ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — Applications for the American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) 2011 Feed Mill of the Year award are available online through June 30. AFIA said it is pleased to partner with Feedstuffs on the program again this year.

The Feed Mill of the Year program recognizes three feed mills — an overall winner, a runner-up and a most-improved facility — for overall excellence each year. Each applicant will receive bench-marking information at the end of the competition, regardless of where the facility finished relative to the other entrants. Access to this bench-marking information is a key reason why many managers enter the program.

According to Bill Monroe, manager of feed operations, Southern States Cooperative, Inc., “We participate in the Feed Mill of the Year program for two reasons. First, it provides our mill managers a reference of how their operation is running compared to the others in the company. Second, the post-survey feedback we receive from AFIA and Feedstuffs reports how our facilities compare to the broader scope of mills in the U.S. The results have our score, the average score, the high and low score and the maximum score for each area. It’s a tool we use to continually improve our manufacturing processes, efficiencies, regulatory compliance and image. I fully endorse the program as a great management tool for all feed mills to use.”

Facilities that enter the competition will be provided with feedback about their application and how they scored in each category relative to other applicants. Many companies have used this feedback to improve their overall standing in the program, as well as to improve their facility in the areas of safety, quality, efficiency, housekeeping and government compliance.

According to Keith Epperson, AFIA vice-president of manufacturing and training, once applications are processed and scored, site visits of the finalists will take place. The winner, runner-up and most-improved plant will be announced in the fall of 2011. The top two feed mill facilities will be permitted to use appropriate logos for one year to promote their accomplishments.

The Hubbard Mills plant in Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S., was the 2010 Feed Mill of the Year; the Cargill Animal Nutrition facility in Giddings, Texas, U.S., was the runner-up.

Participation is limited to feed mills with current AFIA memberships. The application fee for the program is $35 per facility. If you wish to submit applications for more than one facility, the $35 fee must be submitted for each. Checks should be mailed to: AFIA at 2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 916, Arlington, Virginia, U.S., 22201. To ensure payment is credited properly, please type “FMOTY 2011” in the memo line of the check prior to mailing.

Visit apply. The application also is accessible from AFIA’s website,, and Feedstuffs’ website, Questions specific about the application or the application process may be directed to Keith Epperson at 1.703.558.3568.