Advocating for continued education and offering technical training experience are key goals for the IGP Institute team. That mission aligns well with the focus of their educational partner – the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).
AFIA, which represents more than 75 percent of the commercial feed and 70 percent of the non-grain ingredient manufacturers in the United States, advocates on behalf of the legislative and regulatory interests of its members and strives to offer best-in-class trade shows and training opportunities that help members stay ontop of the latest trends, research and technology in the industry.
Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, said that the increasing expansion of the feed and pet food industries is one factor in why continuing education is vital. Huddleston shared that in 2016, the U.S. exported nearly $11 billion of feed, feed ingredients and pet food, and in the last 20 years, the trend of animal food exports has increased by 168 percent.
He adds that even though the animal food industry does not directly contribute to the global grain industry, it works with other partners within the agricultural community to promote the adoption of trade opportunities and agreements that reduce export barriers, while preserving existing market access.
But preserving freedom to operate is not all the association does. AFIA actively works to provide training opportunities for the industry that improve the safety and quality of animal feed in the country as well as increase industry employees’ understanding of current federal and state regulations.
AFIA decided to partner with the IGP Institute to develop a feed manufacturing online course, “AFIA 500: Fundamentals of Feed Manufacturing,” which provides an in-depth understanding of feed manufacturing and introduces several topics including process flow from particle size reduction, conditioning and pelleting, boilers and packaging, loadout and maintenance.
“Kansas State University is the only U.S. university that offers a degree in feed manufacturing and is home to the renowned IGP Institute,” says Huddleston. “Given the institutions’ prestige and expertise in the field of feed manufacturing, it seemed only fitting that our association partner to develop a course that provides a basic understanding of U.S. animal feed manufacturing.”
Carlos Campabadal, feed manufacturing and grain quality specialist at the IGP Institute, explains how AFIA has helped K-State and the IGP Institute grow the feed technology program and be a valuable domestic feed industry connection.
Campabadal says, “AFIA has been a key partner with K-State and with IGP in everything related to the feed industry. It is an organization that has helped us be the link between our professional development trainings with the domestic feed industry. We value their partnership and collaboration and see along standing joint future between both AFIA and K-State.”
This is one example of how the IGP Institute partners with the industry to deliver high-quality course offerings. In 2016, the IGP Institute hosted more than 2,000 participants representing 67 countries in 80 trainings.
The AFIA feed manufacturing online course has grown since its launch in 2010. Previously offered annually, the course is now being offered quarterly and has graduated more than 450 individuals from around the world.
The course has been incredibly valuable for both employers looking to offer more cost-effective, convenient ways to refresh their employees’ skills, as well as to newcomers looking to get a broad introduction of the field and hear from industry experts on the latest best practices.
To learn more about AFIA, please visit their website at www.afia.org.
The IGP Institute annually receives financial support from many commodity groups. Please visit the links below to learn more about them.
|Kansas Corn Commission|
|Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission|
|Kansas Soybean Commission|
|Kansas Wheat Commission|
While developing training programs the IGP Institute also works closely with national organizations including the following:
|U.S. Grains Council|
|U.S. Soybean Export Council|
|U.S. Wheat Associates|
|United Sorghum Checkoff Program|
The IGP Institute also coordinates activities with the following USDA organizations:
|Foreign Agricultural Service|
|Cochran Fellowship Program|
|Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration|