Written by: Lacie Dotterweich | December 31, 2021
While 2021 presented many challenges, another year of discussing hot topics that affect each and every one of our readers on the AFIA Feed Bites blog is definitely something to remember and celebrate. In this time, we shared how the animal food industry is advancing climate change solutions, honored industry trailblazers, offered opportunities for greater market access, learned how a new administration can shake things up, and much, much more!
As the end of the year is always a time of reflection, we decided to look at the top blog articles that readers loved the most (so we can continue to bring you content you love!).
Here are readers' top five favorite blog posts in 2021:
On July 1, the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) granted by Congress, giving the president authority to “fast-track” trade negotiations, is set to expire. TPA has been utilized during presidential administrations since 1974 and has only been authorized four times. Congress sets trade negotiating objectives and the president can use those objectives to negotiate trade deals. As trade in the animal feed and pet food sector continues to grow, the ability of the United States to open markets lies in its ability to come to the negotiating table without worry that Congress will undermine their agreements.
We have all seen the headlines and had the conversations at our children’s sports games, the county fair or church regarding agriculture and saving the planet. “Sarah, you work in agriculture, right? I was thinking about eating less meat to save the planet – what do you think?” Usually, the person is concerned with water overuse, greenhouse gases, air quality or why we grow “so much corn or soybeans” for poultry and livestock, instead of growing more food for people. When I went to college (many years ago), there certainly weren’t any classes or discussions on climate and agriculture.
I grew up in Wisconsin and as a child, vacation meant going to my grandparents’ dairy farm in Prairie du Chien to help bale (really stack) hay or feed calves. The summer after my freshman year of college, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to drive 30 minutes to work on a dairy farm – for free! So, my love for dairy farms, dairy cows and milk, cheese and ice cream runs deep. When I saw the article, “Removal of dairy cows may reduce essential nutrient supply with little effect on greenhouse gas emission,” I knew I had to read it.
#4: Better Buy Bacon
If Dr. Cassie Jones’ presentation on African swine fever (ASF) at last week’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference didn’t scare you, then I really don’t know what will! Jones, the undergraduate research coordinator in Kansas State University’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, gave a chilling update on the status of the virus that has ravaged parts of the Eastern Hemisphere over the past three years. The news of ASF reaching the shores of the Dominican Republic (DR) is a very big deal.
The use of animal food ingredients to address animal wellness, food safety and production efficiency is bursting forward worldwide with the development of innovative products demonstrating proven efficacy and safety. Across continents and animal management systems, animal food additives are making their mark by fostering improvements for animal care and environmental protection. As the rest of the world marches forward to adopt the benefits afforded by animal food additives, U.S. farmers and ranchers lag, hampered by black-and-white regulations and limited access to new developments. It is time for the United States to fill in our spot on the palette of animal food additives.
We thank you so much for reading our blog and learning more about the animal food industry. We look forward to continuing to share insights on policy issues and topics that are being discussed in the news in the new year.
Do you have questions about the animal food industry you would like to see answered? Topics you want to learn more about? Email me at email@example.com!