Last year, I wrote about the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Veterinary Services Form 16-4 (VS 16-4) and how if it was not updated, it could hinder exports for animal-based products in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak on U.S. soil. We recently celebrated APHIS’s progress on updating this form, and are now turning our attention to going country-by-country, product-by-product to remove any diseases not relevant to those products.
The year was 1909. In a Chicago meeting room, owners of businesses growing an animal food industry discussed the increasing body of regulations governing the sector at both the federal and state levels. They understood the need to coordinate and stay informed of how these regulations were developing and formed an organization, which today is the American Feed Industry Association. Simultaneously, state agencies realized that together, they could develop standards, definitions and policies for the enforcement of feed laws that promoted uniformity. Thus, they created the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
The two organizations have been working together ever since.
One of my favorite moments spent in Washington, D.C., this spring was seeing the cherry blossom trees in peak bloom. The beautiful blossoms, adding color and life to the D.C. area, is a spectacular sight to see. Of course, the monuments looked as glorious as ever and getting to see them at nighttime was a new experience for me as well. To say my spring internship with the American Feed Industry Association was full of incredible experiences would not be enough.
U.S. animal nutrition products hold a valuable place in the global marketplace. In 2022, the overall export value for feed, feed ingredients and pet food was $7.5 billion and the total volume of exports of these products was 9 million metric tons.
At the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), we keep a close eye on different issues impacting the industry. Sustainability has been a hot topic lately, and one of our members, Perdue Farms, has been making big strides in the right direction. Drew Getty, Perdue’s vice president of environmental sustainability and government relations, joined me for an interview to discuss the company’s partnership with GreenGasUSA and their combined efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Over the past year, I’ve been lucky to collaborate with many American Feed Industry Association and Institute for Feed Education and Research staff and members, forging the first-ever partnership between our organizations. The goal was to elevate a vision that feed and animal nutrition can be a critical lever in providing sustainable solutions to food systems.
Imagine that all the different countries in the world are Greek gods and goddesses. As Americans, we would likely think ourselves as the almighty Zeus and maybe we would say our brethren the European Union (EU) would be Poseidon, brother of Zeus and god of the sea. Even though Zeus is all powerful, Poseidon is no slouch; he bestowed many gifts, seduced many nymphs and sent many sea monsters to ravage those who betrayed him. All the gods and goddesses meet on Mount Olympus and here is where we make our analogy stretch to the United Nations (UN).
Not many know what happens behind the scenes here at the American Feed Industry Association. This well-oiled machine may look easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy (as my Pilates instructor says) from the outside, but behind our closed doors, you’ll find dual, sometimes triple, computer monitors; multiple Excel spreadsheets open with trade data and colorful graphs; dozens of browser pages open with research; partially drafted Word documents; scribbled post-it notes; and LOTS and LOTS of caffeine. Well, I can’t speak for the rest of the AFIA, but that’s what it looks like at my desk, and I can tell you, it is all worth it when we score a win for our members and industry.
I’m Kristen Ireland, one of the founders, along with Erin Mies, of People Spark Consulting, and in this blog I’ll share two strategies for hiring great people who will stick with you, season after season. When we met as human resource experts at a large agriculture cooperative, we quickly realized that we shared a pretty straightforward philosophy: We believe that simple, practical HR processes can boost a company’s bottom line and increase profits and margins.
Are you a “value creator?” If you haven’t heard this term – keep reading! McKinsey & Company recently conducted a global survey on how companies capture the value of sustainability. Below are four things I learned about the benefits of a company having a sustainability program within their organization from the “Creating Value with Sustainability: Survey.”