USA – The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has appointed Leigh Ann Sayen, CEO of The Peterson Co., as the new chair of its board of directors. 

The announcement was made during the AFIA’s annual spring meeting, which was held from May 15 to 16. During the meeting, the board conducted official business, selected new leadership, and advocated for policy priorities on Capitol Hill.

I thank you for the trust you have placed in me over the next year, representing the AFIA at the national and international levels, and for the support from previous board chairs and fellow directors as I enter this role. There is always more work to advance the animal food industry’s noble cause of feeding the world more sustainably,” Sayen expressed her gratitude upon her appointment.

Sayen succeeds Carlos Gonzalez, Ph. D., vice president of global regulatory affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Gonzalez is now transitioning into a year of service as chair of the Institute for Feed Education and Research’s (IFEEDER) board of trustees. 

Reflecting on his tenure as AFIA chair, Gonzalez said, “The AFIA had many successes this past year, from the continued legislative, regulatory, and trade policy work, planning of various member education and engagement opportunities, and the growing level of respect for IFEEDER. I have a lot of respect for this organization, the staff, and its members, and it has been my honor to represent all of you and pay it back to this industry we all love.

During his term, Gonzalez oversaw the Executive Leadership Summit and Rising Leaders program, which provided a forum for member discussions on key industry topics and future leadership development.

Board appointments and legislative advocacy

As part of its regular business meeting, the AFIA board voted to accept the nomination of Dan Meagher, president and CEO of Novus International, Inc., to become chair-elect for the 2025-26 fiscal year. 

The board also confirmed several new members to serve three-year terms, including executives from Phibro Animal Health Corp., Cargill Animal Nutrition, and Elanco Animal Health. 

Additionally, the board approved eight new members to its 15-member Executive Committee, representing companies such as GLC Minerals, LLC, Westway Feed Products LLC, and Balchem Corp.

The AFIA also expressed gratitude to the outgoing board members, who included individuals from companies such as MFA Inc., California Pellet Mill, and Darling Ingredients, for their three years of service.

During the spring meeting, board members engaged with over 35 U.S. Senate and House offices to advocate for legislative priorities crucial to the animal feed industry. 

These priorities included the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development Act (Innovative FEED Act), Enteric Methane Innovation Tools for Lower Emissions and Sustainable Stock Act (EMIT LESS Act), Securing American Agriculture Act, Sound Science for Farmers Act, and the Farm Bill. 

These efforts highlight the AFIA’s commitment to advancing the industry’s interests and promoting sustainable practices.

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