Large entry expected in AFIA commercial dry feed facility of the year program

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Western Milling’s facility in Goshen, California © Western Milling
Western Milling’s facility in Goshen, California © Western Milling

Related tags dry feed Afia IPPE

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has opened the application phase for its commercial dry feed facility of the year (FFY) program, a competition open to all members of that trade group operating within that milling category.

Applications under the commercial dry feed facility of the year category can now be submitted up to the official deadline of September 16.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to recognize the commercial dry facilities that go above and beyond in keeping their operations running safely and efficiently,”​ said Gary Huddleston, the AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs. “We are looking forward to a large participation again this year.”

The FFY award program is recognized as a first-class benchmarking program for the US feed industry.

In May this year, AFIA said it was relaunching the FFY program after a brief hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the trade group ushering in some changes to the scheme. The AFIA will be providing awards for each program category, to be recognized at AFIA events in front of industry colleagues and it is discontinuing the overall award.

Each category: liquid feed, commercial dry, premix and ingredient, and integrator will have its own facility of the year award and the programs will run at different times of the year, with each category winner being recognized at different venues.

The scheme also sees more awards being given within each category, such as the highest scores for safety, quality, safety and production efficiency, with each category continuing to use the facility scorecards to allow facility managers the ability to see how their facility compares to others in the industry. The application will also be more customized for each category and easier to fill out, said the trade group.

The winning facility will be recognized during AFIA’s feed education program at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), due to run 25-27 January 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Last winner made feed safety a priority

Western Milling’s facility in Goshen, California was recognized for its work in the commercial dry feed producer category in 2019.

Its facility is one of the largest and most diverse feed production operations in the US, producing over 1.4m tons of dry commercial feed per year, with it handling over 1,200 formulations. 

Despite its large size and diverse operations, Western Milling has made feed safety a priority, said the AFIA as it granted the facility the award.

With such large volumes, efficiency is key. In a goal setting process, Buster Freeman, director of commercial feed operations at Goshen, realized that additional automation would improve the operation’s overall quality and efficiency, said the association.

The end result was the incorporation of a WEM system that allowed for the automation of nearly all functions of formula import and management, scheduling and feed production across seven mixing systems. Since the project went live in 2017, Freeman has seen dramatic and immediate results.

“The bottom line is that our products are safer, higher in quality and produced more efficiently as a result of this investment in automation.”  

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