IFEEDER donates $100,000 to study the role of feed in controlling PEDv.
Contributors to the PEDv Research Fund:
Adisseo USA Inc.
Berg + Schmidt America LLC
Bill Barr & Company
D&D Ingredient Distributors
DSM Nutritional Products
Feedworks USA, Ltd.
Herschel J. Gaddy & Associates
International Ingredient Corporation
Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health N.A.
Milk Specialties Global
Norel Animal Nutrition USA, Inc.
Nutra Blend LLC
Pennfield Animal Health
T.C Products Company
Trouw Nutrition USA LLC
Vita Plus Corporation
Walinga USA Inc.
WL Port-Land Systems, Inc.
Wm C. Loughlin Company
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, or PEDv, has quickly become one of the most devastating diseases to ever hit the pork industry. Since its detection on U.S. soil in May 2013, the viral infection has killed between 7 and 8 million pigs.
The first case was reported in Iowa and it’s since spread to 13 other states. Data compiled by the National Animal Health Laboratory Network suggests that there are 40 to 50 new cases of PEDv diagnosed each week.
There’s still no concrete answer as to how the disease landed in America, but research suggests the strains found in the U.S. are similar to a strain documented in China in 2012. Regardless of its origin, the outcome is most devastating on suckling piglets. The cells in their small intestines are more susceptible to infection, and it takes them longer to heal than weaned piglets, among other reasons.
The virus is carried in feces and is spread through contact. However, research by Pipestone Veterinary Services and South Dakota State University and reported in BMC Veterinary Research also confirmed that feed can be a carrier of the virus (but it does not mean that feed is the source).
Feed industry reacts
Given the integral role that feed plays in swine production and the possible spread of the disease, IFEEDER, the Institute for Feed Education and Research, responded immediately. IFEEDER, the industry’s lead advocate for feed research, contributed $100,000 to support research focusing on feed manufacturing and feed ingredients to see what role, if any, they played in the spread of PEDv.
Richard Sellers, American Feed Industry Association senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs says, “There are still many unknowns related to the outbreak of the virus. IFEEDER was created to enable our industry to quickly respond to urgent issues or needs that are critical to the future of the feed industry. IFEEDER is working with industry partners, in this case the National Pork Board, to research and better understand the cause and transmission vectors of PEDv.”
IFEEDER answers the call
Dr. Chad Risley of Berg + Schmidt America LLC and chairman of IFEEDER’s research committee says IFEEDER quickly mobilized to support the industry.
More than 40 companies donated to the cause, which allowed IFEEDER to contribute $100,000 overall. The effort started at AFIA’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference in Las Vegas in March and concluded during the summer.
National Pork Board donation
IFEEDER invested its donation with the National Pork Board.
“We identified the National Pork Board as the obvious area to direct that funding because they already started doing research and had gained support from many key players in the industry,” Risley began. “Once IFEEDER made a commitment, within a short period of time the Pork Board issued a Request for Proposals and they approved six ongoing projects.”
A list of research projects and results are available at www.pork.org, and site visitors can subscribe to monthly updates to stay up-to-date on the findings. Entities conducting the research include several University of Minnesota institutions, Kansas State University and consulting service Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions, LLC.
Project objectives run the gamut from quantifying the risk of a feed mill being contaminated with PEDv to determining the impact of conditioning time and temperature of pelleted complete feed to evaluating strategies and processes to control the occurrence of PEDv in feed and feed ingredients.
While IFEEDER has a long track record of supporting animal agriculture research, like the NRC’s Nutrient Requirements for Swine and Nutrient Requirements for Beef, Risley notes the swiftness with which IFEEDER was able to react to an industry challenge of this magnitude.
“This was the first time we’ve been able to help ‘put out a fire’ of this nature,” Risley says. “Historically when AFIA was asked for research project funding, they would have to go to the board because they didn’t have a line item on their budget to handle it. So now [IFEEDER] serves as an entity that people can come to and ask for funding for specific outbreaks like this, and we’re able to quickly meet that need.”
To make a pledge and help IFEEDER continue its mission to sustain a growing world population by funding animal agriculture education and research, visit www.ifeeder.org.
Generous Donation Kick-starts New Donor Level
First-ever Chairman’s Club donation made by F.L. Emmert Co. for $125,000.
F.L. Emmert Co. made IFEEDER history this summer by giving a $125,000 corporate donation — the largest public donation on record — to IFEEDER. The Cincinnati-based company is a family-owned nutritional feed ingredient supplier that manufactures brewer’s yeast supplements.
The donation earned Emmert the honor of being the first member of IFEEDER’s Corporate Chairman’s Club, the highest level of giving. Emmert’s CEO Wayne Rod shared why he feels IFEEDER’s mission is so important and why other companies in the feed industry should get involved.
Feed & Grain: Why did F.L. Emmert Co. decide to contribute to IFEEDER?
Rod: We’ve been in the feed industry for 133 years and we’ve been blessed because of it. Feeding the world is a current issue and it’s going to become an even bigger issue. At some point we all need to commit to helping overcome this challenge.
F&G: What convinced you to donate the highest amount on record?
Rod: We went to the American Feed Industry Association’s Purchasing & Ingredient Suppliers Conference in Las Vegas with a check planning to donate, but then when we heard their presentation and saw what a great idea it would be to go to the Chairman’s Level, our leadership got together and decided to make the pledge. I didn’t know they had [tiered donor levels], but when I saw there was no one in the highest level, I thought, “Emmert could engage here; we can have an impact.” There should be [more] companies and people in that category because this is such a needed idea, so if somebody just broke the ice, IFEEDER could get more commitment and have more opportunities to be successful.
F&G: Which of IFEEDER’s values does F.L. Emmert relate to most closely?
Rod: As a family we’re very engaged in education. We’re active in our local school district. We can see IFEEDER’s value to the industry and to the public as a whole. There are [anti-animal agriculture] messages circulating that aren’t entirely accurate, and we feel we can help get out there and tell the truth through our donation to IFEEDER.
F&G: How does a donation to IFEEDER of any amount impact the feed industry?
Rod: It’s an important investment because it’s a way to leverage your funding with many other people in the industry. We’re stronger as a group than we are by ourselves. The investment helps ensure the future of the feed industry by funding research and education that tells our story accurately, rather than letting someone else tell our story for us.