The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) announced several awards during its Liquid Feed Symposium, being held this week in Louisville, Kentucky.
AFIA named Westway Feed Products’ Houston, Texas, facility as its 2023 Liquid Feed Facility of the Year (FFY) award winner. Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, presented the award to plant manager Tommy Flowers.
“The Westway Houston facility’s years of experience manufacturing liquid feed has improved quality and performance and produced excellent programs for employees,” said Huddleston. “Their two, new and enhanced mixing tanks are designed for superior quality and growth and has allowed the facility to grow productivity by 10% in 2022. Congratulations to this talented team for earning the highest marks among liquid feed competitors this year.”
The Westway Feed Products’ Houston facility produced approximately 148,000 tons of feed in 2022, primarily mill products and dairy and beef mixes. Their detailed tracking of quality and productivity performance is what paved the way for such an efficient and accomplishing year.
Westway Feed Products earned a plaque as well as complimentary access to the AFIA’s Liquid Feed Symposium.
AFIA liquid feed manufacturing facilities continuously strive for excellence in their operations, which includes everything from optimizing animal food nutrition to improving the safety of their products and workplaces to complying with government regulations. In 1985, the AFIA sought to recognize top facilities as part of its voluntary FFY program, which assessed manufacturers’ overall operations against their peers using key industry metrics. AFIA awards winners throughout the year in four categories – liquid feed, commercial dry, premix and ingredient, and integrator.
J. Randy Davis inducted into Liquid Feed Hall of Fame
J. Randy Davis, business development manager of Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc. (QLF), was named AFIA's 2023 Liquid Feed Hall of Fame inductee, the highest award offered in the liquid feed industry.
“Randy brings his whole self to the things he believes in, and the liquid feed industry is the better for it,” said Cathy Bandyk, former Liquid Feed Committee chair and technical development manager of Innovad Additives, Inc. "Collectively, the people he has assisted, connected with, mentored and taught have been, and continue to be, a major force in moving the liquid feed industry forward. Many of his approaches and innovations have been implemented at the farm and mill levels, and he has effectively challenged those around him to think outside the box, expect more and do more for the betterment of the industry.”
Davis is actively involved in exploring and developing new applicants and products and in partnering with allied companies to serve as a preferred distribution option for their additives. In recent years, he has been involved with key research trials that have aided the development and knowledge of this business.
Since 1998, when Davis joined QLF in management, his services in the AFIA Liquid Feed Committee have stood out. After QLF acquired its Florida plant and associated business, Davis chose to return to his roots, serving as the model to grow the company’s presence in the southeast.
“His interest in learning, ability to quickly assess situations and potential solutions and wealth of practical experience continues to leave behind a legacy of expanded exposure, acceptance and usage of liquid feed supplements and mill products,” added Bandyk. “Anyone that served with Randy can attest to his dedication to the quality of the symposium, the integrity of committee-sponsored research and the committee’s financial health.”
Wes Klett named Member of the Year
During the symposium, AFIA also recognized Wes Klett a part of the AFIA Liquid Feed Committee and chair of XF Enterprise, as one of its 2023 Member of the Year award recipients.
“Serving in his capacity of chair and chair-elect, Wes has adeptly helped AFIA’s Liquid Feed Committee navigate the post-COVID world, which has changed attitudes and logistics alike,” said Paul Davis, Ph.D., AFIA director of animal food safety, quality and education. “With his unparalleled organization and dedication, Wes continually shared, encouraged and empowered others to ensure that the Liquid Feed Symposium events were enjoyable and informative.”
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 and the entire AFIA membership following the COVID-19 outbreak in 2021, only 42 individuals have been honored prior to this year.
Klett has worked with the committee's leadership team to assemble an outstanding slate of speakers for the 2021 and 2022 Liquid Feed Symposiums. He has also worked with various subcommittees to make contact assignments, assuring sponsorships and contributions to the Institute for Feed Education and Research’s (IFEEDER) Kenny Berg Research and Education Fund.
The Liquid Feed Symposium is the country’s largest gathering of liquid supplement leaders in manufacturing, nutrition, quality, sales and marketing.