In May 1909, a small group of U.S. feed manufacturers gathered in Chicago, Illinois, and founded the American Feed Manufacturer's Association at its first annual meeting.
Ninety-one years later, the organization — now called the American Feed Industry Association — is heading back to its roots in Chicago. The A.F.I.A.'s 2000 convention will be May 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel in Chicago.
The future and challenges for the feed industry are represented in the convention theme, "It's a New Day!"
"A.F.I.A. recognizes the changes sweeping the industry and the great promises they hold," said David Bossman, association president and chief executive officer. "This year's dynamic convention agenda and speakers will arm attendees with the information and opportunities to forge ahead with confidence in a new millennium."
The A.F.I.A., based in Arlington, Virginia, is the only national organization in the United States devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the animal feed and pet food industries and their suppliers.
The group's membership totals 690 companies, and represents nearly 75% of the commercial feed and pet food sold annually in the United States. A.F.I.A. members include feed manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, animal health companies, equipment manufacturers, large integrated livestock and poultry producers, and companies that provide other goods and services to the commercial animal food industry.
The convention opens May 1 with several Nutrition Council and A.F.I.A. committee meetings. A new 4-hour conference on "Agricultural Plant Biotechnology: Impact on the Feed Industry" also will be held in conjunction with the A.F.I.A. convention on May 1. Sponsored by the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Working Group, conference topics will include current and future products for the feed industry; safety and feed performance of agricultural biotech crops; animal performance; DNA and protein detection in meat, milk and eggs; consumer attitudes; and communicating with the public.
A reception for convention-goers will immediately follow the seminar.
The general session will begin at 10 a.m. May 2 with a presentation by Nate Booth, a San Diego, California-based author and corporate consultant, on "Thriving on Change."
The A.F.I.A. convention program described the purpose of Dr. Booth's presentation. "Rapid and never-ending change is a fact of life in today's world. Some people live life at the mercy of change and avoid it at all costs. Others try to cope with change and just ‘hang in there.' Change masters are a different breed. They thrive on change. They use change to their advantage in their personal lives and businesses. Don't miss this rousing start to ‘It's a New Day.' "
The general session will continue at 11 a.m. with a global economic forecast by Robert J. Genetski, director of Chicago Capital, an investment bank in Chicago.
During the lunch break, David Abbott, A.F.I.A. chairman, and David Bossman, president, will present the "State of the Association" report. Awards also will be presented to members who have made contributions to the feed industry.
The general session will resume at 2 p.m. with outlook and trends on the beef, dairy and swine industries. Topper Thorpe, Cattle-Fax, Denver, Colorado, will give the beef outlook; Monte Hemenover, U.S. Dairy Education Council, St. Louis, Missouri, will give the dairy outlook; and Tom Stein, Knowledgeworks, Inc., Bloom-ington, Minnesota, will give the swine outlook.
A presentation on retail/consumer trends will begin at 4 p.m., followed by an A.F.I.A.-sponsored reception at 5:30 p.m. and an ice cream social sponsored by Land O'Lakes at 6 p.m.
The final day of the convention, May 3, will begin with a continental breakfast at 7 p.m., followed at 8 a.m. by an examination of the investment landscape, "The Savage Truth about Money," by Terry Savage, personal finance expert and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Soybean producer Doug Magnus will give his views of the worldwide GMO issue at 9 a.m. The convention will conclude at 10 a.m. with an inspirational address by Mike Singletary, former All-Pro linebacker for the Chicago Bears.
Early registration ends April 21. For information, contact the A.F.I.A. at 1501 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100, Arlington, Virginia, U.S. 22209, 703-524-0810, or by e-mail at