AFIA Recognizes Pet Health Innovators

January 25, 2022

Contact Lacie Dotterweich, AFIA Communications and Social Media Manager

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is pleased to name George Fahey, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI), and Dennis Jewell, Ph.D., formerly of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, as the recipients of the 2022 Friend of Pet Food Award. Juan Gomez, global director at Alltech, Inc., presented the awards today during the AFIA Pet Food Conference, happening in conjunction with the International Production & Processing Expo this week.

The Friend of Pet Food Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to support the growth of the pet food industry. 

“Drs. Fahey and Jewell have both made tremendous advances to pet health and we are thrilled to recognize them today,” said Louise Calderwood, AFIA’s director of regulatory affairs, following the announcement of the awards. “For over 40 years, Dr. Fahey has conducted impactful research in pet nutrition and pet food science to enhance nutritional programs for the betterment of pet animal health and wellbeing. As a result of his research, new dietary formulations for pets at various physiological states and for those experiencing certain health problems are being recommended by animal health care professionals and pet food manufacturers."

Fahey is professor emeritus of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at UI. He has studied myriad topics, including carbohydrate nutrition, to include work with dietary fibers, novel polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, and starches; and protein nutrition, to include work on amino acid bioavailability, indices of protein quality, and the importance of protein ingredient selection, quality control, and heat processing to enhance amino acid digestibility. Fahey has also mentored nearly 100 postdoctoral research associates, doctorate and master’s students to the successful completion of their graduate programs, many of whom are now employed in the pet food industry and are making significant contributions in the research and development, marketing and regulatory spaces.

“During Dr. Jewell’s over 30 years in the pet food industry, he has relentlessly focused on pet nutrition to improve the lives of companion animals,” Calderwood continued. “His most recent research has led to further novel nutritional interventions, including those that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and provide protection to kidney health to improve pet longevity and quality of life.”

Jewell is a former senior fellow of nutrition innovation at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Now retired, Jewell continues to work in the industry as a nutrition consultant. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration selected Jewell to be a member of the Nutrition Expert Committee to establish complete and balanced nutrition requirements for cats and dogs in the United States. His knowledge and expertise spans many areas, not only in research and product development, but also legal and regulatory issues in the pet food industry. In addition, Jewell has published over 250 book chapters, patents, peer-reviewed articles and abstracts, with an excess of 4,500 scientific citations of published research.


Top photo caption: George Fahey, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received the AFIA 2022 Friend of Pet Food Award at the AFIA Pet Food Conference.

Bottom photo caption: Dennis Jewell, Ph.D., formerly of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, was recognized with the AFIA 2022 Friend of Pet Food Award at the AFIA Pet Food Conference.

Editorial Note: To obtain high-resolution files of the images above to use for editorial purposes, contact Lacie Dotterweich, AFIA’s communications and social media manager, at Media are welcome to embed the linked videos from the AFIA’s YouTube channel discussing the winners.