WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Members of the American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) board of directors met the week of May 13 to discuss issues of mutual concern and make those concerns known to their legislators during the annual spring meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S.

The board also recognized Al Gunderson, Vita Plus, for his leadership as chairman this past year, welcomed his successor, Jeff Cannon, Diamond V Mills, and 16 new directors and elected eight new members to the organization’s Executive Committee.

“It’s been a tremendous year under Al’s guidance. We have accomplished so many of our strategic priorities during this past year,” said Joel G. Newman, AFIA president and chief executive officer. “We are looking forward to Jeff’s leadership, which I know will continue this positive momentum.”

Gunderson has been an active member of AFIA, having previously served twice on the board of directors. He has also chaired the Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Committee and served as chairman of the board of trustees for the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER).

AFIA board members discussed a range of topics during their time together, including matters pertaining to membership, strategic objectives, finances and regulations and legislation. 

Board members visited their respective members of Congress on May 15, promoting AFIA positions on proposed legislation. The congressional visits, held following a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill the previous day, gave members the opportunity to discuss issues impacting the feed and feed ingredient industry, including the Farm Bill, Renewable Fuels Standard and feedstock competition, the new FDA requirement for pet food under the Food Safety Modernization Act and facility inspection user fees.

Cannon, Diamond V Mills, was elevated to the chairmanship of the country’s largest feed organization at the meeting on May 16, succeeding Gunderson. The terms of chairman and past chairman are one year. 

Cannon is the senior vice-president, planning and business development, of Diamond V Mills. For more than nine years, Cannon has been responsible for oversight of strategic planning, marketing, sales, research and technical support. In addition to these activities, he also oversees Diamond V’s business activities in North America and serves on the company’s executive management team and board of directors.

“As a member company of AFIA, I share the passion all members have for the feed and agriculture industry. I am honored to be able to serve AFIA and look forward to working with the board to support the ongoing durability of our industry,” said Cannon. “Together, we will plan and navigate a course that will allow our industry to thrive and participate in helping meet the growing demand for feed and food around the world.”

In related business, the board voted to accept the nomination of Alan Wessler, MFA Incorporated, to become chairman-elect of the organization. Wessler will succeed Cannon in May 2014.

The following individuals were elected to three-year terms on the AFIA board and began their service with the May board meeting:
• Kevin Baker, Valley Proteins Inc.
• Doug Baldwin, Wenger Manufacturing
• Charlotte Brittain, Mosaic Feed Ingredients
• Jeff Cohen, Micronutrients
• Tony Colanio, Ajinomoto Heartland Inc.
• Dave Fairbanks, Stillwater Milling Co
• Dennis Hart, Diversified Ingredients, Inc.
• Jarrod Kersey, The Nutro Company
• Keith Klanderman, Nutriad Inc.
• Michael McGowan, Zoetis
• Jim Moore, Southern States Cooperative
• Michael Osborne, Nutra Blend LLC
• Leigh Ann Sayen, The Peterson Company
• Al Searles, Murphy-Brown, LLC
• Rob Sheffer, Cargill Animal Nutrition
• Glen Wilkinson, Huvepharma, Inc.

The following individuals were elected to the AFIA Executive Committee: 
• Michael Blair, Pilgrim’s Pride, Inc.
• Steve Boehmer, Westway, Inc.
• Bruce Crutcher, Trouw Nutrition, USA
• Greg Duerksen, Kincannon & Reed
• Dan Meagher, Novus International
• Rob Sheffer, Cargill Animal Nutrition
• Jason Vickers, P&G
• Alan Wessler, MFA, Inc.