Feed Bites

Doing the Right Thing Isn't Always Easy

Written by: Guest   |   May 25, 2023

Guest perspective

By: Mike Gauss, Kent Nutrition Group Inc.

It is with a heavy heart that I end my time as chair of the AFIA Board. This trepidation is not due to any doubts about the new leadership, but simply, because I will deeply miss working with the exceptional individuals who make up this organization. I have full confidence in the abilities of Carlos Gonzalez and Leigh Ann Sayen, who will undoubtedly provide outstanding leadership. Furthermore, I am pleased to note that the association is blessed with a highly talented staff, occupying key positions, ensuring that our industry and members will be well represented for years to come.

During my tenure, the Financial Resiliency Task Force dedicated itself to a crucial project aimed at securing the association's financial stability for the future. We undertook a thorough evaluation of our current financial position, as well as an assessment of our revenue streams and associated risks. The outcomes of this project have resulted in strategies to increase revenue and diversify its sources, thereby ensuring the association's continued success in training, guiding and representing the entire feed industry.

Norman Schwarzkopf once said:

"The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."

This quote resonated with me throughout my leadership role and was also the guiding principle for the Financial Resilience Task Force. Making difficult decisions, such as raising dues, discontinuing programs and spending and diversifying revenue streams, is never easy. Nevertheless, we recognized that these actions were necessary and aligned with our responsibility to do what is right for the association. The team displayed remarkable dedication and courage in implementing these recommendations, and I am sincerely grateful for their hard work and willingness to make tough choices.

I am genuinely excited about the future direction of the association and eagerly anticipate the remarkable achievements that lie ahead. Striving to push the industry forward while simultaneously representing all members can be a challenging endeavor. I encourage the team to remain steadfast in their commitment to ensuring that the association brings along every member on this journey.

Reflecting on my time as chair, I often liken it to a youth mission trip. Initially, you are honored and enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve. Over time, a hint of pompousness may emerge, as you believe you will make a substantial difference. However, upon completion, you realize that the one truly impacted was yourself.

This has been my experience leading the association. I had the privilege of working alongside exceptional individuals who exemplify hard work, kindness and a steadfast commitment to honesty and integrity. Representing an industry that contributes so much to society has been an incredible honor. Our industry has consistently faced challenges head-on, exhibiting remarkable resilience and determination in feeding the world.

It has been an absolute joy getting to know our members, and it has been a true privilege to work alongside our other Board leaders. I am deeply grateful for your unwavering dedication, kindness and the friendships formed.

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