GEAPS recognizes industry leaders

by Emily Wilson
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The Grain Elevator and Processing Society’s top honor, the Industry Leader Award, which recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the grain handling and processing industries, was presented to Burnell D. (Bernie) Kraft and Robert Schoeff at the group’s annual Exchange conference and trade show last March in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.

The Industry Leader Award had been bestowed only six times previously in GEAPS’ 72-year history.

Kraft, who will retire June 30 as senior vice-president of Archer Daniels Midland Co. and president of ADM’s global grain operations, was recognized for his influence expanding international markets for U.S. grain and grain systems, his long-term commitment to the promotion of safety in grain operations and his innovative approach to joint ventures between commercial grain companies and local co-ops.

Kraft was described as "a man who really led our industry, who helped shape and direct it, and whose foresight and dedication fostered its growth, influence and success, both in the U.S. and well beyond our borders."

Schoeff was honored for his work investigating and documenting grain dust explosions. "Over the years, in part due to Bob’s work, both the incidence and severity of grain dust explosions have sharply declined. That’s a lifetime achievement that few of us can match," said Jim Voigt, GEAPS president.

Schoeff has spent nearly 25 years studying grain dust explosions and their causes and consequences. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service, he compiles an annual catalog of dust explosions and releases it for publication. Schoeff’s videos, "Deadly Dust I" as well as volumes II and III, have been used in at least 38 countries. He also has made presentations and delivered seminars on dust explosions in 24 U.S. states and on four continents. "His influence has truly been global," Voigt said.

The Corbett Award, which recognizes extraordinary volunteer leadership by a GEAPS associate member, was presented to Kevin Miles, president of the Boone Group, Boone, Iowa, U.S. Miles was recognized for his service on the associates’ board of directors, leadership of the Greater Iowa chapter, and frequent attendance at GEAPS chapter meetings.