MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cochran U.S. wheat classification and standards for Brazil Fellowship Program was held in effort to familiarize fellows with U.S. agriculture and the various systems used to supply market U.S. wheat. The course was held Dec. 1-14, 2019, at Kansas State University’s IGP Institute where four fellows were in attendance.

The program included classroom discussions, wheat milling and grading labs, wheat research facility and elevators visits and a field trip to an export facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

“I have extensive milling experience, but I learned something new everyday that I was here,” said Ruy Cassio Zanardi Toledo, industrial director of Ocrim. “For example, the blending of softer wheats; it’s important that you can blend different wheat qualities, different proteins and different classes. For me, it’s very interesting. My opinion has not changed but reinforced in the sense that U.S. products and services are high-quality and reliable.”

Some of the topics discussed throughout the two-week program included U.S. grain production supply chain and marketing system, wheat and flour quality analysis, futures and options, purchasing strategies and storage and quality management of wheat.

The Brazil fellows were able to meet and learn from Kansas wheat growers and researchers, Kansas Wheat Commission staff, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) staff, Kansas State University grain and milling experts as well as many other industry professionals. Participants also received hands-on experience in the milling lab where they made their own wheat flour and toured several wheat-related facilities. At the end of the course, the group traveled to the Cargill export facility in Westwego, Louisiana, U.S., to experience a U.S. export facility first-hand.

All of the participants were engaged during the entirety of the courses, said Shawn Thiele, IGP Institute associate director and flour milling and grain processing curriculum manger.

“The program participants were eager to learn about the dealings of wheat in the U.S. and were actively sharing experiences during the program,” Thiele said. “They will be able to use the information they learned in their operations to strengthen trade and agriculture in Brazil.”

The Cochran Fellowship Program provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural producers from middle-income countries, emerging markets and emerging democracies. The goals of this program are to help countries develop agricultural systems necessary to meet to dietary needs as well as to strengthen the trade linkages.