How will COVID-19 change the shape of US feed production?

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/tortoon
© GettyImages/tortoon

Related tags covid-19 Afia

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape for the US animal feed industry, how it is operating today, and how the industry will continue feeding livestock, poultry and pets into the future, says Robert Cooper, IFEEDER executive director.

“To successfully navigate this uncharted territory and emerge even stronger than before, the IFEEDER Board committed to identifying compelling projects that address the animal food industry’s research and knowledge gaps as well as looking for opportunities to boost stakeholder engagement.”

In that context, the Institute has approved three new research projects, including:

  • Updating the 2016 US Animal Food Consumption Report to reflect the industry’s current production and provide expert economic analysis on how the COVID-19 public health crisis will shape future production.
  • Launching a research project that will examine how swine diseases could spread through the movement of feed or feed ingredients through the use of a dynamic transmission model.
  • Issuing a request for proposal to better define the industry’s sustainability efforts, in partnership with the AFIA leadership and Sustainability Oversight Committee.

Founded in 2009 by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), is a public charity; it was set up to support critical education and research initiatives that ensure consumers have access to a safe, healthy and sustainable food supply.

IFEEDER focuses its work in two primary areas: funding critical animal feed and pet food research to support AFIA’s legislative and regulatory positions, and developing appropriate messaging for policymakers, consumer influencers and stakeholders which highlights the US animal feed industry’s positive contributions to society.

The Institute also announced Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling Co. as the new 2020-21 chair of IFEEDER’s Board of Trustees.

In addition, several new AFIA members have joined the IFEEDER Board of Trustees including Scott Druker, Church & Dwight Company, Kevin Halpin, International Ingredients Corporation, Steve Lerner, Chr. Hansen Animal Health and Nutrition and Joe Lucas, CJ Bio America.

Last October we reported​ on an IFEEDER led initiative to encourage young people to pursue feed industry-related careers.

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