ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — Members of the American Feed Industry Association's (AFIA) board of directors met May 13-14 to discuss issues of mutual concern and address those concerns with their legislators during the annual spring meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S.

The board also recognized Jeff Cannon, Diamond V, for his leadership as chairman during the 2013-14 year, welcomed his successor, Dr. Alan Wessler, MFA Inc., and added 16 new directors and elected six new members to the organization's executive committee.

"AFIA has had a highly successful year under Jeff's leadership. We have accomplished multiple objectives and have had overwhelming member participation, especially when it comes to feedback regarding the largest set of rules to affect the industry in decades--the Food Safety Modernization Act," said AFIA President and Chief Executive Officer Joel G. Newman. "Our organization excitedly awaits Alan's leadership as I know he will continue to keep the pace that has been set by those who have served before him."

Cannon has been an active AFIA board member since 2009 and has served on the executive committee since 2012.

Wessler is the vice-president of feed operations and animal health at MFA, Inc., where he has been employed since 1988. He is a previous recipient of AFIA's Member of the Year Award for his efforts as chairman of the AFIA Centennial Task Force, and has served two terms on the association's board of directors. Wessler was raised on a livestock and grain farm in northwest Missouri and has a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from University of Missouri-Columbia.

Wessler's one-year term is effective as of May 1.

In related business, the board voted to accept the nomination of Rob Sheffer, Cargill, to become chairman-elect of the organization. Sheffer will succeed Wessler in May 2015.

The following individuals were elected to three-year terms on the AFIA board and began their service at the May board meeting: Jeff Ast, Lallemand Animal Nutrition; Steve Azzarello, H.J. Baker & Bros., Inc.; Tim Belstra, Belstra Milling Co.; Don Dietrich, Poet Nutrition; Scott Drucker, Church & Dwight Company; Steven Elliott, Alltech, Inc.; Lee Hall, Hallway Feeds; Mike Hudspith, Ridley, Inc.; Wyatt Johnson, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC; Todd Kimbrell, Hood Packaging Corp.; Mark Knief, Hi-Pro Feeds; Keith Mizwicki, SEM Minerals; Dave Nelson, Great Lakes Calcium Corp.; Ray Poureslami, Kerry Ingredients and Flavors; Randy Stauffer, Intersystems; and Mindy Whittle, Monsanto Co.

The six individuals elected to the AFIA executive committee are Charlotte Brittain, Mosaic Feed Ingredients; Phil Greene, Foster Farms Inc.; Jarrod Kersey, The Nutro Company; Mike Osborne, Nutra Blend LLC; Mike Van Koevering, Elanco Animal Health; and Glen Wilkinson, Huvepharma, Inc. 
Marc de Beer, DSM Nutritional Products, was elected as a new trustee to the Institute for Feed Education & Research Board (IFEEDER) of Trustees by AFIA's board of directors. The existing nine trustees were also reelected for another one-year term. IFEEDER was created by AFIA in 2009 to address the education and research challenges our U.S. food and feed production industries will face in the next 40 years and beyond, as the world's population grows by almost 2.5 billion people. The executive committee also renewed the appointment of Dean Warras, Prince Agri-Products, as IFEEDER's chair. 
AFIA board members also visited with Sen. Mitch McConnell.

"We had a very productive meeting with Board members discussing a range of topics during their time together, including matters pertaining to membership, strategic objectives, finances, and regulations and legislation," said Newman.

Board members visited Capitol Hill to promote AFIA positions on proposed legislation during visits to their respective members of Congress on May 14. 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 Food Safety Modernization Act, ingredient approval process, GMO labeling and trade promotion authority.