MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — A group of 27 grain industry professionals spent a week learning to apply the principles of grain storage and grain elevator management at the Grain Elevator Managers short course held by the Kansas State University International Grains Program (IGP) May 23-27.

According to Carl Reed, course coordinator, the goal of the bi-annual course is to provide new managers the information they need to correctly interpret the experiences they will have when managing grain quality, and the insight they will require when evaluating the practices used by their predecessors. Reed is also IGP’s grain storage specialist emeritus.

“The purpose of the course is to supply grain-management information that is not available elsewhere and that cannot be learned by on-the-job experience, information that helps grain managers correctly interpret their experiences so they can avoid errors and become more efficient,” Reed said.

The course covered personnel management, grain quality characteristics and grading, psychometrics related to aeration, operations costs, equipment handling, inventory management, grain receiving and shipping, grain monitoring and fumigation plans. These topics were taught by Reed and fellow industry professionals: Joe Hodges, president Habco; Sara Kepley, management consultant, Pro Value; and Wes Peterson, dryer specialist and project coordinator, Custom Dryer Service.

Course participant Mike Bultena, Hansen-Mueller southwest Kansas general manager, said he came to the course to explore the technologies and theories employed by others in the industry.

“I wanted to come here to get information outside our organization and our region to see if there was anything new and useful that we could apply and I learned many things,” he said. “I lack knowledge about grain handling equipment so that part was useful because it will help me communicate with the crews.”

Bultena also said that the aeration and drying portion of course was especially helpful because of a project that his company is implementing.

“Understanding this topic is useful because we’re getting ready to automate most of our systems. The course helped me to understand when and why we should run fans,” he said. “I’m so new to all of this that anything you put in front of me I’m going to eat up. Even if you think you know everything, you still need to think about coming to this course.”