Over 50 industry professionals recently gathered in St. Petersburg, Fla., to participate in the American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) annual Equipment Manufacturers Conference (EMC). Hosted by AFIA’s Equipment Manufacturers Committee, this year’s conference focused on building an industry perspective on sustainability.
“The message from EMC this year is clear: sustainability is not going away,” said Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs. “Consumer demand for more sustainable products means sustainability is becoming an operational issue for all parts of the feed sector, including those manufacturing equipment used in feed mills.”
The conference included sessions on how AFIA members can navigate sustainability to support the feed industry and its stakeholders. It also offered attendees an opportunity to hear about the Washington political environment, an update on feed machinery standards coming out of the International Organization for Standardization and discussions on best ways to communicate with government, customers and the public.
“Sustainability will continue to become the expectation rather than the exception,” said Lara Moody, the Institute for Feed Education and Research’s (IFEEDER) executive director. “Surveys show roughly 80% of consumers feel environmental sustainability is important and want to live more sustainable lives.”
Twenty-four attendees participated in the annual golf tournament, which raises money in support of the EMC scholarship fund. Administered by IFEEDER, this fund supports college students pursuing careers in the feed or grain sciences industries at seven universities, including Auburn University, California State Polytechnic University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Carolina State University, North Dakota State University and West Virginia University. This year, the golf tournament and raffle raised a total of $4,158 to support the scholarship fund.
The 2023 EMC will take place Nov. 8-10 in Tucson, Ariz.