GEAPS Exchange 2002 in review

by Emily Wilson
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The Grain Elevator and Processing Society had a strong showing at its Exchange 2002, held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 2-5. With 1,599 registered attendees representing 24 countries, it was truly an international conference. Grain operations professionals from North America, Asia, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Central and South America were all present, and enjoyed exploring a trade show floor full of 194 exhibitors. Despite the distracting attractions and beauty of Vancouver, not to mention the rare sunny weather, most attendees and suppliers agreed that it was a very good show.

The organization also made a move to strengthen its international standing when the International Board of Directors approved formation of a new chapter in Mexico, bringing the total to 33 across North America. Although the new chapter will be based in Guadalajara, it will include members from throughout Mexico. Like other GEAPS chapters, the Mexico Chapter will offer local educational programs and networking opportunities to its members.

"Expanding the GEAPS chapter network into Mexico is great for GEAPS and an even greater resource for GEAPS members," said Jim Voigt of ADM, chairman of GEAPS’ board of directors. "Through our expanded network, we will find new and innovative solutions to our problems."

Tentatively, the new chapter has planned educational programs on aeration and drying; loading and unloading of grain-storage facilities; and the design of loading, unloading and handling systems.

To expand the chapter’s membership, GEAPS encourages members with company representatives in Mexico to send their names to Chapter president Alejandro Gonzalez Gomar at

GEAPS previously had a chapter in Veracruz, Mexico, but it was disbanded in 1999.


GEAPS honors many different people at the annual Exchange. This year, 26 different grain companies were recognized for their outstanding safety records. Representing 211 separate grain facilities, the 26 companies recorded more than 7.5 million employee hours without a lost-time accident during 2001.

The GEAPS Industry Leader Award, which recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the grain handling and processing industries, was given to Dr. Charles Hurburgh of Iowa State University for his contributions to grain quality, grading factors, value-added grains and electronic instrumentation.

"It would be tough to find anyone anywhere in the world to match his knowledge about crucial, technical aspects of our industry," said GEAPS International President John Boswell, superintendent of the Grain Division at General Mills, Inc. "His input on technical and analytical matters has been enormously influential on a national and international scale."

Hurburgh is currently manager of the Grain Quality Research Laboratory at Iowa State University and is professor in charge of the Iowa Extension Grain Quality Initiative.

GEAPS’ Associates Board of Directors presented its Corbett Award to Andy Heck, president of Heck & Sons, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., and Steve Kimes, president of Ibberson Co., Minneapolis, U.S. The Corbett Award recognizes extraordinary volunteer leadership service by GEAPS’ Associate members to GEAPS and its mission of excellence, quality, innovation, safety, health, and environmental responsibility in grain operations.

Heck was recognized for his service on the Associates Board of Directors, Membership Committee, and leadership of the Mid-America chapter. Kimes was recognized for his service on the Associates Board of Directors, Educational Programming Committee, and leadership of the Minneapolis chapter.