ARLINGTON, VA. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) celebrated 73 graduates from its biennial Feed Industry Institute (FII) in Minneapolis on June 20. The graduates took part in a four-day educational program, learning about the animal feed, pet food and ingredient industries. 

“We are thrilled that FII returned to an in-person format this year, which allowed for more engaging and interactive sessions,” said Paul Davis, Ph.D., director of quality, animal food safety and education at AFIA. “The excitement of reconnecting face-to-face and the dynamic exchange of knowledge truly enhanced the overall experience, marking a successful and memorable event for all involved.” 

During the program, attendees learned from 24 experts from various areas of the animal nutrition industry. Topics included animal physiology; the role of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals; types of ingredients and additives; processing and formulation; customer service and communications; and regulations. The FII also covered industry activities, like sourcing, logistics and grain trading. 

For example, attendees heard from Adam Fahrenholz, Ph.D., post-doctoral research scholar at North Carolina State University’s Prestage Department of Poultry Science during his session “Effects of Processing on quality and Efficiency.” Fahrenholz highlighted the importance of decisions throughout each stage of creating animal feed, from ingredient selection to processing methods, and how they can impact nutritional content, product quality and customer satisfaction. 

“Everything that we do in feed manufacturing will have an impact, and those impacts have to be considered,” he said. 

In addition to expert-led education, attendees also had the opportunity to network with industry colleagues. 

The AFIA’s FII ended with a graduation ceremony, during which attendees received a certificate of completion. 

The 2024 FII was sponsored by Bentonite Performance Minerals, LLC, Huvepharma, Inc., Bill Bar and Company, Inc., Datacor, Hutchinson Salt Company, Inc. and Olsson Frank Weeda Law. The next FII program is set for 2026. 

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