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Robin White, Ph.D.

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) held its 49th annual Liquid Feed Symposium (LFS) this week in Omaha, Neb., themed “Baseball, Beef and Boxcars.” LFS brought together 178 leaders in the liquid feed industry to network, hear from experts on the latest news, research and innovation happening in the field, and to recognize outstanding individuals.

“We definitely learned a lot at this year’s Liquid Feed Symposium,” said Paul Davis, Ph.D., AFIA’s director of quality, animal food safety and education. “True to the theme of the symposium, we examined where the industry is, took a deep dive into the meat of current issues and then considered what’s in store for the future.”

LFS attendees heard from several speakers on myriad topics. Robin White, Ph.D., of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, prompted the question of what might happen if animal protein is removed from food systems. She explained that a change in the system for one purpose, such as to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, can come with collateral impacts, such as running the risk of needing to produce more food and manage more nutrient deficiencies, while only making a small dent in reducing emissions.

“The issue at hand is not necessarily the production of any one animal, it’s the rising population,” White said. “The growing population is putting a force on animal production and this force is what is causing these [GHG] challenges.”

LFS covered many other hot topics, including providing updates on ingredients, the global cattle market, the rise of cell-cultured meat, the future of antibiotics in animal agriculture and more.

Other highlights from the symposium included the induction of Joe Harris, Ph.D., into the Liquid Feed Hall of Fame and a silent and live auction, which raised more than $6,500 for the Kenny Berg Research and Education Fund. This fund, managed by the Institute for Feed Education and Research, AFIA’s public charity, supports feed industry-specific projects conducted by land-grant universities.

About AFIA

Founded in 1909, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), based in Arlington, Va., is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal food industry and its suppliers. The organization’s membership is comprised of more than 680 domestic and international companies that represent the total feed industry—manufacturers of commercial and integrated feed and pet food, ingredient suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, industry support and equipment manufacturers. AFIA members manufacture more than 75 percent of the feed and 70 percent of the non-grain ingredients used in the country. AFIA is also recognized as the leader on international industry developments, and holds membership in the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF).