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Sustainability scores big at Lebanon Feed Mill

MFA’s Feed Mill in Lebanon, Mo., has been award­ed the “Highest Sustainability Score” in the commercial dry feed division of the American Feed Industry Asso­ciation’s 2021 Feed Facility of the Year program.

The award was announced Jan. 26 at the Interna­tional Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta.

“All of our feed facilities do a great job and are good stewards of resources,” said John Akridge, director of MFA Feed Operations and Animal Health. “So it comes as no surprise that Lebanon would be recognized for those efforts. MFA feed mills rank with the best.”

AFIA—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—has been recognizing excellent feed manufacturing facilities through this program since 1985. In 2021, the association began issuing top industry awards to facilities in four categories: com­mercial dry, liquid feed, premix and ingredient, and integrator. In addition, the highest scores in safety, quality and food safety, productivity and efficiency, and sustainability were recognized.

The Lebanon Feed Mill was honored for having a positive environmental footprint, taking into consid­eration such criteria as the facility’s sustainability and recycling programs, energy consumption and use of human food byproducts in manufacturing.

“As we learn more about sustainability for our industry, we want to help manufacturers as they seek to improve on their efforts,” said Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s manager of feed manu­facturing, safety and environmental affairs. “The sustainability section was new to the Feed Facility of the Year application in 2021, and we are expanding those questions for 2022 to make participation in the program even more beneficial.”

Typically, some 60 to 70 facilities, including those operated by some of the industry’s biggest feed manufacturers, enter the annual competition, Huddleston said. A little more than half of those fall into the dry feed category, in which MFA captured the top sustainability score.

“To win this award in its first year is really something special,” said Mark Johnson, MFA feed milling operations manager, who hosted a celebration dinner for the feed mill crew on April 14.

The mill’s 14 employees manufacture around 60,000 tons of product annually, including bulk, bagged and textured feed. Like all of MFA’s feed mills, the Lebanon facility has also earned the AFIA Safe Feed/Safe Food certification. This designation is only given to those facilities demonstrating best-in-class manu­facturing practices that protect workers from harm and produce safe, wholesome livestock feed.

“This award was an honor for us,” said James Nutter, feed mill manager. “I would like to thank my crew for the dedication and work they have done to ensure quality of the feed we manufac­ture and the service our customers receive.”

MFA Incorporated is among AFIA’s more than 650 mem­bers, which include livestock feed and pet food manufacturers, integrators, pharmaceutical companies, ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers and other companies that serve the feed industry.

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