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AFIA Honors Members

Dr. Keith Behnke receives Lifetime Achievement Award


The American Feed Industry Association honored Keith Behnke, Ph.D., with the AFIA-Kansas State University Feed Manufacturing Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong contributions to the feed industry through business and education. Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, presented the award to Behnke at AFIA’s fall virtual Board of Directors meeting.

The award recognizes and honors U.S. animal food industry retirees, or those who are no longer serving the industry or allied industries, who have made a significant contribution to the animal food manufacturing business in the U.S. throughout their careers. Individuals are nominated in the areas of business, science and technology. The AFIA and KSU first presented the award in 1995 and only 20 individuals have received the award to date.

“Dr. Behnke has spent over 40 years working in the feed and grain industry, making him more than deserving of this award,” said Huddleston. “I first met Dr. Behnke in 1988 when I attended a feed short course at Kansas State University. I’ve always respected Dr. Behnke as a great educator of future industry professionals. He has been a great representative of our industry over his career.”

Behnke began his career in the industry working as a processing research coordinator at Far Mar Co. in Hutchinson, Kansas. He returned to his alma mater Kansas State University and assumed teaching and research duties in August 1977. Behnke taught courses that addressed basic and advanced feed manufacturing science and ingredient quality. During his career at KSU, Behnke advised over 150 undergraduates, 18 doctorate and more than 20 masters students in feed science. He has published many scientific and popular press articles, presented papers at more than 120 conferences and symposia both domestic and abroad, and has visited nearly 50 foreign countries in his capacity as a consultant and member of the department’s International Grains Program.

Behnke retired from the university in July 2010 but has continued to serve on the feed science advisory team, helping to design and construct a new campus feed mill for the Department of Grain Science and Industry.

Behnke is a native Kansan and graduated from KSU with a bachelor’s in feed technology in 1968. Following three years of military service, he returned to KSU to earn a master’s in feed science and a doctorate in grain science.

The association also honored William (Bill) Braman, Ph.D., PAS, formerly of Chr. Hansen Animal Health and Nutrition, with its 2020 Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the feed industry. Sarah Novak, AFIA’s vice president of membership and public relations, presented the award to Braman at the AFIA’s fall virtual Board of Directors meeting.

The Distinguished Service Award is AFIA’s highest honor and is typically given to the elite members of the U.S. animal food industry who have provided outstanding support to the AFIA and the entire animal food industry throughout their careers.

“Anyone who has worked with Bill knows how much the animal feed industry means to him – he truly put his heart and soul into everything he did to support the industry,” said Novak. “Bill’s many contributions to the feed industry, the AFIA and IFEEDER make him an exceptional choice for this honor.”

Braman has been very involved in the AFIA and the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), the latter of which he served as a pioneer trustee and remained on the Board until 2015. During his tenure with IFEEDER, he also served on the budget task force and research committee and played an active role for several years in the silent auction held at the AFIA’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conferences.

He served on the AFIA Board of Directors from 2011-14, AFIA’s Nutrition Committee for more than a decade, including serving in the officer rotation, and AFIA’s Liquid Feed Committee for five years. He has embraced every project with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude.

Braman has also been very active in several industry groups, including holding memberships in the American Dairy Science Association, American Society of Animal Science, Poultry Science Association and American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS). From 2009-11, he served as the president-elect and president at ARPAS and from 2006-09, he served as the director for the Midwest ARPAS.

Raised on a dairy and crop farm in Indiana, Braman graduated with honors from Purdue University in 1969 with a bachelor’s in agricultural education and then received his master’s and Ph.D. in animal nutrition from the University of Illinois. While at Purdue, he joined the FarmHouse fraternity and became a member of Alpha Zeta, Block and Bridle and the Purdue choir.

And last, but not least, AFIA has named Cassie Jones, Ph.D., an associate professor in animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University, as its Member of the Year during the AFIA’s fall Board of Directors virtual meeting.

The Member of the Year Award is presented to an AFIA member who exhibits outstanding support in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives throughout the year. With the exception of the 83 members of the Food Safety Modernization Act working group who received the award in 2014, only 40 individuals have been honored prior to this year.

“Cassie is collaborative and welcoming, yet always objective and steadfast in completing the task at hand,” said Paul Davis, Ph.D., AFIA’s director of quality, animal food safety and education. “Science, research, experience and facts prevail when working with Dr. Jones.”

Jones serves as the academic liaison to AFIA’s Nutrition Committee. Serving in this capacity, she has contributed to the successes of committee activities. Together with others assigned to her working group, Jones assembled an outstanding slate of speakers for AFIA’s foreign animal disease educational program, held at the 2020 International Production & Processing Expo. She worked with the group to brainstorm topics, suggest speakers, share contact information and presented the swine biosecurity session.

With her academic experience in animal sciences, nutrition, foreign animal disease and feed manufacturing technology, Jones is a trusted resource to the feed industry and the AFIA. She has worked with the Institute for Feed Education and Research on an African swine fever research project and communicated biosecurity and feed safety topics when called upon at domestic and international venues. Most recently, she agreed to contribute to the AFIA’s upcoming Feed Manufacturing Technology online publication by reviewing and revising its biosecurity chapter. Jones has also served as an expert to the “feed risk task force,” organized by the AFIA and the pork industry, which is looking at the risks and potential mitigations for virus transfer in feed and feed ingredients.

Jones received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. from Iowa State University in nutritional sciences.

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