Feed Bites

A New Chapter Begins: Leading AFIA into the Future

Written by: Guest   |   May 28, 2024

BOD, Board of Directors, Leadership Viewpoints

By: Leigh Ann Sayen, president and CEO of The Peterson Company and AFIA Board chair 2024-25

As I begin my tenure as Board chair of the American Feed Industry Association, I find myself filled with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and a healthy dose of humility. I am thankful to be following Carlos Gonzales, Ph.D., of Hills Pet Nutrition. Carlos has set an excellent leadership example, and he has been very considerate in sharing key AFIA insights to prepare me for the challenges in the upcoming year.

Leigh Ann Sayen, president and CEO
of The Peterson Company and AFIA
Board chair 2024-25

Reflecting on the scope of the AFIA, which serves over 650 members committed to the Four Promises of Voice, Representation, Expertise and Engagement for the animal food sector, I am compelled by the ability of this organization to deliver on these promises, particularly in these complex times.  I am proud to belong to an organization that tackles issues such as animal food’s importance in sustainability initiatives, pressing the U.S. government to analyze our dependency on vitamins and amino acids, developing access to international markets and providing certification programs to ensure safe feed and pet food production.

The AFIA is tasked with meeting the varied needs of its broad membership, and my sincere compliments to the organization’s staff that rise to this challenge.  Members’ input is sought by participation in committees, well-informed conferences, in-person and web-based training programs and individualized technical support directly from the staff.  The staff communications team is top-notch in relaying important messages, both internally and externally, to key stakeholders. I encourage everyone to please follow AFIA on social media and subscribe to the weekly member newsletter AFIA FeedGram and AFIA Feed Bites blog to stay informed about AFIA’s activities.

Being the largest organization representing the U.S. total animal food industry, AFIA must also advocate for and influence policy decisions that impact its members.  AFIA’s expertise in public policy, navigating political landscapes, lobbying on its members’ behalf and educating its members to lobby for themselves is outstanding. Investing in our collective knowledge helps our industry develop a strategic plan to move forward.

As a team, the AFIA has a clear vision for how it will meet its Four Promises and in doing so, serves its members and contributes to a healthier world through advanced animal nutrition. In a dynamic industry with myriad interests, this is no small undertaking.  I appreciate the commitment to organizational excellence, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve an organization that has served our industry so well for many years.

In my time as chair, I look forward to sharing my passion for our industry by collaborating with the AFIA staff and members to address emerging issues and inspire others to our continued success. 

I am excited to embark on this journey together, united in our commitment to be the best and driven by our shared purpose.

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