Storing and processing post-harvest grains and oilseeds can be a challenging task after every harvest. This challenge is handled by grain storage industry professionals across the U.S. Staying current on topics such as the post-harvest quality, storage and safety and handling practices that are integral to the storage and handling process.
Providing this education through technical training and member support is the leadership of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS). This professional organization supports the domestic and international grain storage industry. The GEAPS mission is to provide forums for exchanging ideas and information about continual improvement in grain and oilseed supply chain infrastructure operations.
With a wealth of industry knowledge to leverage, GEAPS teamed up with the Kansas State University IGP Institute in 2010. Since that time, the number of course participants increased from 279 in 2010 to 771 in 2016.
The IGP Institute offers numerous distance education courses in the GEAPS learning program. In 2016, IGP offered 42 distance education courses, with 33 of those in partnership with GEAPS.
These courses cover a variety of topics including grain processing, grain dust explosion prevention, management basics, grain drying and entry-level safety. These operations include grain handling and processing facilities and systems engineering, and construction and operations management. The society focuses on providing continuing education and credentialing to industry operations professionals.
Leading the GEAPS team is Executive Vice President David Krejci. Krejci describes how the organization also sees many opportunities in their programs on an international perspective.
“We offer a unique solution to our industry’s increasingly complex and expanding need to train the next generation of operations professionals to safely and sustainably feed the world,” Krejci says.
The core principles include safety, environmental responsibility, sustainability, efficiency and innovation. All of the professional development programs through GEAPS are designed and developed using a framework that responds to what the organization defines as core operations principles and competencies.
“Our program has evolved to offer the only credentialing program specifically for grain handling operations management professionals,” Krejci says. “We have also expanded our credentialing program to include processing operations.”
Krejci further explains that the primary benefit of the partnership that GEAPS has with the IGP Institute is protecting and growing the GEAPS brand as “a trusted and reliable knowledge resource to include responsive world-class professional development opportunities.”
The K-State and IGP Institute faculty, Brandi Miller and Trina Adams, both trained experts in adult education, help support the design, development and delivery of GEAPS’ educational programs.
“With the connection GEAPS has with the industry, K-State is able to serve as a bridge between the academic realm and industry professionals,” says Adams, IGP Institute distance education coordinator. “Collaborating with both of these groups allows the GEAPS–K-State Distance Education program to develop content applicable to the needs of the grain industry.”
GEAPS and K-State currently offer 25 courses with nearly 5,000 students from 30 different countries. In the current calendar year alone, the program will offer 35 courses.
Krejci says the GEAPS’ mission has not changed fundamentally throughout its 88-year history.
“What we do has not changed as much as how we do it. Our partnership with K-State and the IGP Institute is a great example,” Krejci says. “The GEAPS and KSU partnership is the result and proof that life-long learning is driven by perpetual curiosity that leads to innovation.”
To learn more about GEAPS and courses offered, please visit their website at www.geaps.com.
The IGP Institute annually receives financial support from many commodity groups. Please visit the links below to learn more about them.
|Kansas Corn Commission|
|Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission|
|Kansas Soybean Commission|
|Kansas Wheat Commission|
While developing training programs the IGP Institute also works closely with national organizations including the following:
|U.S. Grains Council|
|U.S. Soybean Export Council|
|U.S. Wheat Associates|
|United Sorghum Checkoff Program|
The IGP Institute also coordinates activities with the following USDA organizations:
|Foreign Agricultural Service|
|Cochran Fellowship Program|
|Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration|