AAFCO Introduces Austin Therrell as New Executive Director

Press release: AAFCO

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has introduced its new executive director, Austin Therrell, who brings a mix of leadership, innovation and deep experience in animal-feed and state regulation to the organization during an exciting and progressive time for the industry. Therrell began his new role on September 6.

With a growing focus on animal-feed regulation in the U.S. and around the world, Therrell’s new position is well-timed to guide and support AAFCO’s vision, mission, strategic objectives and initiatives for promoting a safe feed supply through unified system-based regulation, feed-ingredient standards and laboratory operations. He will report to AAFCO’s board of directors, while working alongside AAFCO’s members to ensure they have the tools and resources needed to succeed within the association and their individual states.

As a member and leader within AAFCO, Therrell has already been active in the organization’s initiatives and achievements. In addition to serving on AAFCO’s board of directors, he has co-chaired the Feed and Feed Ingredient Manufacturing Committee, been a member of the Pet Food Committee, and led many workgroups drafting and revising guidelines. Therrell has worked with numerous feed industry trade associations on a wide range of initiatives.

“Austin’s extensive regulatory and feed industry knowledge and involvement with AAFCO make him the ideal fit as executive director. He brings relevant experience and a fresh perspective to AAFCO, adding greater depth to ensure compliance with state and federal laws affecting animal food. We are excited to have him lead us and guide us,” said George Ferguson, president of the AAFCO Board of Directors.

Previously, Therrell held multiples roles within the Animal Feed Regulatory Program at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA), having served as the Feed Safety Program Manager since 2020. During his time at SCDA, he oversaw the development and implementation of new strategic improvement plans and a new feed registration system, expanded the agency’s regulatory authority throughout the state, managed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) feed contracts and inspections, and fully implemented the Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards (AFRPS).

Therrell was one of more than 60 candidates across the country. He was evaluated and selected for the combination of his government and regulatory experience, food chain and industry knowledge, feed regulation material comprehension, strategic planning and leadership skills.

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