The American Feed Industry Association hosted its annual Purchasing & Ingredients Suppliers Conference in Orlando March 7-9. There were 641 registered attendees, making 2017 PISC registration the highest in history.

PISC is a three-day educational and networking event designed for buyers and sellers of feed and feed ingredients. Presentations included updates on the state of the animal feed industry, outlooks and perspectives, discussions on critical issues and more—all in keeping with the theme that PISC is "Where Business Gets Done!"

Challenges in feeding a growing population were addressed in a presentation by Kevin Folta, a professor and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. He told attendees that when talking to consumers about feeding people across the globe, "Facts don't matter until you've established trust...keep factual information simple" once trust is established.

Other presentations included the annual grain outlook, import and export outlooks, an update on the Veterinary Feed Directive's implementation, a panel discussion of the Food Safety Modernization Act and customer service advice from Teri Yanovitch, a former Disney Institute speaker.

Yanovitch provided customer service advice: "It costs three to five times more to get a new customer than having a repeat customer. Take five minutes today that will exceed the expectation of your customer, then share it with team members."

This year's PISC also featured a "suppliers showcase"—a networking event that allowed feed industry suppliers to showcase their products to interested buyers—and the annual Welcome and Grand receptions.

Next year's PISC will be March 13-15, 2018, in Fort Worth.