ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — Members of the American Feed Industry Association's (AFIA) board of directors met May 12-13 to discuss top priority issues affecting the animal food industry and address those issues with legislators during the association's annual spring visit to Washington, D.C., U.S.

AFIA's board also recognized Dr. Alan Wessler, MFA Incorporated, for his leadership as its chair during the 2014-15 year, welcomed his successor, Rob Sheffer, Waycrosse, and announced its chair-elect and new directors, and elected new members to the organization's Executive Committee.

"Under Alan's leadership, AFIA has surpassed many expectations, from hosting numerous implementation trainings on the Food Safety Modernization Act to the announcement of the FDAAA technical fix, which requires FDA to create pet food processing and ingredient 'standards," said AFIA President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joel G. Newman.

Chairman Rob Sheffer, who will be the 2015-16 chairman, has 27 years of industry experience. He is an active AFIA board member, serving since 2009, and has served on the Executive Committee since 2012.

Sheffer is the president and CEO of Waycrosse in Wayzata, Minnesota, U.S. Prior to transitioning to his new role, Sheffer served as the group director for Cargill Feed and Nutrition where he was responsible for leading the U.S. retail and commercial feed business and providing strategic direction to Cargill Animal Nutrition. He has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and is active in the fight against global hunger.

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

In related business, the board voted to accept the nomination of Paul Phillips, Maxi-Lift Inc./Southwest Agri-Plastics, Inc., to become chairman-elect of the organization. Phillips will succeed Sheffer in May 2016.

The following individuals were elected to three-year terms on the AFIA board and began their service at the May board meeting: Eric Arnold, Bill Barr & Company; Cory Berg, QLF-Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc.; Roy Brister, Tyson Foods, Inc.; Jim Conway, Darling Ingredients; Mark Etienne, Potashcorp; Frank Goode, ILC Resources; John Howe, Manna Pro Products, LLC; Raj Lall, Vets Plus, Inc.; Chuck Loefer, ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc.; Diane Loiselle, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.; Joe Lucas, Phibro Animal Health Corporation; Mike Manning, The F.L. Emmert Company; Rod Paulson, CHS Inc.; Paul Phillips, Maxi-Lift Inc./Southwest Agri-Plastics, Inc.; Mike Rivard, International Ingredient Corporation; and John Thorpe, Kent Nutrition Group, Inc.

The six nominated individuals chosen as additions to AFIA's Executive Committee were approved: Kevin Baker, Valley Proteins, Inc.; Tim Belstra, Belstra Milling; Lisa Deverell, Land O'Lakes, Inc.; Lee Hall, Hallway Feeds; Dennis Hart, Diversified Ingredients; and Mindy Whittle, Monsanto Company.

Jeff Cannon, Diamond V, and Ed Galo, Novus International, Inc., were elected as new trustees to the Institute for Feed Education & Research Board of Trustees by AFIA's board of directors. The existing eight trustees were reelected for a consecutive one-year term: Cathy Bandyk, Westway Feed Products, LLC; Marc de Beer, DSM Nutritional Products; Bruce Crutcher, Trouw Nutrition USA; Al Gunderson, Vita Plus Corporation; Dr. C. Ross Hamilton, Darling Ingredients; Dr. Wes Jamison, Palm Beach Atlantic University; Chad Risley, Berg+Schmidt American, LLC; and Eddie Wells, Milk Specialties Global.

IFEEDER, created by AFIA in 2009, addresses the education and research challenges the 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, Phibro Animal Health Corporation, as IFEEDER's chair.
Board members visited Capitol Hill to promote AFIA positions on proposed legislation during visits to their respective members of Congress on May 13. The congressional visits, held following a legislative briefing at the U.S. Capitol Building 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.