ARLINGTON, VA. — The American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) on May 14 shared updates from its annual Board of Trustees meeting, including new board appointments and a plan for supporting the animal feed industry over the next three to five years.

Three new research projects were approved by the board at the meeting, one of which involves updating the 2016 United States Animal Food Consumption Report to reflect current market influences and the impacts of COVID-19 now and going forward.

The second project is to launch research into how swine diseases spread through animal feed and feed ingredients through dynamic transmission. The third project is to issue a proposal defining the industry’s sustainability efforts, working with AFIA and the organization’s Sustainability Oversight Committee to do so.

The board approved a strategic planning initiative to determine how the organization can support the industry’s research and educational needs in the coming years. This plan will be overseen by Chad Risley, Ph.D., general manager and chief executive officer of Berg+Schmidt America, LLC, and Wayne Rod, current board director and previous chief executive officer of The F.L. Emmert Company.

“As anyone working in agriculture can attest right now, the novel coronavirus has changed the landscape for the animal food industry – both from how it is operating today to how the industry will continue feeding America’s livestock, poultry and pets into the future,” said Robert Cooper, executive director of IFEEDER. “To successfully navigate this uncharted territory and emerge even stronger than before, the IFEEDER Board committed to identifying compelling projects that address the animal food industry’s research and knowledge gaps as well as looking for opportunities to boost stakeholder engagement.”

During the meeting, Tim Belstra, owner and board chairman of Belstra Milling Co., was appointed 2020-2021 board chair of IFEEDER. Four new board members were also selected, including: Scott Druker, general manager and vice president of animal nutrition at Charles & Dwight Co., Inc.; Kevin Halpin, Ph.D. vice president of sales and marketing at International Ingredient Corporation; Steve Lerner, head of marketing for Chr. Hansen Animal Health’s North America division; and Joe Lucas, vice president and managing director at CJ Bio America Inc.

Dean Warras, president of animal health and nutrition at Phibro Animal Health Corporation, Cathy Bandyk, Ph.D., ruminant technical manager at AB Vista, Inc., and Ross Hamilton, Ph.D., vice president of government affairs and technology at Darling Ingredients, have retired from their positions on IFEEDER’s board.

The board also recapped IFEEDER’s accomplishments since its last annual meeting, set new priorities for fiscal 2020, and recognized Bruce Crutcher, managing director of Micronutrients USA, LLC, a subsidiary of Nutreco, for providing leadership as board chair over the last year.

One notable accomplishment achieved in fiscal 2019 was IFEEDER’s collaboration with Pet Food Institute and the North American Renderers Association on a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive report to quantify how pet food ingredient purchases are stimulating the overall agricultural economy.

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