ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) installed Mike Gauss of Kent Nutrition Group, Inc. as the new chair of the board of directors, welcomed new members and advocated for key industry priorities on Capitol Hill during the board’s annual spring meeting May 19 in Arlington, Virginia, US.

Gauss succeeds outgoing board chair Mike Schuster, of Laidig Systems, Inc., and will serve his term through the end of AFIA’s fiscal year April 30, 2023. Schuster transitioned to a one-year role as chair of the Institute for Feed Education and Research’s (IFEEDER) Board of Trustees. The AFIA board also voted to accept the nomination of Carlos Gonzalez, of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, to become the chair-elect of the organization.

“The AFIA membership will be in good hands under the leadership of incoming chair Mike Gauss of Kent Feeds,” Schuster said. “He has an extensive knowledge of the issues currently facing our industry and experience through his involvement with the AFIA’s Production Compliance Committee. His positive, calming approach to opportunities and challenges will be of value to the association and our membership.”

The board elected the following to serve three-year terms: Jonathan Griffin of Balchem Corporation; Scott Herbert of Daybrook Fisheries; A. Whit Huguley, IV of ED&F Man Liquid Products, LLC; Mark Poeschl of Furst-McNess Company; Holly Bellmund of GLC Minerals, LLC; Nicole Boettger of Hamlet Protein, Inc.; Dan Hennessy of Land O’ Lakes, Inc.; Robert King of Merrick Pet Care, Inc.; Tony Colanino of NewStar Sourcing and Service; Dan Meagher of Novus International, Inc.; Mark Lamb of SouthFresh Feeds; Julio Contreras of Sweet Manufacturing Company; Daniel Rice of Western Milling; Rob Brock of Westway Feed Products, LLC; Matthew Zeigler of Zeigler Bros, Inc.; and Ryan Millett of Zoetis. 

The board also approved seven additions to AFIA’s Executive Committee: Scott Anderson of California Pet Mill; Frank Goode of ILC Resources; Kevin Schluender of Nutra Blend, LLC; Leigh Ann Sayen of The Peterson Company; Kristin Bonham of DSM Nutritional Products; Lisa Norton of Biozyme; and Rob Sheffer of Zinpro Corporation.

Forty-four board members also met with US Senate and House offices about improving the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) animal food ingredient review program, resolving ongoing supply chain and export issues that are hindering the industry’s ability to satisfy customers’ orders in a timely and cost-effective way, and the work the industry is doing to provide solutions on national climate change priorities.

“Food security is top of mind for many lawmakers right now as they look to keep Americans fed amid labor and logistical challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, rolling ingredient shortages, increased food prices and more,” said Constance Cullman, president and chief executive officer of AFIA. “Our board leadership impressed upon policymakers how removing key regulatory and trade barriers now will secure our industry’s ability to continue delivering feed, ingredients and pet food to the marketplace into the future.”