One of the main reasons the American Feed Industry Association formed over a century ago was to harmonize state feed laws. Now, in 2020, our organization still tracks legislative and regulatory issues of importance happening at the state level, and recent actions in California highlighted yet another urgent reason why this is necessary.
I am sure you saw the headlines a few weeks ago about Burger King’s new advertising campaign and how the fast food retailer plans to reduce greenhouse gases by including lemongrass in cattle diets. Well, surprise, surprise! Their description of cows emitting gas (aka farts) is just plain wrong and the research they used on the feed ingredient is inconclusive.
Our summer issue of the AFIA Journal is out! As the editor of the biannual publication, it is always my pleasure pulling the content and design of this piece together, but this issue is much more meaningful to me for several reasons.
Last week, we all settled into our home office chairs to listen to industry experts discuss important issues affecting the animal food industry. As a former Seattleite, I was looking forward to seeing industry colleagues in the Emerald City this past March for the American Feed Industry Association’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the webinar series that replaced it did not disappoint!
As individuals, you either like working with others or you don’t. We discover these things about ourselves during our school years and these traits develop further during our careers. As a trade association, these same behavioral tendencies also exist. Overall, I would say the U.S. animal food industry tends to play well with others. This is demonstrated by the work of American Feed Industry Association members and by AFIA’s membership in the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF).
Use less water. Use less electricity. Use less plastic. People, communities and organizations all over are trying to use less to help protect the environment and lower carbon footprints. But in the animal agriculture world, using less goes by different words: feed efficiency.
Is there any better cooking device than the grill? I don’t think I could be convinced otherwise. You can cook anything on the grill! Burgers, chicken, vegetables, fruit, beans – even pizza. As a grilled-meat lover, I can’t wait until the weather warms up enough to fire up the grill. So, when I learned that July is National Grilling Month, I thought we had better take the opportunity to commemorate the occasion and thank all of the feed manufacturers, farmers and ranchers who make summer dinners on the grill possible.
What is this this “new normal” we keep hearing so much about? We’re all still trying to figure out what “the new normal” means for each of us, but I know that I’m tired of saying it and I think we can all agree that we are tired of hearing it. However, looking through the lens of the advocacy world, the closer I look, the more it seems that not much has actually changed.
Early input from a broad swath of food activists and professional groups encouraged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand the size of its 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) and introduce greater transparency into the process by livestreaming its meetings. But, despite the increased opportunity for public input and a thorough review of current research, there is little evidence that federal dietary guidelines have done much for the public’s health since major changes to the recommended daily allowances were implemented 40 years ago. So, is the problem the dietary guidelines or individual eating patterns?
During a time full of uncertainty about the future – uncertainty about our health, safety, jobs, economy, the education of our children – thankfully there is one thing that is certain for our industry. The trading relationship between the U.S., Canada and Mexico can resume and will be stronger and better than ever.