There are 19 item(s) tagged with the keyword "Coronavirus".
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It has been about a year since I joined the American Feed Industry Association. I can say without a doubt – it has not been the year I expected! Instead of spending my days on the road meeting AFIA’s members in their offices or at their facilities, attending events and seeing the AFIA team work with our members to deliver first-class education and networking events, or meeting in-person with elected officials and government representatives, half of the year has been spent learning a new way of doing business.
Last week, we all settled into our home office chairs to listen to industry experts discuss important issues affecting the animal food industry. As a former Seattleite, I was looking forward to seeing industry colleagues in the Emerald City this past March for the American Feed Industry Association’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the webinar series that replaced it did not disappoint!
As individuals, you either like working with others or you don’t. We discover these things about ourselves during our school years and these traits develop further during our careers. As a trade association, these same behavioral tendencies also exist. Overall, I would say the U.S. animal food industry tends to play well with others. This is demonstrated by the work of American Feed Industry Association members and by AFIA’s membership in the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF).
As a farmer-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes sees firsthand the enormous strain the coronavirus pandemic has caused for communities across rural America, and for the agriculture industry that was already reeling from trade dynamics and poor growing conditions in 2019. Like everyone else, farmers and their rural neighbors have also grappled with the dramatic shift of carrying out everyday activities via online platforms due to COVID-19. Land O’Lakes sees first-hand how the digital divide (those that have high-speed internet access, commonly known as broadband, and those that don't) has only been further exacerbated by the pandemic, making it nearly impossible for rural residents to keep up with schoolwork, business and even doctors’ appointments.
When the Animal Agriculture Alliance and the American Feed Industry Association were approached to sign onto a letter on the value of animal agriculture, neither group hesitated to fully support this initiative. We needed to say with one, loud voice – animal agriculture is not to blame for the coronavirus pandemic and in fact, we may offer an important part of the solution.
Since writing the first post on April 17 highlighting all the ways our members are giving back to their local communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis, I continued to see many more reports of our members going above and beyond. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the great things these companies have done to help people during this time.
At its recent meeting, the American Feed Industry Association’s Board of Directors discussed many topics, but Scott Druker of Church & Dwight Company, the new Board chair for 2020-21, said that at the forefront was the industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past two months as we have all hunkered down in our own ways to aid in public actions against the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have looked to the comfort of homemade bread as a way to ease the effects of changed work and social norms. The power of yeast, a single-celled fungus, to convert flour and sugar to fragrant, chewy, delicious bread, is amazing. Humans first used yeast to produce raised breads around 3,000 B.C. But what about the value of yeast in animal feeds? In the last few decades, the same class of organisms that provide delicious food for humans are being considered as important nutrients and immune enhancers for many different animals.
Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling, the American Feed Industry Association’s 2019-20 Board chair, delivered a short video message today to members detailing how the animal food industry is supporting local communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this tumultuous time, our industry plays an important role in not only getting fact-based news and information out, but also in sharing the powerful story of our industry employees, who continue to report to work to ensure a stable feed and pet food supply. The American Feed Industry Association is participating in and following a few social media initiatives to help share the stories of the agriculture industry and we hope that you will join us.
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