The attendees work in a range of roles within the livestock feed and pet food industry gathered to learn about the latest issues, events and other matters concerning the total feed industry.
The PISC event has been sponsored by AFIA’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Committee for many years.
The 2010 PISC—March 10-12 this year—kicked off with a high-level panel of animal agriculture leaders addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the feed and livestock production industries.
Joel G. Newman, AFIA president and CEO, participated in and moderated a panel that also included Forrest Roberts, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Chris Galen, communications director of the National Milk Producers Federation; Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council; and George Watts, president of the National Chicken Council.
This portion of the PISC agenda generated a great deal of interest among participants, and the remarks by the speakers were well-received.
“I am impressed with the enthusiasm and positive attitude of our members who are attending PISC,” said Newman. “Our members and others in the industry came to San Antonio to participate in a program agenda that, candidly, recognizes the issues facing the feed industry and our producer customers and comes together in addressing those issues.”
Another highlight of this year’s PISC was a series of presentations about grain markets and the economy, the weather, seed genetics, sustainability and more. Presenters of these topics, respectively, were Richard Brock of Brock Associates, Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc., Jerry Wiegel of BASF Plant Science and Kevin Igli of Tyson Foods.
Two break-out sessions offered PISC participants additional opportunities to learn the latest news about issues affecting the feed industry.
One session provided legislative and regulatory updates. Richard Sellers, AFIA vice president of feed regulation and nutrition; Dr. Dan McChesney of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. Tim Herrman and Ben Jones of the Office of the Texas State Chemist spoke during this break-out session.
In the second break-out session, Sarah Muirhead of Feedstuffs magazine, Alan Gunderson of Vita Plus Corporation, Brian Rittgers of Elanco Animal Health, Kay Johnson Smith of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, and Dr. Mark Lyons of Alltech Inc. addressed issues related to animal-rights activism.
Earlier in the week, from March 8-10, AFIA’s Spring Forum provided time for many of the association’s committees to meet. The AFIA Board of Directors also met in conjunction with the Spring Forum.
A highlight of the Spring Forum was an educational session about carbon-footprint issues and related legislative activity in Congress.
This special event, sponsored by AFIA’s Nutrition Committee and open to all Spring Forum attendees, featured a range of experts presenting a wealth of information about this complex issue.
The roster of speakers included Garth Boyd of Camco International, Shawn Archibeque of Colorado State University, Allan Stokes of the National Pork Board, and Erin Fitzgerald of Dairy Management Inc.
AFIA’s Keith Epperson, vice president of manufacturing and training, and AFIA government affairs consultant Steve Kopperud of Policy Directions Inc. also spoke during the carbon-footprint session.
Centennial celebration ends
In addition, the week in San Antonio provided a time for the association to conclude its year-long Centennial Celebration.
Founded in 1909 as the American Feed Manufacturers Association, today’s AFIA marked its 100th anniversary in various ways beginning at the 2009 PISC in Destin, Fla.
A redesigned logo and the creation of a hardcover book, short film and special advertising were among the highlights of the year’s efforts.
This week in San Antonio, a time capsule of special memorabilia was established and member-firms were invited to add their own materials to the memory box. Dr. Alan Wessler of MFA Incorporated was chairman of the Centennial Task Force.