ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) honored three members for their service during its May 14 board of directors meeting in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Trevor Tompkis, Ph.D., received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award for his life-long contributions to the feed industry and to AFIA; and Jarrod Kersey, Ph.D., The Nutro Company, and Jason Vickers, P&G Pet Care, were named Co-Members of the Year. Both have provided leadership to AFIA’s Pet Food Committee during the last two years, each serving a term as chair.
Tompkins has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry. He retired in 2011 as the chief executive officer of Milk Specialties Global, where he expanded the reach of one of the largest independent dairy companies in the U.S., into food products. He then founded venture I dairy, an innovative investment company that works with local partners in global, emerging markets to bring capital, technology, education and opportunity to producers and entrepreneurs throughout the dairy value chain. Currently, venture I dairy is working on projects in India, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya.
“This industry really has contributed to the agricultural bounty of this country,” said Dr. Tomkins as he addressed the AFIA board. “Food security is one of the single biggest issues, and if we don’t address it, we have no hope of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.”
Tompkins received his doctorate in agriculture from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. An advocate of international animal agriculture development, he has been active with Heifer International, chairing the Heifer Foundation for several years and has served on the board of directors for Heifer International. He was named a pioneer trustee of the Institute for Feed Education and Research and currently serves on the board of Women Thrive Worldwide. Tompkins is also one of a very small group of industry nutritionists selected to serve on the National Research Council’s subcommittee that revised the 2001 Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle.   
Tomkins has long supported AFIA, having been a former chair of the association’s Nutrition Committee and serving twice on its Executive Committee. He has also served two terms on the AFIA board.
Kersey is the director of health sciences and regulatory affairs, Mars Petcare US and The Nutro Company, both headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, U.S. He is responsible for the strategic development of the health sciences and regulatory affairs teams for Mars Petcare US, including oversight of the Pet Health and Nutrition Center at the Regional Innovation Center in Thompson’s Station. Kersey developed a category-leading nutritional strategy centered on canine life stages, breed size and activity levels. He also implemented a plan for The Nutro Company to lead the natural nutrition pet food category.  
Prior to Mars Inc., Kersey was AFIA’s director of state and regulatory affairs following a seven-year career with Proctor & Gamble Pet Care in various roles related to regulatory sciences. 
Kersey received a master’s degree in poultry nutrition from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, a master’s degree of public administration from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, and a doctorate in poultry sciences from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  
Vickers is the section head of global product stewardship for P&G Pet Care. In 1998, he joined the department of strategic research in the research and development division of The Iams Company, now Procter & Gamble Pet Care. His research focus included the areas of gastrointestinal health, obesity and diabetes as well as the clinical application of innovations within these areas. In 2001, he transferred to the department of regulatory affairs and is currently in the role of section head with responsibilities for North American regulatory compliance. 
Vickers received his bachelors of science in animal science followed by and his masters of science in non-ruminant nutrition from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Both men are active in AFIA, serving on several committees and member interest groups. Vickers has been an active member of the AFIA Pet Food Committee, the Feed Regulatory Committee, the International Trade member interest groups, serves on the AFIA board and serves on the work group on records and registration for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Kersey serves on the International Trade member interest group, Ingredient Approval and Definitions member interest group and serves on the FSMA work group on mandatory recall and administrative detention authorities. Kersey was also recently elected to the AFIA board.
During their respective time as chair of the Pet Food Committee, both Vickers and Kersey challenged the committee to be proactive. Under their tenure, all stakeholders were brought to the table to address pet food safety. Working groups have been established to address changes in pet food labeling that benefit both the manufacturer and consumer. Another work group is seeking ways for the industry to be proactive in our communications planning in the event of a “crisis” that affects the entire industry.   
“Pet food safety is a noncompetitive issue. Despite their companies being professional competitors, Jarrod and Jason worked together and led the charge, bringing leadership to the issue,” said Joel G. Newman, president and chief executive officer of AFIA.