create a correct label. AFMA formed a Feed Control Committee, its first committee, to work on creating uniformity.
 
At AFMA’s first meeting in 1909, there were several state feed control officials who saw the benefits of forming a feed association and several months later formed the Association of Feed Control Officials (changed to the Association of American Feed Control Officials later). 
 
There has been an unbroken chain of meetings between AAFCO and AFIA since 1909—quite an accomplishment—made possible by the long-term nature of the Feed Regulatory Committee’s (named changed in 2006) membership, who serve at the pleasure of AFIA’s president. 
 
As one of AFIA’s most active committees, its members are appointed to one-year terms by AFIA’s president. The chair is appointed to a two-year term after service and vice chair for two years. Many of the committee members have been serving for more than 20 years, and one committee member is approaching 35 years. 
 
The purpose of these long-term appointments is to forge lasting relationships with federal and state regulators that toil on a range of issues that change little from year to year. There is a need for deep corporate and issue history.
 
There are 25 committee members, including Scott Ringger, JBS United, who serves as chair and Angela Mills, Southern States Cooperatives, who serves as vice chair. Each began their terms in May 2014. Both Chair and Vice Chair served on the committee for several years prior to their appointments.
 
The committee typically meets twice annually before each AAFCO meeting in January and August. The meetings usually draw about 70 AFIA members and move rapidly through an agenda that changes little from year to year. It covers, AAFCO, federal, international and state issues. The meetings end with an hour-plus session with the current AAFCO president and as executive of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Any AFIA member can attend the committee meetings by notifying the chair and staff liaison.
 
AFIA is very grateful for the dedication, hard work and long service of these members. 
 
The committee is staffed by Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, who handles medicated feed, federal issues and southeastern states; Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of feed ingredients, pet food and state affairs, who handles ingredients, pet food and western states; and Paul Keppy, AFIA government affairs specialist, who handles committee administration, federal lobbying issues, and northeastern and Midwestern states. 
 
For more information on the committee, its issues or the next meeting, contact Sellers at (703) 558-3569 or rsellers@afia.org
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