ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — During its annual meeting, the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) set new priorities, approved new research and focused on the toll the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have on the animal food industry.

The board also approved the launch of a strategic planning period to evaluate how IFEEDER can continue meeting the research and education needs of the animal food industry for the next three to five years.

“As anyone working in agriculture can attest right now, the novel coronavirus has changed the landscape for the animal food industry — both from how it is operating today to how the industry will continue feeding America’s livestock, poultry and pets into the future,” said Robert Cooper, executive director of IFEEDER. “To successfully navigate this uncharted territory and emerge even stronger than before, the IFEEDER board committed to identifying compelling projects that address the animal food industry’s research and knowledge gaps as well as looking for opportunities to boost stakeholder engagement.”

The board approved three new research projects, including:

  • Updating the 2016 U.S. Animal Food Consumption Report to reflect the industry’s current production and provide economic analysis on how the COVID-19 public health crisis will shape future production.
  • A research project that will examine how swine diseases could spread through the movement of feed or feed ingredients.
  • Issuing a request for proposal to better define the industry’s sustainability efforts, in partnership with American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) leadership and the AFIA Sustainability Oversight Committee.

New leadership also was addressed during the meeting. Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling Co. will take over as chair for 2020-21 from Bruce Crutcher of Micronutrients USA, LLC, who led during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Several new AFIA members joined the IFEEDER Board of Trustees, including:

  • Scott Druker of Church & Dwight Company, Inc.
  • Kevin Halpin of International Ingredients Corporation
  • Steve Lerner of Chr. Hansen Animal Health and Nutrition
  • Joe Lucas of CJ Bio America, Inc.

The board also thanked several outgoing trustees for their service:

  • Dean Warras of Phibro Animal Health Corporation
  • Cathy Bandyk of AB Vista, Inc.
  • Ross Hamilton of Darling Ingredients Inc.


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