ATLANTA — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) announced that Angele Thompson, Ph.D., has received its 2024 Friend of Pet Food award. Jerry May, vice president of government and trade affairs at Freshpet, presented Thompson with the award during the 2024 Pet Food Conference on Jan. 30, held in conjunction with the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta.

Thompson received the award for her long-term contributions to the pet and pet food industries. She originally began her career as a nutritionist with Heinz Pet Products and rose to the role of technical services manager of nutrition, analytical laboratory and animal feeding laboratory. From there, Thompson went on to work for Mars Pet Care, then known as Kal Kan, as product development team manager for the company’s cat brands in the United States and Canada, spearheading the company’s research and development efforts.

Further advancing her extensive career, Thompson founded her independent consulting firm, Thompson PetTech, in 1997.

Additionally, Thompson has held many roles with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), including speaking on expert panels to develop the association’s Nutrient Profiles and Protocols. She has also served as an advisor to the AAFCO Ingredient Definitions Committee and AAFCO Pet Food Committee.

“Dr. Thompson has contributed to the advancement of innovation, product development and nutrition in the pet food industry,” said Louise Calderwood, director of regulatory affairs at the AFIA. “She continues to be a proactive voice in the industry, and we are excited to present this award in recognition of her leadership.”

In her current role as founder and president of Thompson PetTech, Thompson offers nutrition, product development and regulatory services, helping companies develop innovative solutions to support pet health and wellness. She has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in nutritional biochemistry from the University of Arizona.

“I am very lucky to have gotten into the pet food industry at the beginning of my career and continue to contribute to the lives of pets and those who love them,” Thompson said.

Established in 2019, the AFIA Friend of Pet Food Award aims to recognize individuals in the industry who have made significant contributions to support the pet food industry. Since its launch, the award has highlighted the extensive work of eight individuals.

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