ATLANTA — On Jan. 24, the American Feed Industry Association announced that Steve Thomas, former vice president of Darling Ingredients, won the 2023 Friend of Pet Food Award. The award was presented by Eric Altom, technical nutritionist at Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health, during AFIA’s Pet Food Conference, held in conjunction with the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE).

Thomas has served the pet food and treat industry for nearly 40 years. He began his career in 1984 at Griffin Industries and joined Darling Ingredients in 2010. At Darling Ingredients, Thomas formed relationships with pet food manufacturers to establish training programs for the company’s staff.

Alongside his work at Darling Ingredients, Thomas also helped develop many products, including a dairy feed and a baby pig supplement, a liquid fat delivery system and an organic fertilizer brand called Nature Safe. He also worked with pet food producers, providing them with high-quality, renewable and highly nutritious products from the meat industry.

“Steve’s passion for people and the industry, coupled with his strong sense of innovation, makes him a deserving recipient of the Friend of Pet Food Award,” said Louise Calderwood, director of regulatory affairs at the AFIA.

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