Feed Bites

Conversations Create Collaborations

Written by: Lara Moody   |   December 1, 2021

IFEEDER, Environmental footprint

While the Sustainable Agriculture Summit was held as a hybrid event with carefully orchestrated live and virtual content, many attendees chose to make their way to Las Vegas to participate in person. Joined by AFIA’s President and CEO Constance Cullman, I was glad to be among them. For me, conferences have always been a place to learn something new, but perhaps more importantly, to have unplanned (or planned) encounters with friends, peers, new acquaintances and future collaborators. As we all likely experienced at least once in the last 18 months, even the best virtual event cannot replace the conference networking experience.  

Seven months into my role as the Institute for Feed Education and Research’s executive director, I cherish each opportunity to meet new feed industry folks and connect with old and new colleagues from the perspective of my position. IFEEDER’s recently approved strategic plan guides us to broaden resource support, focus on sustainability and be a resource for the industry and our stakeholders and allied industry members. The summit provided a platform to begin to raise awareness of IFEEDER, promote our sustainability road map effort and show interest in providing leadership among our relevant stakeholders on feed sustainability issues.

During the IFEEDER hosted breakout session, “Advancing Sustainable Feed Solutions to Meet Global Outcomes,” panelists spoke directly about the industry’s actions to reduce feed’s environmental footprint using coproducts and by-products, as well as the role of products to reduce enteric emissions, and our plans to support animal food sustainability efforts. But we weren’t the only ones talking feed – the topic was prevalent throughout the conference with interest and insights from many stakeholders.

During sessions on dairy, poultry and egg sustainability efforts, feed received attention. From on-farm conservation to reduce feed’s environmental footprint and increasing production using regenerative agricultural practices to increasing knowledge of feed lifecycle assessments for improved benchmarking, feed was a prevalent presentation point. Gratefully, the visibility of feed created many opportunities to engage and explore possible collaborations to advance feed’s involvement in food supply chain sustainability efforts. Those conversations don’t happen as easily in a virtual event, it was great to be in person and I already have the dates marked on my calendar for next year’s summit.

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