ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) board of directors on Oct. 16 officially appointed Constance Cullman as president and chief executive officer of the association and the president of the industry’s public charity, the Institute for Feed Education and Research. Cullman has been on staff since July 29, working with the association’s past president Joel G. Newman in preparation for his retirement on Dec. 31.

“Working with Constance over the past several months has been a pleasure,” stated Tim Belstra, AFIA’s chair of the board of directors. “She not only has a high track record of success, but she has the vision, integrity and passion for leading the U.S. animal food industry into its next chapter.”

Prior to joining AFIA, Cullman served as president and CEO of Farm Foundation. She also served as the U.S. government affairs leader for Dow AgroSciences; senior director of regulatory, technical and international affairs at the Corn Refiners Association; associate administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service; vice-president of agricultural ecology at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation; and extension associate at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

 “As a major link in the food and agricultural supply chain, the animal food industry is undergoing unprecedented change,” Cullman said. “With that change comes opportunities for continued success in sustainably meeting consumers’ needs today while innovating for tomorrow’s challenges. It is an honor to join this important and cutting-edge industry.”

Cullman has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a master’s degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis on international trade and agricultural policy from Ohio State. She hails from Marysville, Ohio, where her family owned and operated a cow/calf farm.

During his 15 years with AFIA, Newman expanded AFIA staff, education programs and networking events. He championed an expanded global focus on the development of international food safety standards and opening more international trade opportunities for the industry.

Most recently, the AFIA has implemented a Sustainability Initiative, which includes the development of collaborative industry messaging to address consumers’ concerns regarding the animal protein industry. All of this has led to a more than 50% increase in member engagement and increased industry value.