AFIA leaders reflect on the state of feed industry

January 2010 | Feature |

Feed industry prepares for better conditions in 2010

By Joel G. Newman

We all know the economy in the United States and around the world was affected profoundly by the economic turmoil of the last one to two years. We likely know family members, friends or others in our communities who have struggled mightily in these times.

The feed industry has not been immune to the difficult conditions. The dramatic escalation of corn prices and other commodity prices in the first half of 2008, combined...

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A personal test of mettle . . . and concrete

January 2010 | Feature | By Gerry Whitty

Every day we juggle career obligations, family schedules and other responsibilities in an effort to keep our professional and personal lives humming along at peak efficiency. Juggling schedules is a concept Chad Allen, manager of the Milling and Grain Division for Allen’s Hatchery Inc., and Allen Family Foods, Seaford, DE, understands in spades.

“We had quite a lot to accomplish in a short period of time,” says Allen. “In order to take advantage of certain marketing opportunities, we had...

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No Room For Compromise

October/November 2009 | Feature | By Gerry Whitty

You won’t find it written on plaques hanging on the wall. Nor will it be emblazoned on letterhead or notepads lying on a desk. However “it” makes all the difference in how Vita Plus Corp. goes to market and is the key driver to its success.

“It” is the simple phrase “employee-owned,” that appears underneath the company logo. Although it holds a subordinate position in the graphic sense, it is the dominant point of light which guides the company and is the bedrock of its operating...

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Capturing value, creating new markets

August/September 2009 | Feature | By Gerry Whitty

Two friends share a beverage after a long day and during the discussion one of them asks, “I wonder if there’s a way to get more value out of my wheat midds?” On the surface, it seems like an innocent query to a common problem faced by wheat processors.

However, that simple question served as the genesis of an idea which has such far-reaching implications for processors, feed manufacturers, researchers, livestock operators, and even those involved in the economic development arena.

If you...

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Energy auditing: The pathway to efficiency

August/September 2009 | Feature | Elise Schafer

Energy auditing may sound like an intimidating process, but following the guidelines provided by the EPA's Energy Star program makes it easy to decrease energy consumption and begin reaping the benefits of energy efficiency.

In today's tough economy, a main objective for many companies has become to decrease operating costs without decreasing production or compromising the quality of their product. With several fixed expenses, such as freight rates, the cost of raw materials and payroll,...

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Putting A Price Tag On Quality

June/July 2009 | Feature | By Gerry Whitty and Elise Schafer

"Value-added."

We read and hear that phrase so many times that it's become part of our daily vernacular.

However, the problem with this phrase is that it is often difficult to define "value" to the end user. In simple terms, however, once money finds its way back into our pockets, only then can a product or service truly considered as having added value.

Is the expectation any different in the feed and grain industry vs. the consumer retail arena? Absolutely not.

Some would contend...

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Taking a New Look at Grain Storage

January 2009 | Feature | By Gerry Whitty

The newly-launched Integris USA, LLC and its parent company, Calgary-based OPIsystems Inc., have an ambitious goal for U.S. commercial grain handlers and grain producers: Change your thinking about stored grain.

OPIsystems has sold its “Advanced Grain Management” systems throughout the world for more than two decades, and OPIsystems president and CEO Dave Crompton says that experience is what convinced him a sea change regarding stored grain was in order.

“All the sophisticated management...

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Fighting a New Kind of Old Enemy

January 2009 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Stem rust is an age-old disease that has stricken a variety of grain crops since ancient times, and has the tenacity to nearly destroy an entire wheat crop.

Over the past 50 years the United States and other developed nations have experienced measurable success in fighting this pathogen using a resistance gene called Sr31, a gene for which no virulence had been reported anywhere in the world.

However, after years without incident, a new type of wheat rust has emerged in Africa, puzzling...

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St. Louis Hosts GEAPS Exchange

January 2009 | Feature | Jackie Roembke

After GEAPS Exchange 2008's record-breaking attendance, it's hard to imagine that the 2009 event could outshine last year's. But that's exactly the goal program coordinators set out to achieve for GEAPS Exchange 2009.

Industry professionals can expect this year's show - slated for Feb. 28- March 3 - to match last year's numbers and provide three days' worth of the most valuable educational programs that GEAPS Exchange has ever offered.

Booth sales for the exchange, held at St. Louis'...

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Cellulosic Ethanol: A Path to Energy Independence

January 2009 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Ethanol producers see a future in which their product is no longer an additive to gasoline, but the primary fuel for America’s vehicles. It’s a vision of energy independence, eliminating imports for fuel.

Using new technology and new feedstocks is the only way to make the notion a reality, and one company claims that technology is on the verge of hitting the market.

The most common source of renewable fuel has been corn ethanol; however, companies and governments across the globe have been...

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Going the Distance for Safety Education

January 2009 | Feature | Gerry Whitty

When drawing up the plans for creating its Distance Education curriculum, GEAPS is in an enviable position. It doesn't need to engage the services of expensive consultants; instead, GEAPS' staff and distance education committee look to the GEAPS membership itself for answers.

"We actively solicit input from the membership on the issues and topics that matter to their business, and the educational needs that need to be met," says Mike Kiel, director, Grain Operations, the Andersons, and...

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Producing Energy Efficiently

October/November 2008 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

To an untrained eye all ethanol plants look identical. They’re usually surrounded by corn fields and all have storage vessels, grain receiving equipment and boilers that are nearly indistinguishable from one facility to the next. However, all plants are not created equal. Some operate far more efficiently than others.

The EPA presented East Kansas Agri-Energy (EKAE), located in Garnett, KS, and POET’s Ashton, IA facility with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for...

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International Feed Expo and International Poultry Expo is Just Around the Corner

October/November 2008 | Feature | Diana Klemme

The 2009 IFE promises to be even bigger and better than before. It will once again be co-located with the International Poultry Expo and, for the third year, the trade show will be included in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program.

IFE is where the feed industry meets to network, learn and see the latest in new technology. IFE offers an unprecedented opportunity to access a dynamic purchasing audience, key decision makers and international customers from all...

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Fractionation: An Answer to the Food vs. Fuel Debate

August/September 2008 | Feature | Elise Schafer

As the economy continues to decline and financial experts say we're headed into a recession, American families struggle to put both food on the table and gas in the tank. 2008 saw a 36% increase in milk prices compared to 2007, and the national average price for a gallon of unleaded gas peaked at $4.11 in July. These circumstances have some people asking "Do I feed my kids, or my car?"

Although research released by the American Farm Bureau Federation says that the climb in food costs are...

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FEW Restores Faith in Ethanol Industry

June/July 2008 | Feature | Elise Schafer

Nashville, TN has a lot to be proud of. "Music City" is the beating heart of country music, home of the Grand Ole Opry and rich in American history and world culture. And after June 16, Nashville can also proudly boast that it hosted the 24th annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW), the largest ethanol conference and expo in the world.

The 2008 FEW will be bigger than ever, with an expected attendance of 6,000 - roughly 700 more than last year, and over 600 exhibitors. Dave...

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