ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) announced on Jan. 4 the hiring of three new employees.

Leslie Malone is AFIA's new manager of communications. Her responsibilities include editing Feedgram and the AFIA Journal, in addition to writing news releases and managing AFIA’s social media presence. She will also work very closely with agriculture and consumer media to make sure the feed industry is well represented.

Prior to joining AFIA, Malone spent four years in the energy industry as the external communications associate for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She also spent a combined total of five years as an editorial coordinator for the journals, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Plant Biology. She graduated from George Mason University where she majored in communications and minored in German, and holds a master’s of business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Leah Wilkinson is AFIA’s new director of ingredients and state legislative affairs on the legislative and regulatory team. She will be responsible for ingredients, pet food, some trade issues and equine issues and assisting Richard Sellers with FDA issues. She will also interact with state legislatures and feed regulatory agencies in the Western U.S.

Growing up on a Minnesotan swine farm and as a swine production graduate of the University of Minnesota, Leah is familiar with animal agriculture. Leah has also worked for the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, both in Washington, D.C., U.S. Before joining AFIA, Leah was the director of policy and industry relations for ViaGen, Inc. in Austin, Texas, U.S. Wilkinson will be working from Texas, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Tracy Manriquez is AFIA’s membership and communication assistant and serves as the assistant to the president and chief executive officer, Joel G. Newman. Manriquez’s duties include supporting the membership and communication departments with various marketing and publication projects. In addition, she will assist with the AFIA annual Membership Directory.

Prior to joining AFIA, Manriquez graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s of arts degree and is semi-fluent in Spanish. She spent the past three and a half years in the financial industry as a financial analyst and investment trader for a financial planning firm. She currently resides in northern Virginia with her spouse and daughter.

Leslie Malone can be reached at[email protected]or 1.703.558.3579. Leah Wilkinson can be reached at[email protected]or 1.703.558.3560. Tracy Manriquez can be reached at[email protected]or 1.703.558.3577.