The Department of Commerce presented $260,112 to the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and AFIA during the American Feed Industry Association's annual Equipment Manufacturers Conference, Nov. 3-5, in Tucson, Ariz. The recognition is part of the International Trade Administration's Market Development Cooperative Program (MDCP). ASABE, AFIA and industry partners will match the award and then some, contributing $744,035 of its own funding, as each award winner pledges two-thirds of the project costs and makes the commitment to sustain the project moving forward.
The award will assist in the development of international standards for feed machinery, thus increasing trade exports through trade standardization. Funding will specifically be dedicated to education, outreach, training, preparation, coordination and travel support for U.S. feed machinery industry representatives engaged in international standards development. The award also includes financial and technical assistance from the International Trade Administration, which will support business plans that strengthen industry by elevating exports. This will be a factor in the creation of U.S. jobs through exports.
"AFIA and ASABE staff are extremely excited about the federal funding we will receive for our work on the ISO/TC-293 project, as it will assist us in our educational efforts as we seek to engage industry experts in the process," said Gary Huddleston, AFIA manager of feed manufacturing safety and environmental affairs. "We will also be able to use the funding to help offset some of the travel expenses incurred to get U.S. industry experts to the required ISO meetings."
"All these efforts and activities will hopefully help ensure an outcome in this standards work that will be beneficial to U.S. feed equipment manufacturers," he said.
A formal presentation took place at EMC with DOC and ASABE representatives in attendance to announce the award and answer questions following Huddleston's presentation on ISO/TC-293, an initiative in which AFIA is heavily involved. Huddleston is chairman for ISO/TC-293's Technical Advisory Group.
A panel discussion took place during the conference between feed manufacturing representatives and the equipment manufacturers on How We Can Better Serve the Feed Industry. Additional topics included an Inside Washington Update, Lean Concepts for Manufacturing, A Model Apprenticeship Program, Career Conversations for a New Generation of Talent, Writing Your Employees into the Change Story and Innovative Technologies.
The annual four-person scramble golf tournament and putting contest was held to raise funds for the EMC Scholarship Fund. Participants made donations through a raffle for items donated by Maxi-Lift Inc./Southwest Agri-Plastics, Inc., and various opportunities connected with the golf tournament. The donation and event proceeds totaled more than $3,400.