ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) Institute for Feed Education & Research (IFEEDER) released its annual report on Oct. 23, detailing its accomplishments over the past year and what it plans to pursue going forward.
“Our efforts are largely centered around creating conversations that help build public trust and promote consumer choice, while working to ensure that the American animal food industry has a strong, positive and trusted image,” said Lee Hall, IFEEDER board chair and vice president of Hallway Feeds, in the opening pages of the report. “Our 2018-19 annual report shows you our efforts to advocate on your behalf and to share the story of IFEEDER’s impact.”
Between April 2018 and April 2019, IFEEDER received an estimated $1.34 million in pledges, scholarship funds and the Kenny Berg Research and Education Funds. On the other hand, the institute administered $3 million in grants and $5,000 in EMC Scholarships.
One major accomplishment by IFEEDER during that time it its partnership with the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) to prevent African Swine Fever (ASF) virus from entering the United States.
“IFEEDER is committed to a multi-year effort aimed at answering several questions around ASF, including a study that is examining how the virus can impact a feed manufacturing facility and the steps needed to get that facility back online following an outbreak,” the report stated. “It’s a big investment, but a critical one, in helping safeguard our industry against potential disease outbreaks”
Additionally, IFEEDER has contributed research for improving dairy cattle nutrition for digestibility and absorption in relation to the seven common types of dairy cow feed ingredients: corn silage, grass hay, alfalfa hay, soybean hulls, dried distillers’ grains with solubles, brewer’s grains, and corn.
It also launched a long-term effort to bring thought leaders, decision makers and consumer voices to the table to discuss the animal feed industry. This includes changing negative stigmas that have long been associated with the industry in terms of animal welfare and ingredient quality.
“Through close collaboration with other allied organizations, IFEEDER is focused on creating industry ‘champions’ who can dispel misperceptions about the industry which threatens the animal food industry’s license to operate — while also setting the record straight on the industry’s sustainability advancements in public forums,” IFEEDER said in the report.
“Our efforts are largely centered around creating conversations that help build public trust and promote consumer choice, while working to ensure that the American animal food industry has a strong, positive and trusted image,” said Lee Hall, IFEEDER board chair and vice president of Hallway Feeds.
Looking forward, the organization said it plans to dedicate research to understanding pet diets and the pet food market in the US, which will take a close look at the “unique composition, production and volumes of different pet food ingredients,” the report stated.
IFEEDER said it plans to work with Pet Food Institute (PFI) and the North American Renderers Association (NARA) to study this, as well as how much pet food is consumed by US pets and how upstream value is provided in this market.
“This study builds on the outcomes of IFEEDER’s 2017 animal feed consumption study, which showed that approximately 236.3 million tons of animal feed were consumed by the top nine livestock, poultry and aquaculture species in 2016,” IFEEDER said in the report.
The research institute said results from this research project are expected to be released in late 2019 and will be shared with other pet industry organizations as well as legislators.
IFEEDER also plans to benchmark the global animal food and feed industry’s environmental impact by working with the Global Feed LCA Institute (GFLI) and using data from the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) partnership.
Additionally, IFEEDER will study the impacts of genetically modified-free livestock and poultry feed by measuring the entire supply chain, from rearing to food manufacturing, to “provide a better understanding of the environmental and economic impacts,” the report stated.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of IFEEDER. The research institution remembered its major accomplishments over the years, which include funding high-priority animal food research and education projects for industry members and consumers.
Constance Cullman was slated as president-elect of IFEEDER, as well as president and CEO of AFIA, by the association’s board of directors on Oct. 16.
IFEEDER is comprised of a board of trustees, a research committee, and an education and marketing committee. The research committee identifies information gaps to be pursued by the organization, and the education and marketing committee develops strategic communications to distribute IFEEDER materials and promote food and agriculture industry career opportunities, the report stated.
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