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With the kick-off of the American Feed Industry Association’s new fiscal year comes new priorities within the legislative and regulatory areas as set by the association’s Board of Directors. These priorities set the course for our work advocating on behalf of the membership at the state, federal and international levels. Here is a brief overview of the categories we will focus on this year.
My time as chair of the Board of Directors for the American Feed Industry Association has come to an end. As I reflect back, I am reminded of a Swiss army aphorism:
“If the map and the terrain disagree, trust the terrain.”
This year, the American Feed Industry Association has a new honor to bestow. For the first time, the AFIA Board of Directors posthumously names an honorary board director – Steve Kopperud of SLK Strategies.
The American Feed Industry Association’s highest honor – the Distinguished Service Award – is only given to the elite members of the U.S. animal food industry who have provided outstanding support to the AFIA and the entire animal food industry throughout their careers.
A lifetime of achievement – what a feat! Not many can say they have been recognized for their lifetime achievements. Today, a new individual joins the ranks.
The past year has been like no other. On March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic, the personal and professional lives of more than 944,000 employees of the U.S. animal food industry forever changed.
It is often said that the strongest steel is forged by the most intense fires. In an adversarial dance, it is pounded and struck repeatedly before it’s plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility, and the blows give it strength. Those two things make the metal pliable and able to withstand every battle it’s called upon to fight. We’ve just passed the one-year mark of living through the coronavirus pandemic. It’s hard not to reflect on where we have been during this challenging time, from canceling in-person events to adapting to a virtual environment to rethinking how we conduct our businesses to keep our employees safe and customers satisfied.
The United Nations is known for holding large meetings and frequently, we don’t feel the impact of what they do – but its latest Food Systems Summit is not one of those times.
This fall, I had the opportunity to sit in on several virtual roundtables with many American Feed Industry Association members talking about how they dealt with COVID-19 in their businesses and operations. I was proud to hear every participant start by saying the health and safety of their staff, customers and suppliers was, and remains, their primary focus.
As a child, I would frequently get frustrated when the world (or in this case, my parents, teachers or siblings) dictated what I couldn’t do. I had plans! One day, my favorite fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Underwood, suggested that instead of thinking about what I can’t do, that I should think about what I can do. Turns out, there was a lot!
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