Technology Universal Enabler for Feed Industry, Conference Hears

Former USDA Deputy Secretary issues wake up call to U.S. feed industry to prepare for challenges created by global trade, terrorism and energy
March 1, 2006

At his first public meeting since leaving office in June, former USDA Deputy Secretary, James Moseley, last week told a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 feed manufacturing executives that their industry must adapt and respond to energy, trade and political issues that pose a challenge to U.S. agriculture and feed industries.


In his keynote address at Feed Management Systems. (FMS) first Knowledge & Innovation industry conference, Moseley cited a half dozen issues that could have a significant impact on U.S. agriculture and feed industries. Among them, he emphasized reductions in farm subsidies driven by world trade talks, terrorism and alternative energy as major concerns. Moseley challenged the audience to pay attention and prepare to address world events that could have a significant impact on the farming sectors in the America.


We are living in a changing global marketplace and that change is accelerating, Moseley said. I’m here to help you prepare for this change because the biggest risk for the feed industry is not to be adequately prepared, he added.


Regarding terrorism and potential contamination of the food/feed supply, Moseley said this: .I have worked both sides of this issue since 9/11. My real concern is with the Al Quada look-alike  groups that are seeking low tech methods to attack us. Agriculture is an easy target, and although the probability may be low, the affects would be catastrophic”.


Technology: The Competitive Advantage

Moseley cited Information Technology and Risk Management strategies as critical tools for the feed industry in this changing business environment. We need to exploit Information Technology. It will enable us to accelerate decision making and it provides a competitive advantage, he explained.


In separate remarks, Richard Reynertson, CEO of FMS, said that Information Integration the ability to deliver the right information at the right time to the right person will be the universal enabler for feed manufacturers to address these new challenges. As our view moves from local to global, it becomes vitally important to manage the integration of information up and down the entire supply chain, he explained. Getting the right information with the right controls at the right time to the right people is vital to maintaining competitiveness.


An Industry Conversation

Knowledge & Innovation was conceived by FMS as an invitation-only industry conversation during which the company’s customers and prospective customers shared knowledge and discussed business challenges, solutions and ideas aimed at business growth. We felt that there would be real value in bringing people together so they could network, share ideas, and come up with new strategies to move the feed industry forward. And that’s exactly what happened, he said.


The two-day event attracted feed industry leaders from government, academia and the business community. The feed industry was widely represented, with nearly 65 companies in attendance ranging from coops to ingredient suppliers and premix manufacturers.


A series of break-out discussion sessions, covering topics ranging from nutrition/feed formulation to feed manufacturing and leadership were led by various experts in their field. Among them were Dr. Keith Behnke, Professor of Feed Science, Department of Grain Science and Industry for Kansas State University, who said that feed producers could save between $1 - $7 per ton in manufacturing costs by controlling energy and labor and by gaining better knowledge of ingredient nutrition. Bill Mead of Cargill Animal Nutrition also said that manufacturers could save between $.25 - $2 per ton through modeling and benchmarking. Doug Lueders of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, led a discussion on industry compliance with the new FDA feed safety rules.


About Feed Management Systems

Feed Management Systems (FMS) is an award-winning software company and a worldwide leader in solutions that link critical information between commercial feed manufacturers and their suppliers and end-users. FMS solutions automate important production functions including formulation, pricing, ordering, labeling, delivery, risk management and regulatory compliance. FMS is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, with competencies in ISV Software Solutions and Microsoft Business Solutions. FMS is also the recipient of the American Feed Industry Association’s 2004 and 2005 Food Safety Innovation Award. Its solutions are deployed in more than 50 countries, representing approximately 60% of the worldwide feed industry. For more information visit