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The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has opened registration for its popular biennial Feed Industry Institute (FII), which will be offered in a self-paced, virtual learning environment over a span of a few weeks later this summer. The conference, which kicks off Aug. 17 and culminates on Sept. 23, brings together industry newcomers to learn the fundamentals of the animal food manufacturing process – from the types of ingredients used to the animals served to federal policies that shape the output of the industry.
“The Feed Industry Institute is a great educational forum where people who are new to the livestock feed or pet food industries can learn more about the business of animal food from those who know it best — industry experts,” said Paul Davis, Ph.D., AFIA’s director of quality, animal food safety and education. "Our goal is that attendees not only understand how to manufacture high-quality animal food, but why doing so is so essential for animal productivity and well-being.”
Typically a weeklong conference, the 2020 FII has been revamped into a virtual learning environment in light of current public health concerns and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. FII officially opens on Aug. 17, when attendees will be invited to sign in to the online platform and watch nearly 30 lectures – at their leisure – from highly acclaimed experts in the field. Attendees must complete the lectures by Sept. 23, when AFIA will hold a live webinar with attendees to answer questions, recap the presentations and conduct a graduation ceremony.
There will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to engage with the material, such as through quizzes, and with each other. Upon registration, AFIA will invite participants to join a private group on social media, where they can network, discuss the course content and get to know their industry colleagues.
“At AFIA, we recognize that COVID-19 has changed how we communicate with one another, but it should not be the stumbling block for those new to the industry looking to start their careers off on the right foot,” said Veronica Rovelli, AFIA’s senior director of meetings and events. “We are committed to meeting people where they are – whether that be physically distanced or career stage – so they can learn the essentials, build their professional networks and put their best foot forward.”
The 2020 FII will include an overview of the U.S. feed industry, animal physiology and nutrition basics, information on the types of ingredients used in animal food and why, the role of medications and other additives, and various processing techniques. It will also look at agriculture’s role in building consumer trust, the role of international trade and provide an overview of state and federal regulations. The full agenda can be found on the event’s website.
AFIA encourages people to register between now and July 22 to receive the special one-time discounted rate of $300 for AFIA members and $650 for non-members. After that, the rate raises to $450 for AFIA members and $850 for non-members.
For more information about FII and to register, visit the event’s website at afia.org/events/fii-2020.