Bold ideas, strategic action and meaningful conversations are the hallmark of what has made the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) a success and is how it will continue to do so in the coming years.
This year, we have already seen big changes with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our businesses and industry. Continuing to help the public trust that the animal food chain is safe, resilient and operates in an ethical and environmentally friendly manner will be paramount to ensuring our continued license to operate.
Everyone from regulators to decision makers and consumer influencers will be watching closely and seeking more information about where their food comes from and how it is produced. Not only will they want safe, nutritious and affordable food for their families, but they will want to ensure that it aligns with their values.
When they read sensational headlines or hear negative information about our industry, it greatly shapes their food choices and purchases, and policymakers and retailers listen. At IFEEDER, we know the U.S. animal food industry has a good story to tell. We are working to:
- Ensure scientific evidence drives national policies on the animal food industry, not misinformation or fear. One thing we’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic is that Americans are much more receptive to scientific fact than we previously thought.
- Fill research gaps so we can do our jobs more efficiently and promote good animal health; and
- Develop communication strategies with committed partners that allow us to discuss our shared values with decision makers and consumer influencers.
Those of us in the animal food industry know that we are part of the solution to environmental issues such as climate change. And we know that animal protein should remain part of a balanced nutritious diet. Documenting these points through research and developing messages for key audiences will allow us to reposition the animal food industry as a solution provider – and not the problem to be fixed – to issues like climate change and dietary choice.
I look forward to the Board of Trustees developing a five-year strategic plan to guide our work into the future. We will be reaching out to many of you for your ideas, reflections and recommendations about how we best support and represent you.
We need to be there as a collective group to support IFEEDER, your industry charity. IFEEDER provides valuable resources that each of us can use in our own way. I ask each of you, in your own way, to determine how you can best support the work of IFEEDER so that it can continue to be a voice and a partner for the American Feed Industry Association.
I look forward to helping the industry find ways to invest in its future and the future of IFEEDER. I also look forward to reporting to you on the IFEEDER’s successes in the coming year.
IFFEDER Chair 2020-21