February 27, 2020 | U.S. Grains Council

USGC Educates Tunisian Feed Manufacturers

Nine Tunisian feed manufacturers are taking part in training at Auburn University

Nine Tunisian feed manufacturers are taking part in a training program this week at Auburn University –- the latest iteration in the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) train-the-trainer program, this time specifically designed to equip these industry leaders with the technical information and practical experience needed to teach their peers how to improve their poultry and feed operations back home.

Doing so helps these trainers address production inefficiencies across the Middle East and North Africa and positions U.S. coarse grains and co-products to capture growing feed demand.

Thanks to a U.S. Department of State grant, USGC helped establish a Center for Feed Manufacturing in Tunis, Tunisia – housed at the National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia (INAT). Since fall 2017, the program has offered curricula in feed manufacturing and animal nutrition for the Tunisian feed industry accompanied by interactive hands-on training in the Center’s feed mill. The industry members being trained at Auburn this week will serve as trainers for this Center, furthering the educational opportunities available locally.

“Market development is a core component of USGC’s efforts to find new opportunities for exporting U.S. coarse grains and co-products globally,” said Ramy Taieb, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa. “This program focuses on helping the Tunisian feed industry realize its tremendous potential for growth, which will lead to increased demand for grains and create more opportunities for U.S. farmers and exporters to capture additional market share.”

The Tunisian program was strategically designed to follow a train-the-trainer model. All participants must complete an online program in feed manufacturing and animal nutrition before enrolling. Developed in partnership with Iowa State University, almost 200 students have completed the online course to date. The curriculum itself is taught by leading Tunisian feed industry professionals, who have participated in advanced feed manufacturing courses in the United States.

“The feed manufacturing and animal nutrition expertise at our partnering organizations – including Iowa State University, the Northern Crops Institute and Auburn University – ensure the trainers are provided with the most innovative, yet relevant, feed manufacturing and management practices,” Taieb said. “The skills essential for teaching have also been embedded into all training programs, ensuring these trainers are effective when they facilitate their course curriculum at the center.”

More than 190 feed industry professionals will have undergone in-classroom training at the Center for Feed Manufacturing in Tunisia before the State Department grant ends in April 2020.

USGC is already working to expand this program using funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Section 108 program, into a regional hub for training for the Middle East and Africa region over the next three to four years. Twenty feed manufacturers from Algeria participated in the first expanded training program at the Center in December 2019.

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