Attendees of the International Association of Operative Millers’ (IAOM) Annual Conference & Expo will have multiple educational opportunities to chose from, including one-hour presentations on regulatory concerns and panel discussions with seasoned millers as well as breakout sessions on topics ranging from pest management to employee drug and alcohol policies.

Like last year, the second day of educational programming will feature two, one-hour presentations, instead of concurrent sessions, so that all attendees have a chance to attend sessions with all the conference goers. The event is April 16-18 at the Hilton Denver City Center and Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, U.S.

“We’re keeping the changes that we introduced last year – with all of the educational programming scheduled for the afternoons in breakout rooms near the expo hall. We had positive feedback on that change to the Atlanta program and will continue it going forward,” said Melinda Farris, executive vice-president of the IAOM. “We have some excellent speakers lined up again this year. We will have a K-State student, Kirsty Gordon, share her research on the correlation of wheat hardness to optimal temper.”

Along with the comprehensive education programs, milling professionals from around the world will have an opportunity to connect with industry peers at several networking events and see the latest products and services from multiple vendors in the Expo hall.

Educational and technical programs presented at the conference assist millers in improving yields, productivity, customer satisfaction and safety. The programs are presented by seasoned professionals in the field who have experienced the issues affecting millers first-hand.

Conference schedule

The conference begins on Monday, April 15, with the IAOM board of directors meeting and a Food Protection Committee meeting. An Early Bird Social is planned that evening from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Hilton Denver City Center. Committee meetings continue on Tuesday, April 16, along with pre-conference registration from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The opening reception is that evening from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Hilton.

Prior to the Expo opening, the IMEF Breakfast with keynote address by Alan Tracy, Tracy Consulting, LLC, is scheduled Wednesday from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Hilton.

“Alan was always a very well-received speaker at the IAOM-Mideast & Africa Region meetings, and I am sure that millers in North America will be interested to hear his thoughts on developments in the global wheat industry and how they will affect the supply and quality of the milling industry’s most important input and expense,” Farris said.

The Expo opens at 9:05 a.m. Wednesday with a ribbon cutting. There is unopposed expo time until noon, and the silent auction also begins.

Product Showcases begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in the Convention Center and continue in the morning on Thursday. Eligible products include new products and existing products that have new applications. The Product Showcase allows selected exhibiting companies to promote their products directly from their booths in the Expo hall. Those selected are given 10 minutes to discuss their product while showing the product, a slideshow presentation, or anything else they can show within their booth space.

Educational sessions begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and include employee management, facility management, product protection (including sanitation, food protection, food safety, finished product testing, storage and transportation) and technical operations (including technical aspects of raw product evaluation, testing, storage and processing).

As part of the technical sessions, Dave Marty will present an overview of Mennel Milling’s new 10,000-cwt D-mill and Dr. Kantha Channaiah of AIB International will share information on validating baking processes as a kill step for salmonella destruction. Sherry Rhoads, RiceBran Technologies; Eric Myers, ADM Milling; and James Campbell, USDA-ARS, will co-present the one-hour product protection session on “IPM: Inspection, Sanitation and Strategies.”

A panel discussion developed by the IAOM Employee Relations committees will be a highlight of the Wednesday sessions. The Employee Management track that day includes a discussion of catastrophic event management facilitated by Troy Anderson, Ardent Mills; Jon Stuewe, Molinos de Puerto Rico – Ardent Mills; and Greg Handy, Ardent Mills. The Ardent Mills facility in Puerto Rico was impacted by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 but was able to resume operations quickly due to rapid response by the Ardent team. The mill ran for nearly two months before power from the grid was restored.

Two, one-hour presentations are planned on Thursday, April 18, including “The Milling Industry and an Ever-changing Regulatory & Political Landscape,” by Jim McCarthy and Chris Clark with the North American Millers’ Association. The second will be a miller/allied trades panel facilitated by Joel Hoffa, JRH Consulting LLC. Panelists include Steve Curran, General Mills; Ed Lapreze, Pepper Maintenance; Marco Galli, OCRIM S.p.A.; Kyle Penner, Kice Industries; and Georg Schafler, Bühler Group.

“They put a great program together,” said David Jansen, incoming IAOM president. “With the ever-changing food safety dynamics and the higher demands, we’ve got some good speakers that address some of those things. They’re all strong educational sessions, plus the Allied Trades event and the Expo.”

The Allied Trades event is planned from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday at ViewHouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop, located in the ballpark neighborhood in Denver. The rooftop patio offers 360-degree views of Denver while the lower level features a tavern bar, rustic dining room and glass garage doors that open into the courtyard, with volleyball net and lawn games. Bus transportation will be provided between the Hilton Denver City Center Hotel and the ViewHouse from 5:30-9:30 p.m. It’s an easy, 15-minute walk from the hotel to the restaurant.

Thursday begins with the Annual Meeting and Safety Award Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., which is open to all attendees. IAOM Safety Award recipients will be honored for their hard work and dedication. To be eligible for a safety award this year, the recordable injury/illness rate must be zero and the facility must not have had a work-related fatality during 2018. The final product showcase and educational sessions are scheduled for the rest of the day, followed by district and leader meetings. The awards ceremony is planned during the closing banquet at the Hilton.

On Friday, April 19, the conference concludes with the Annual Golf Tournament at the Riverdale Golf Courses in Brighton, Colorado.

IMEF auction

The International Milling Education Foundation’s (IMEF) Silent Auction will open on the Expo floor on April 17. The auction will close at the Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony on April 18.

Donations to the auction are made by milling companies, individuals, partner organizations, equipment and service suppliers, and others. Proceeds from the auction support the learning, knowledge and resources provided by the IMEF. Farris said some of the items up for auction include a Wildcat sieve stack, seats for the resident milling course at KSU, electronics, football tickets and more.

With more than $120,000 raised in 2018, the foundation is edging closer to its goal of raising $1.5 million by 2021.

“Thanks to the generous support of our members and their companies, we have moved closer to reaching our goal of $1.5 million by the time IAOM turns 125 in 2021,” said Jeff Hole, IMEF president at the 2018 conference. “Each year we wonder if we’ll be able to garner enough support for another round of auctions, and the industry keeps stepping up and donating items to help us raise funds. Members and conference attendees are also key to our success, as they keep bidding up their friends, competitors and suppliers to support the next generation of millers.”

In honor of the recently deceased Christian F. Kongsore, Grain Millers, Inc. donated an additional $54,000 to the IMEF Grain Millers’ Christian F. Kongsore Scholarship Fund. The increased funding will allow IMEF to award more and larger scholarships in Kongsore’s memory to the top students at Kansas State University.

One of the recent projects funded by the IMEF endowment was the development of a Milling Technician certificate program, which is currently under way at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas. The Milling Technician certificate program is a fully-online college credit program, which allows anyone in the world to enroll in the program. The program is completed with a 250-hour internship at a flour mill.

Special events

The IAOM Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony on April 18 will honor and pay tribute to its award recipients. The event will be at the Hilton Denver City Center. The evening starts at 6 p.m. with a reception, which will include the close of the IMEF Silent Auction.

The event will feature a program that includes the passing of the gavel and presentation of IAOM awards. Tickets are $85 prior to March 15 and $95 after. Jansen, who will officially take over as president that evening, said he plans to focus on completing the goals outlined in the association’s strategic plan.

“We’ve got a number of goals, some of them we’ve made progress on and there’s some we may need to revisit,” he said.

The 2019 Milling Operative of the Year award will be presented during the ceremony.

Established in 1986 by Milling & Baking News, sister publication of World Grain, the award is presented to the practicing milling operative who has made the most significant contribution to the progress of a plant, a company and the industry from an operating point of view. The winner will receive an inscribed plaque, and a scholarship will be established in the winner’s name at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.

Registration information

Registration is available online at Cost for the full conference is $550 for IAOM members and $625 for non-members.

Schedule at a glance:

Monday, April 15

  • 7-8 a.m. IAOM Board of Directors’ Breakfast, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. IAOM Board of Directors’ Meeting, Hilton Denver City Center
  • Noon-1 p.m. IAOM Board of Directors’ Luncheon, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 1-5 p.m. Food Protection Committee Meeting, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 5:30-7 p.m. Early Bird Social, Hilton Denver City Center

Tuesday, April 16

  • 7-8 a.m. Combined Committee & Board of Directors’ Breakfast, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Exhibitor Move-in (3 or more booths), Colorado Convention Center
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pre-conference Registration Open, Colorado Convention Center
  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. IAOM Committee Meetings, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Exhibitor Move-in (All booths), Colorado Convention Center
  • Noon-1 p.m. Combined Committee Luncheon, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 3-4 p.m. Allied Trades Reception with the IAOM Board of Directors, Colorado Convention Center
  • 5:30-7 p.m. Opening Reception, Hilton Denver City Center

Wednesday, April 17

  • 7-8 a.m., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Conference Registration Open, Colorado Convention Center
  • 7:30 – 9 a.m. IMEF Breakfast with Keynote Address, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 9:05 a.m. Expo Ribbon-cutting Ceremony, Colorado Convention Center
  • 9:15 a.m.-Noon Unopposed Expo and Silent Auction, Colorado Convention Center
  • 10-10:10 a.m. Product Showcase 1, Colorado Convention Center
  • 10:30-11 a.m. Refreshment Break, Colorado Convention Center
  • 11-11:10 a.m. Product Showcase 2, Colorado Convention Center
  • 11:15 a.m. Global Strategies Committee Meeting, Colorado Convention Center
  • Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch, Colorado Convention Center
  • Noon-5:30 p.m. Expo, Colorado Convention Center
  • 1-2:40 p.m. Educational programs, Colorado Convention Center
  • 2:40-3 p.m. Refreshment Break, Colorado Convention Center
  • 3-3:10 p.m. Product Showcase 3, Colorado Convention Center
  • 4 -4:10 p.m. Product Showcase 4, Colorado Convention Center
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. Reception and Silent Auction, Colorado Convention Center
  • 5:15 p.m. Expo Floor Drawing, Colorado Convention Center
  •  6 -9 p.m. Allied Trades Event, ViewHouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop

Thursday, April 18

  • 7 a.m.-Noon Conference Registration Open, Colorado Convention Center
  • 7:30-9 a.m. IAOM Annual Meeting and Safety Award Breakfast, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Expo and Silent Auction, Colorado Convention Center
  • 10-10:10 a.m. Product Showcase 5, Colorado Convention Center
  • 10:30-10:45 a.m. Refreshment Break, Colorado Convention Center
  • 11-11:10 a.m. Product Showcase 6, Colorado Convention Center
  • 11:15 a.m. District meetings, Colorado Convention Center
  • Noon-1 p.m. Lunch, Colorado Convention Center
  • 1-3:10 p.m. Educational Sessions, Colorado Convention Center
  • 2:30 p.m. Exhibitor Teardown, Colorado Convention Center
  • 3:15 -3:30 p.m. Ice Cream Break and Exhibitor Raffles, Colorado Convention Center
  • 3:45 p.m. Leaders’ Meeting, Colorado Convention Center
  • 6 -6:45 p.m. Pre-Banquet Reception and Silent Auction, Hilton Denver City Center
  • 7-10 p.m. IAOM Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Hilton Denver City Center

Friday, April 19

  • 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. IAOM Annual Golf Tournament, Riverdale Golf Courses, Brighton, Colorado