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Association News

International Feed Expo: A World of Opportunities for the Feed Industry
The International Feed Expo (IFE) and International Poultry Expo (IPE) arrive in Atlanta, GA on January 23-25, 2008. Last January marked the first time AFIA and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association joined forces to create a feed and poultry event under one roof. The union of these two industry leaders was both productive and dynamic. The inaugural Expo housed 945 exhibitors and attracted nearly 20,000 feed and poultry leaders from 97 countries. Once again every imaginable facet of the feed industry, domestic as well as international, will come to Atlanta for this unique experience. Our roster of attendees includes all areas of livestock -- poultry, swine, horse, dairy; pet food aquaculture; specialty feeds; integrated operations; commercial feed manufacturers; distributors; feed dealers; grain elevators; veterinarians; flour milling; soybean processors; exporters; nutritionists; engineers; manufacturers’ representatives; veterinarians; flour milling; soybean processors; exporters; nutritionists; engineers and industry consultants. With its single location, IFE/IPE provides ample opportunities for domestic and international networking, industry education, business expansion and market stimulation.

AFIA strives to provide unique opportunities for business leadership, education and industry networking forums. With this objective in mind, AFIA is excited to sponsor two important and timely forums at the 2008 Expo. We anticipate great interest in the Conference on Pet Food Ingredient Quality as well as the Feed Manufacturing Education Program.

Conference on Pet Food Ingredient Quality
Mark your agenda to include Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at the Georgia World Congress Center when AFIA and the Poultry Protein & Fat Council will co-host a one-day Conference on Pet Food Ingredient Quality. The conference will focus on market trends, requirements for safe pet food and the quality control associated with their procurement, storage, and usage of ingredients. For program highlights and registration for the event, please visit www.petfoodconference.org.

AFIA’s Feed Manufacturing Educational Program
Equally pertinent, the Feed Manufacturing Educational Program offers two sessions on Wednesday, January 23 and Thursday, January 24 from 8 - 10 a.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. AFIA is looking forward to hearing from some of the top resources in the feed industry.

The educational forum kicks off with a discussion on “Electrical Work Practices 70E / Understanding the Real World of OSHA” by William Pfister, President of Safety Training and Consulting, Inc. Mr. Pfister’s entertaining and highly-accredited approach to safety practices is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Preceding this session, Richard Sellers, Vice President of the American Feed Industry Association, will speak on “Product Recalls - Your Rights and Responsibilities.” Mr. Sellers will tackle the fundamental importance of general product safety within every business. Mr. Sellers will highlight how - in the worst case scenario - product recalls can upset the very viability of a business. At the final session of the series on January 24, Dr. Robert Shoop of Kansas State University takes the stage from 8-10 a.m. He will address “The Hazardous Waters of Staff Selection.” Hiring the right person is invaluable, but hiring the wrong person can be devastating for a company.

Following Wednesday and Thursday presentations, the IFE and IPE show floor will open. Sign up today and join our educational events and mingle with international and domestic industry executives. Pre-registration fees are $30 (USD) for online registration and $40 (USD) for registration via mail or fax. On-site registration will remain $50 (USD). Please note pre-registration closes on January 4, 2008. For more details on the Expo visit www.ife08.org and www.ipe08.org.

If you have any questions about the tradeshow or educational program, feel free to contact Sarah Novak or Alexa Stanco at 703-524-0810 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

In Meaningful Ways, Omaha In 2008 Will Be Biggest Exchange In History
No hype: In significant ways, GEAPS Exchange 2008 is going to be our biggest show ever – and that means 78 years of history, in locations ranging from Dallas to Minneapolis, Tampa to Vancouver.

We’ve already lined up more exhibitors than we’ve ever had -- by far. Our education program, extending over three days, will offer approximately 28 hours of sessions -- more than ever.

Location, location, and location are the main forces driving the size of the event. Omaha is near the center of the North American grain belt. GEAPS has several strong, active chapters in the area. We haven’t had an Exchange in Omaha since 1972, and the city has a new and beautiful convention center that matches our needs just about perfectly.

Of course, there are other factors, including the industry’s economic health, which tends to track grain production and prices. But more importantly, our members have built the Exchange into a should-not-miss occasion. The opportunities to grow professionally and network in meaningful ways are unparalleled, and the word is out: If you’re involved in grain operations, you need to be at the GEAPS Exchange.

Possibly the most accurate measure of Exchange size is our booth-occupancy list. As of late October – with four months left to go -- 323 booths had already been taken. That shatters the record set in Kansas City in 2000, when exhibitors occupied 300 booths. In all, we’re likely to fill 349 spaces. While there are 26 still left on the current floor plan (which we’ve had to expand twice) they will get snapped up. Companies wishing to exhibit should act fast. (Contact Hope Cook at the GEAPS office: 952-928-4666; This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

To accommodate the powerful demand for fun, the Omaha Exchange will also offer more social and networking events. For example, after a brief reorganization, our Get-Acquainted Party has been returned to the schedule.
While it’s still too early to say whether total attendance will topple the Exchange record, it is not too early to predict that we are going to be within an eyelash. And even if the total is a blink short, the Exchange is going to be bigger in meaningful ways than it’s ever been before.

Pods To Sprout In Four Corners Of Exchange 2008 Expo Hall
Education has always been a feature of the GEAPS Exchange expo, where grain-industry professionals and grain-industry equipment converge like readers and books. If you’re in grain- operations, there’s no better way to learn what’s on the market. You can see and touch the equipment, talk directly to the people who make it, and even buy it.
But in Omaha next February, we’re expanding on the concept. We’ll be offering equipment- oriented educational “pods” in all four corners of the expo hall. The Exchange 2008 pod theme is grain-quality assessment, and so our Educational Programming Committee is arranging for hands-on demonstrations of equipment such as moisture meters, dockage testers, aflatoxin testers and grain- grading tools.

Last year, the Exchange in Texas offered a single pod, as a trial run, to determine whether people liked the format. They did. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. And so, we’re moving a big chunk of the education program out of the lecture hall and into the arena in a major way.

A detailed pod schedule is still being worked out by the EPC. However, count on approximately 12 presentations, offered throughout expo hours on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 25 and 26. The typical expo-hall viewing, shopping and networking will occur simultaneously.

When the hall isn’t open, the EPC will be offering the other main segment of our educational program. It will include:

  • A morning-long workshop on how to recruit, hire and retain good workers in the grain industry;
  • Approximately 18 45-minute-long sessions on key issues facing the industry;
  • Idea Exchange, featuring new products and bright ideas;
  • A special career-day session for college students; and
  • A comedian, just to keep it real.

The EPC, led by Chairman Pat Greer and Vice Chair Kathy Reading, consists of 25 Regular and Associate members, who organize and manage all components of the Exchange educational program.

USDA Ban on Penalty-Free Early Releases from CRP May Endanger Most Environmentally Sensitive Lands
WASHINGTON, DC - The NGFA is urging the USDA to reconsider its decision not to allow penalty-free early releases of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), arguing that failure to do so risks exposing CRP land to planting that has the highest environmental benefit rankings and causing potentially severe rationing of grain by as early as the 2009/10 marketing year.

Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner announced Sept. 28 that USDA “at this time” would not permit CRP acres to be removed prior to contract expiration without penalty. In making the announcement, Conner cited what he termed “higher than expected” corn and soybean stocks projected at the start of the 2007/08 crop year as justification for the decision, despite tightening world grain stocks, particularly for wheat. He also cited the more than 2 million acres of CRP contracts scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2007. As of Oct. 1, there were 36.8 million acres enrolled in the CRP.

But in a new letter to Conner, the NGFA noted that the 4.3 million acres of land reenrolled in 2006 under new 10 to 15 year CRP contracts that ranked highest using USDA’s Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) scoring “ironically” are subject to a much lower economic penalty if removed from the CRP early and returned to production than land with far lower environmental benefits extended under two- to five-year CRP contracts.

The NGFA explained that under USDA’s CRP rules, land reenrolled in 2006 under new 10- to 15-year contracts can be removed from the CRP and restored to production anytime between now and September 2008, subject to a penalty amounting to just 25 percent of the annual CRP rental rate. But the economic penalty to remove CRP acres represented by contracts that were extended for two to five years amounts to 100 percent of the rental rate over multiple years covering both the original CRP contract and the renewed contract period, plus interest and liquidated damages. For instance, landowners who in 2006 extended for an additional two years their initial 10-year CRP contracts representing acres with lower environmental benefit assessments would need to repay all 10 years of those CRP rental payments, plus interest and liquidated damages, before being allowed by USDA to remove those acres from the CRP for planting.

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