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When I was a feed mill manager, one of my least favorite things to do was keeping up with all of the changing regulations that our facility had to comply with to manufacture feed. A necessary evil, regulations help us to make safe animal food, keep our workers safe, protect our environment and keep the public safe, but they certainly make life difficult for manufacturers at times.
At today's Feed Education Program, the American Feed Industry Association, in partnership with Feedstuffs, named Kent Nutrition Group’s (KNG) Mason, Mich., plant as its 2021 Commercial Dry Feed Facility of the Year.
Last week, I had the honor of presenting PerforMix Nutrition Systems’ Rupert, Idaho, feed manufacturing facility with the American Feed Industry Association’s 2021 Liquid Feed Facility of the Year (FFY) award. In coordination with Feedstuffs’ Sarah Muirhead, we presented the award to the facility’s plant manager, Ty Cahoon, before industry colleagues at the AFIA Liquid Feed Symposium.
Have you ever walked through your plant on a weekend when no one was there and no production was happening? What did you see and hear? If you were lucky, you will be like the monkey and “see no evil, hear no evil.” But more than likely, you probably heard the low hiss of air leaks and saw evidence of steam leaks and steam trap malfunctions. Have you ever stopped to think about how much this “evil” could be costing your plant in wasted energy?
It’s been an interesting first few months with the Biden administration. When President Joe Biden came into office in January, the major issue he faced was our country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of his priorities were temporarily put on the back burner to allow the administration to focus most of its efforts on the pandemic, which has been ruling the lives of most Americans.
The American Feed Industry Association wants to recognize the businesses that go above and beyond to make sure they are producing the best quality feed, while also maintaining the best operations. In conjunction with Feedstuffs, the AFIA has been running the Feed Facility of the Year program for many years to recognize excellence in manufacturing in the industry and help plant managers improve their operations.
I started my career in 1984 after graduating college by going to work for Southern States Cooperative. Following a short stint in the retail division and as a store manager, I made the move to the feed division as a plant superintendent in a Southern States feed mill. Part of my “feed education” included attending the Kansas State University two-week short course on feed manufacturing in 1988. That’s when I was formally introduced to the larger feed industry.
The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) Marketplace Week may be over, but the learning opportunities are far from done! IPPE’s TECHTalks, which are short educational presentations that discuss what the latest and greatest is out of the poultry, egg, meat and feed industries, are still available to watch on the IPPE Marketplace until Sunday, Feb. 28.
“Buckle up, it may be a wild ride,” said Gary Huddleston, the American Feed Industry Association’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, at the 2021 Feed Education Program.
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought a screeching halt to most of the Food and Drug Administration’s routine inspection activity, now is a good time to think about and prepare for your next inspection when they resume. The FDA has not yet ramped up to its normal level of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections, but has set an aggressive plan for fiscal year 2021.
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