ARLINGTON, VA. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has opted to cancel its Feed Facility of the Year program in 2020 due to repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As an essential industry, US animal food manufacturers have been working hard throughout the pandemic to keep their plants operating safely and efficiently so that they can continue delivering livestock feed and pet food to the marketplace, all while adjusting to meet current and changing federal and state health and safety guidance to protect their employees,” said Gary Huddleston, director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs for AFIA. “With current travel restrictions and visitor limitation polices in place, it would be difficult for all facilities that wish to apply to the program to safely be able to participate and for us to be able to score the award appropriately.”

During this hiatus, AFIA said it plans to improve upon the annual program by providing meaningful benchmarks that help facilities measure continuous improvements and gathering important benchmark data that can be used in negotiations with government agencies.

“The AFIA already had plans to make necessary modifications to the program so that the benchmarking data would be more meaningful and attract more participation in the program across the industry, so we will suspend the program this year while working with our members to hear their feedback and return with an even stronger and more effective program in 2021,” Huddleston said.

To-date, AFIA has recognized 34 facilities with the Feed Facility of the Year award.

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