Today and every day, the U.S. feed industry celebrates America Recycles Day. The feed industry is and always has been a big recycler through its use of co-products in animal feed. Recycling products that would otherwise be discarded into co-products to be used in feed significantly helps to reduce our environmental footprint.
For many years now, AFIA members have heard about “Codex.” Codex is short for the Codex Alimentarius, an international standard-setting body that formulates food safety guidelines and standards to protect consumer health and help to harmonize the food trade. Why Codex is important to AFIA members is easy to explain, and I will in this first of three blogs, but Codex as an organization can be quite complicated. The structure of Codex, terminology used and political intricacies can easily be confusing.
Let’s talk about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and animal feed. Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably have heard of GMOs in some capacity and have heard many misconceptions about them. Is GMO food some kind of Frankenfood? Are they safe? Will they make me sick? (No, yes and no, for the record). GMOs serve a very important purpose in the animal feed industry – providing reliable, nutritious and affordable ingredients to make animal feed.
Being born and raised in Wisconsin, you can bet that I’ve had my fair share of cheese. Even now, living in Arlington, Va., I still put cheese on almost everything. So, when National Cheese Month comes around in October, I get very excited. In fact, I was in Wisconsin last week to visit several American Feed Industry Association members and had a few squeaky cheese curds (along with a brat and a beer).
Formulating diets for livestock and pets is no easy feat. What many people don’t know is that the making of animal food is a very scientific and specialized process. I had the opportunity to speak with Kate Jackson, Ph.D., and Trevor Faber, Ph.D., of Trouw Nutrition, on what goes into animal food and why.
My youngest son once told the sponsor at a meeting I was speaking at that he shouldn’t let me start talking about cows, because I’d never shut up. Surely that’s a bit of an overstatement! But I do have to admit - I can get pretty passionate about the science and application of ruminant nutrition. When I have a strong message that can benefit both cattle and the people involved in raising them, I love communicating it.
Each year, during the second full week of October, the School Nutrition Association sponsors National School Lunch Week. There’s a lot of options and opinions when discussing the contents of a school lunch, but one food group remains a bona fide staple — for good reason. When it comes to a child’s nutrition, brain development and — of course — their taste buds, meat and poultry should always be considered when packing that lunch box each morning.
Now that the 2018 Farm Bill has removed hemp as a schedule 1 controlled substance and listed it as an agricultural commodity, making it legal for farmers to grow the crop for industrial uses in states that permit it, some are wondering: can hemp products be used in feed or pet food? At this time, the answer is no. But given growing consumer interest, our members and even some state regulatory bodies are asking us this question.
In order to get better at something, you must practice. That was drilled into me at a young age by a basketball coach I had as a pre-teen. I wanted to play college basketball so I practiced and practiced, I even slept with my basketball! That saying also goes for activities outside of sports too. So, practice indeed is what our U.S. government agencies and 14 state animal health authorities did in September, regarding a mock scenario of an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in the U.S.
Welcome to AFIA’s twist on “How It’s Made,” featuring animal food! Like many of the products made on the popular TV show, the making of animal feed is a multifaceted and methodical process.