AFIA Expo '97

by Teresa Acklin
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Record attendance expected at American Feed Industry Association's feed show.

   From mash conditioning to global food demand to computer systems and automation, the American Feed Industry Association's Expo '97 offers something for everyone involved in the feed manufacturing industry. Based on early-attendance interest, AFIA officials estimate a turnout of more than 5,500, which would surpass the record 5,000.

   Expo '97, which runs May 19-21 in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., actually consists of four distinct events, including the first Information Technology Seminar.

   The seminar offers an in-depth educational program addressing automated production systems, computer networks and the Internet. It opens with an overview of the concepts, trends and challenges associated with information technology, including a discussion of the forces driving change.

   A review of systems integration in agriculture, including precision farming, follows. Also on the agenda are case studies of two companies that changed from mainframe computers to decentralized client/server systems.

   The technology seminar also provides a forum for discussion on plant automation. Speakers will explain how personal computers serve in three key areas: graphical user interface, data integration and statistical process control. Finally, information on establishing a world wide web site and other Internet developments will be covered.

   The Feed Industry Show highlights products and services from more than 250 international exhibitors. The displays run the gamut from storage, handling and processing equipment to feed ingredients, animal nutrition and pharmaceuticals. Industry experts representing suppliers worldwide will be on hand to consult with customers.

   The Expo also provides the venue for the 18th biennial National Production School. This event focuses on operations, cost control, regulatory compliance, personnel management and other issues directly related to feed production. The school opens with announcements of award winners in various categories, followed by educational sessions.

   The first day's session addresses the basics of steam system design, proper conditioning of mash before pelleting, maximizing returns from truck delivery operations and proper hiring techniques make up the first day's session. The second day of the school includes presentations on regulatory issues, efficient batching operations, automated systems integration and workforce management.

   Finally, the 89th Annual AFIA Convention features presentations on the world economy, global supply/demand prospects and environmental and food safety issues. Bruce A. Scherr, Sparks Commodities, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., will discuss trends in the global grain and feed industry; Terry Barr, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, will analyze future agricultural policy trends and their implications for the industry; Molly Cline, Monsanto Co., will present information on meeting global food demand; and Marian Burros, food editor of the New York Times, will discuss consumer, environmental and food safety issues.

   The closing lunch for the annual convention features Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine and 1996 U.S. presidential candidate. The guest speaker at closing lunches for the Information Technology Seminar and the National Production School is Tommy Lasorda, former U.S. baseball Manager of the Year and one of only four U.S. major league baseball managers to manage the same club for 20 years.

   Running concurrently with AFIA Expo '97 are the Nutrition Council sessions and the Pfizer Research Conference. These events offer a mechanism for industry personnel to explore new technologies and issues affecting animal nutrition.

   The AFIA's goal is to provide a safe and abundant food supply that can meet growing global demand. The association has more than 700 member companies and organizations.