Similar to a blog did earlier this year with Bill Barr, I spoke with another titan of the industry – Brian Rittgers. Brian has served as the president and general manager of Micronutrients for the past several years, and prior to that, he had a very long stint with Elanco Animal Health. I really got to know Brian when he served as chair of the AFIA Board of Directors in 2009-10.
It has been a magical season for my beloved Tennessee Volunteers football team. While they still have some work to do on the defensive side of the ball, the offense has run like a well-oiled machine. In 12 games, they scored a total of 568 points, an average of 47.3 points per game!
The Institute for Feed Education and Research is making progress on several of its sustainability initiatives. We are wrapping up phase one of the Sustainability Road Map project and will be releasing a sustainability toolkit for feed industry members in January during the International Production and Processing Expo. Another project, the Feed Systems Sustainability Summit, held in September, was a great success and the takeaways are informing actions for the industry and its stakeholders. During the November Sustainable Agriculture Summit (SAS), over 800 representatives from the food value chain gathered, networked and made plans to advance sustainability efforts up and down the supply chain. All of these initiatives are informing IFEEDER’s actions to support feed systems sustainability, and our next steps are taking shape as we prepare to shift to phase two of our efforts.
This year marked our third year of volunteering staff time at the Arlington Food Assistance Center. In the past, we have bagged rice and oatmeal for local families. This year's task: sorting donated food into crates. While organizing the food items into over 91 crates, we learned a few things about the process. First, they get A LOT of peanut butter and pasta, but oddly enough, not a lot of jelly and pasta sauce to accompany. And second, many items are opened or expired, and therefore, cannot be used.
Impress your friends and family this Thanksgiving with some fun facts about turkeys and turkey feed!
Earlier this fall, on a whim, I signed my daughter and I up for riding lessons, something neither of us have done before. My lovely colleague equestrians regularly tout its benefits for young girls, and I thought it could be a great opportunity to spend more quality time with her, while learning more about horse care and feeding, something that could help me in my job (win-win!). Given this newfound interest, I recently joined the association’s equine committee to learn about why byproducts are used in equine feed.
“Team Trade” (aka Gina Tumbarello and myself) do several different jobs at once for American Feed Industry Association members. Most important is answering members’ questions and helping solve their day-to-day trade snags. But another important aspect of our work is opening market access to help interested AFIA members gain more market share in a country of interest by providing a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that exist in that market.
This week, the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) made headlines for the research work we support at the Clarity and Leadership for Environmental Awareness and Research (CLEAR) Center at the University of California-Davis. Despite detractors’ efforts to discredit research underway, we are proud of the work we do with public institutions, such as the CLEAR Center. We can’t address food security while reducing our environmental impact independently. We must engage.
Let’s have a party! How about a whole Conference of the Parties (COP)?! COP, which has been gathering for 30 years, is where the formal negotiations within the United Nations (U.N.) on Climate Change take place. COP27, being held this week in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, is where I am at representing the American Feed Industry Association. Let me explain the details of this meeting and why it’s important for U.S. agriculture to participate.
This week is a very important week. On Tuesday, the nation votes in the midterm election. On Friday, we give thanks to our nation’s veterans who served to protect the freedom and liberties we sometimes take for granted. (It is also my daughter’s birthday, so we will celebrate her and the joy she brings to our family.)