New IFEEDER Director: Why Advancing Solutions vs. Defending Positions Better in Long Run

By Laura Moody

Stepping into the role as executive director for the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), I am excited to learn more about the animal food industry and its stakeholders, as well as the challenges that will yield opportunities and solutions.

Experiences in a previous role leading stewardship and sustainability efforts for the fertilizer industry showed me that identifying solutions creates a pathway to owning challenges.

When facing critics, the easiest posture is something a former colleague called “the 4Ds” — to duck, deny, deflect, and defend.

However, the harder and longer-term approach that leads to greater success is to inform, advance, and implement solutions.

As the animal food industry advances solutions toward a healthy environment and clean air and water while assuring a safe and nutritious food supply, it’s equally important that those solutions are assessed, communicated, and utilized to achieve desired outcomes.

Earlier this month, the IFEEDER Board of Trustees affirmed its support of the institute’s role to fill research and knowledge gaps as well as develop tools to inform and advance sustainable actions.

Incorporating a strategy focused on advancing solutions and being a resource for the animal food industry’s sustainability journey will build a foundation for future IFEEDER work.

Using strategic planning insights, IFEEDER’s research and education committees will develop multi-year, long-term plans as the basis for the

institute.

The challenges associated with climate and the environment will dominate the field into the foreseeable future, but others linked to quality, quantity, and safety will always linger.

Seeking to advance solutions and making positive contributions to the complex and nuanced debate and discussion, no matter the topic, is a stronger position than a defensive posture.

I have always believed a glass is half-full, and I believe in finding or developing solutions.

IFEEDER is well-positioned to serve the animal food industry and its stakeholders — it’s one of the reasons I pursued the role.

The challenges are many, which means the opportunities are infinite.

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