“Each of these facilities has shown it is deserving of being at the top of its respective category in the 2017 Feed Facility of the Year program,” said Gary Huddleston, director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs at the AFIA. “After months of reviewing applications and touring facilities to determine these winners, AFIA is thrilled to announce them, and we look forward to naming the overall winner later this month at the International Production & Processing Expo.”
Formerly the Feed Mill of the Year award, the AFIA and Feedstuffs modified the program in 2016, and it is now recognized as a first-class benchmarking program for the animal food industry. Representing each of the several types of feed manufacturing facilities within AFIA’s membership, the improved format compares and recognizes top-performing facilities in four categories: commercial dry livestock, integrator, liquid feed and premix. From those, the FFY award is selected.
The overall FFY winner will be announced Jan. 31 during AFIA’s Feed Production Education Program, which will be held as part of IPPE, happening in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
“Cheap in, cheap out,” said plant manager Johnny Childers. “We’ll be out of an ingredient before we will settle for bad quality.”
Sanderson Farms focuses on boosting employee engagement and promoting morale through daily conversations about safety and providing employees with personal attention. Facility personnel are encouraged to offer suggestions for improvement while reviewing and implementing changes.
Feed mill manager William “Bill” Bray said Sanderson Farms reviews a variety of metrics daily, weekly, quarterly and annually to maximize efficiency and maintain or increase performance. These metrics include inbound ingredient specifications, ingredient moisture, mixer analysis on specified ingredients, weekly tons of feed produced, labor costs, feed conversion rates, utility usage and performance, and delivery costs.
“We have accomplished a lot in the past few years, including significant capital improvements, cost per ton advantages, greater employee engagement and an overall production increase,” Thomas said. “This team just knows how to get it done.”
“Animix is known by its customers as a responsive and reliable supplier of high-quality products,” said Janusz Sowinski, president and owner of Animix.
The AFIA and Feedstuffs have conducted the FFY, and its predecessor program, since 1985, recognizing 70 total companies for outstanding performance in animal food manufacturing.