Feed industry professionals recently gathered in Nashville, Tennessee, for USPOULTRY’s 2019 Feed Mill Management Seminar. Discussions focused on preventative maintenance standards, the importance of comprehensive internal policies for the benefit of feed mill workers, and the future of the industry.

The seminar offered a panel specifically focused on preventative maintenance, featuring Frank Garczynski, mill manager, Koch Foods, and Steve Weeks, feed mill manager, Sanderson Farms, who discussed the strategies their respective companies take to ensure their mills are running at maximum efficiency. Weeks stressed the importance of regular instrument testing, allowing repairs to be made before serious issues arise. Garczynski provided an overview of various monitoring systems in order to stay current on maintenance needs.

Development of internal policies for drivers was another theme that surfaced during the seminar. A panel featuring Garczynski, Larry Hooper, senior feed mill manager, Perdue Farms, and Brian Sugg, director of ag services, J.B. Hunt, stressed the importance of communication when hiring and retaining drivers. The three speakers addressed a variety of topics, but the focus was on the challenges facing truck drivers and what policies companies can implement to support and encourage these vital employees. “Without them, the feed doesn’t get delivered,” Suggs observed. “Without them, frankly, our companies don’t exist.”

During his Food Safety Modernization Act update, Paul Davis, director of quality, American Feed Industry Association, stressed the need for feed mills to develop specific procedures for preparing for a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection. Throughout his session, Davis advised on best practices for working alongside FDA, meeting their standards and dealing with inspections in a professional and organized manner. “Make sure you and your team know enough about FDA standards and what to expect during an inspection,” Davis encouraged. “Don’t overreact to an unexpected inspection – have your policies in place, prepare your own internal reports and coordinate any responses with other management. Preparation is key.”

Numerous other relative topics of interest were covered during the seminar. More information on upcoming seminars can be found on USPOULTRY’s website.