Serving as a global staple food crop for more than 8,000 years, wheat continues to be one of the top three grain commodities for trade from the United States according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Contributing to the supply are Kansas Wheat producers who had a high producing year in 2016 by harvesting 467.4 million bushels with an average yield of 57 bushels per acre.
Helping to create that demand for U.S. and Kansas wheat is the IGP Institute. Through their flour milling and grain processing trainings, IGP faculty feature wheat’s benefits to international participants.
“We have seen great value in teaching wheat quality and other milling practices to people who come to the IGP Institute,” says Shawn Thiele, IGP Institute grain processing and flour milling curriculum manager. “Not only do we provide awareness to the consistently superior Kansas and U.S. wheat quality, we also help participants understand how to relate the quality requirements into their buying standards to fully meet the expectations of millers and bakers. Science led by the researchers at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center advances wheat genetics to provide quality wheat the farmers want to grow as well as meets the needs of millers and bakers in the U.S. and other parts of the world.”
In 2016, the IGP Institute trained 132 participants in 10 wheat-focused on-site courses and 49 participates through 4 distance trainings. Overall, the institute held 80 courses for 2,001 participants representing 67 countries.
These trainings are possible because of the funding support given by the Kansas Wheat Commission and other state commodity groups.
“Most people know that we fund research projects focusing on new variety development, management practices and more. Another large portion of our funding is focused on international market development, a mission that positions us as great partners with the IGP Institute,” says Marsha Boswell, director of communications at the Kansas Wheat Commission.
The Kansas Wheat Commission diligently strives “to increase wheat producer productivity and profitability through research, education, and domestic and international market development.” The commission is funded by a voluntary, twocent assessment on each bushel of wheat that is produced in Kansas.
To support wheat producers and overall wheat production in Kansas, a cooperative agreement enabled the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers to join as “leaders in the adoption of profitable innovations for wheat.”
This grower-funded, grower-governed organization helps secure the future of wheat grown in Kansas in the global market. By international trade, research, export system studies, and continually improving varieties of wheat, wheat producers in Kansas can continue to enhance their profits and productivity for the grain commodity.
“Through U.S. Wheat Associates and other groups, we are able to bring a lot of trade teams, such as a Nigerian trade team that is brought to the IGP Institute annually, and offer education to them during harvest about Kansas wheat production,” Boswell adds.
She explains that Nigeria is a huge market for Kansas wheat, and by collaborating with IGP, they give these international groups hands-on experiences along with the information they learn from instruction.
“We really enjoy having them in Kansas during harvest, and they get to go out and are able to ride in a combine with one of our Kansas farmers. Then they learn a lot about the processes that they need to set the specifications in order to get the kind of wheat that they want. With this, Kansas Wheat works a lot with the IGP Institute to help international groups with the educational aspect of it so that they can learn about the great quality of Kansas and U.S. wheat to continue to have those relationships and buy from the U.S., as well,” she says.
The faculty and staff at the IGP Institute offer many educational training courses in flour milling and grain processing to provide valuable knowledge to both domestic and international groups.
Reflecting on the IGP Institute and Kansas Wheat Commission partnership, Boswell says, “It is a great opportunity to get to work with the IGP Institute, and especially to know that IGP is out there working for Kansas farmers, trying to open up markets and give those prospective buyers the information that they need.”
To learn more about the Kansas Wheat Commission, please visit its website at: http://kswheat.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|