ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) on May 15 awarded Bill Barr its highest honor, the 2019 Distinguished Service Award, for his lifelong contributions and continued dedication to the feed industry and AFIA itself. Barr is the president of Bill Barr & Company and has been an active AFIA member since 1977.

The award was presented by Sarah Novak, VP of membership and public relations for AFIA.

“Bill has embraced every project with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude,” Novak said. “If he did not have the resources to make something happen, he knew who needed to be included in the conversation to accomplish the goal. He is more than deserving of this award.”

Barr served as AFIA’s board chairman from 2011 to 2012, during which time the organization founded its Sustainability Oversight Committee, finalized its Pet Food Certification program and bolstered the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER).

Barr also served as a “pioneer trustee” for IFEEDER, and continued to be a member of its board until 2015.

“We’ve transformed AFIA into a member-driven organization. We take the ideas and needs of our members as a group and push them forward and that’s great,” Barr said upon receiving the award. “It really starts with saying ‘yes’ to being on a committee and getting involved. It’s been amazing to see what we can do as a group that starts with individuals.”

Throughout his career, Barr has been affiliated with many other trade associations and received other honors, such as Distinguished Alumni of the Year in 2014 from Kansas State University and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City’s Man of the Year in 2013.

Barr’s father started Bill Barr & Company in 1956 as a sales agency for ingredient manufacturers in the animal and companion feed industries. The company fell into step with the ‘50s movement toward ingredients that could best balance nutritional components of the contemporary commodity ingredients. Bill Barr & Company eventually expanded as the industry grew to include the distribution and representation of critical ingredients.

Barr earned a bachelor’s in feed technology with an emphasis on animal nutrition and a minor in chemistry from Kansas State University and completed business and financial management courses at Wharton School of Business.

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