Preparing for the millenium

by Teresa Acklin
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Y2K, technology issues highlight U.S., European feed industry conferences and exhibitions.

   Few technologies,Y2K issues and consolidation in the feed industry will be among the topics discussed at two upcoming feed industry shows in the United States and Czechoslovakia.

   The American Feed Industry Association's Expo99 will be held May 17-19 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., followed by the 4th East/West Feed Industry Conference, sponsored by the International Feed Industry Federation and Victam International, June 15-18 in Prague.

   AFIA Expo99 has a new format, a “vital, hard-hitting, two-day educational forum,” said David Bossman, president of the Arlington, Virginia-based feed association. The new format, Mr. Bossman said, makes the Expo “more responsive” to those in the feed industry.

   “We have been evolving for many years and in the process kept adding more and more to program,” he said. “This year, we decided to reassess and look at the things people really wanted to do when they came to the Expo.”

   The AFIA decided to forego high-priced professional speakers, such as Tommy Lasorda and Steve Forbes, who gave keynote addresses at the AFIA Expo two years ago, for experts and leaders from within the feed industry.

   As a result, the AFIA was able to dramatically reduce registration costs. “We also changed the pricing so they could mix and match,” Mr. Bossman said. Persons attending AFIA Expo99 can purchase 1-day, 2-day or complete 3-day packages.

   “All of those things combined to make the event more inexpensive and user-friendly,” Mr. Bossman said.


   The AFIA convention, which will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, will consist of an Educational Forum and Feed Industry Show. The educational forum will feature feed production issues on May 17 and information technology issues on May 18, followed by a general industry session on May 19.

   A discussion of consolidation and mergers within the feed industry, “Plant Management in a Changing Industry,” by Sarah Muirhead, editor of Feedstuffs, Minnetonka, Minnesota, will kick-off the feed production program. Other speakers on the program include Fred Fairchild, Kansas State University (KSU), Manhattan, Kansas, U.S., “Liquids: New Ingredients, New Applications”; Brian Bursick, AFIA, “Regulatory Update”; David Boebel, Continental Grain Co., Chicago, Illinois, “Implementing a Successful Quality Assurance Program”; and Keith Behnke, KSU, “New Technologies in Feed Production.”

   The information technology program will begin with a discussion of the impact of the Internet on the feed industry in “The ‘Net Makes it Happen” by Ernest Bollinger, Jr., Wisconsin Electrical Manufacturing, New Berlin, Wisconsin, and Steve Riley, Triple Crown Nutrition, Wayzata, Minnesota.

   Other speakers at the information technology program include Yvonne Karstens, Internet Connections, Mankato, Minnesota, “Getting Started”; John Scandar, Quality Consultants, Atlanta, Georgia, “Enterprise Resource Planning”; William Hicks, Arthur Andersen, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, “Y2K: Are You Ready?”; and Don Root, Continental Grain, “System Integration.”

   In the general industry session, Mr. Bossman will discuss the legislative, regulatory and international challenges facing the feed and pet food industries. The general session also will feature an awards recognition, including feed mill of the year, and a panel discussion on government, food safety and business issues affecting the feed industry.

   The Feed Industry Show, which will run May 17-19, will feature more than 250 companies from the United States, Europe, Latin American and Asia. “The show offers a great opportunity to network among industry colleagues,” Mr. Bossman said. “Consulting possibilities are endless with the many engineers, nutritionists, production managers, quality control specialists, safety experts and marketing personnel attending the event.” For registration information, telephone the AFIA at 703-524-0810 or fax 703-524-1921.


   New technologies in aquaculture, a millenium checklist, use of feed additives and quality control procedures for the feed industry will be among the topics addressed at the 4th East/West Feed Industry Conference and Exhibition at the Hilton Atrium Hotel in Prague in June.

   The speaker list for the conference includes 33 industry experts. “That's the degree of technology this conference and exhibition now presents Central European feed compounders,” said Roger Gilbert, secretary general of the International Feed Industry Federation, London.

   The I.F.I.F. is sponsoring the event, along with Victam International and in cooperation with the German Feed Research Institute.

   “This meeting draws together not only the best suppliers of equipment and services, but also brings together some of the most highly specialized individuals our industry has,” Mr. Gilbert said. “All feed compounders coming to this meeting will go away with useful information that they will be able to use well into the new millenium.”

   The educational program will be geared to Central European countries “where investment and development decisions in the past were taken for other reasons than commercial ones,” Mr. Gilbert said. “The program will provide a practical way forward for feed compounders who are rebuilding their industries under tough economic conditions.”

   Opening day speakers will include Jan Fencl, Minister of Agriculture for the Czech Republic, and an unnamed cooperative livestock producer. Concurrent educational sessions are planned for June 15 and 16.

   The traditional round table discussion panel on June 17 “offers every Central European feed industry an opportunity to make its own statement on the issues and challenges they face from an international platform,” Mr. Gilbert said.

   The final day of the conference, June 18, will be devoted to technical tours of feedmills in Strakonice and Dynin.

   For registration information about the 4th East/West Feed Industry Conference and Exhibition, telephone the I.F.I.F. at 44-1242-267702 or fax 44-1242-267701.