Selection of the top plant starts with an online application process and concludes with personal visits to the top sites by an inspection team from AFIA and Feedstuffs. Final selection is based on a combined scoring of the application and personal visit. The Feed Mill of the Year winner and runner-up will be announced in fall 2014.
The award program benefits all applicants, with each candidate receiving benchmarking information at the completion of the competition. Feedback received from the judges can also be used toward future improvement within the program as well as overall improvement in the feed mill's safety, quality, efficiency, housekeeping and government compliance.
New in 2014, the program has expanded to include liquid feed manufacturing facilities.
The winner and runner-up of the competition are permitted use of the Feed Mill of the Year logo for one year for promotional materials. The top two facilities also receive features in the "AFIA Journal" and Feedstuffs newspaper.
"Last year, judges reviewed more than 80 applications, making the decision that much harder when narrowing the applicant field," said Keith Epperson, AFIA vice-president of manufacturing and training. "Ultimately, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative of Rockford, Tennessee, U.S., was selected as the 2013 Feed Mill of the Year as they are third-party certified in hazard analysis and critical control points as well as AFIA's Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, among many other reasons."
The Hubbard Feeds facility in Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S., was selected as the 2013 runner-up.
Participation in the Feed Mill of the Year program is limited to feed mills with current AFIA memberships. To apply for the 2014 program, complete the online application or visit www.feedstuffs.com.
The application fee is $35 and should be mailed to AFIA's offices at 2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 916, Arlington, Virginia, U.S., 22201, by June 30. Only one application per facility is required.