The American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA) and Feedstuffs are proud to announce that Sanderson Farms of Collins, Miss., has been named the 2017 Feed Facility of the Year (FFOY). Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, made the announcement today during AFIA’s Feed Production Education Program, being held as part of the International Production & Processing Expo happening this week in Atlanta, Ga.
Co-sponsored by AFIA and Feedstuffs, the FFOY award recognizes overall excellence in feed manufacturing operations. It emphasizes the company’s commitment to safety, quality, regulatory compliance and employee development and highlights the facility’s overall operating efficiencies. To date, only 32 facilities have received this industry best practices award.
“Sanderson Farms demonstrates excellence in each of the areas the Feed Facility of the Year program measures,” Huddleston said. “They quickly rose to the top of this year’s competition, and we are happy to present the company with this award.”
Sanderson Farms’ Collins facility produces more than 400,000 tons of poultry feed each year. As one of Sanderson Farms’ eight feed mills, the facility processes 455 acres' worth of corn each day. It also serves as the grain delivery point for the company’s Laurel, Miss., facility.
There are many factors that helped Sanderson Farms achieve the FFOY award, including some of its work to boost employee engagement and promote morale. According to feed mill manager William “Bill” Bray, employees are included in daily conversations about safety, and the company’s training programs allow supervisors to assist employees by providing personal attention. Facility personnel are encouraged to offer suggestions for improvement while reviewing and implementing changes.
Bray said Sanderson Farms reviews a variety of metrics daily, weekly, quarterly and annually to maximize efficiency and maintain or increase performance. These metrics include inbound ingredient specifications, ingredient moisture, mixer analyses on specified ingredients, weekly tons of feed produced, labor costs, feed conversion rates, utility usage and performance and delivery costs.
Sanderson Farms also places a priority on promoting community involvement.
“We participate in many functions at the local level and encourage our employees to become involved in their community,” Bray said.
Formerly the Feed Mill of the Year award, AFIA and Feedstuffs modified the program in 2016, and it is now recognized as a first-class benchmarking program for the animal food industry. Representing each of the several types of feed manufacturing facilities within AFIA’s membership, the improved format compares and recognizes top-performing facilities in four categories: commercial dry livestock, integrator, liquid feed and premix. From those, the FFOY award is selected.
AFIA recognized the category winners -- announced earlier this month -- with plaques at today’s Feed Production Education program. Sanderson Farms topped the integrator category; ADM Animal Nutrition of Cordele, Ga., won the commercial dry livestock feed plant category; Westway Feed Products of Dimmit, Texas, won the liquid feed plant category for the second consecutive year, and Animix LLC of Juneau, Wis., won the premix manufacturing plant category.
AFIA and Feedstuffs have conducted the FFOY and its predecessor program since 1985, recognizing 70 companies for outstanding performance in animal food manufacturing. More information on the FFOY program, as well as a list of past winners, can be found on AFIA’s website.