KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, US — The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) Exchange is returning to Kansas City, Missouri, US, in 2022 and will be there through 2024.

The event was last in Kansas City in 2017 and set a record for highest attendance at 3,589 and most exhibitors at 438. After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the 2021 event was moved to the summer in Columbus, Ohio, US. Now, the event is back to a more typical timeframe of March 26-29 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

“One of my favorite things about the conference is the opportunity to see our peers and network in person,” said GEAPS International president Barb Grove, CGOM, Central Valley Ag. “I am excited to see all the new products in the industry, catch up on best practices and make new connections to help my company.”

The conference includes an Expo Hall with the latest technology and services to make grain operations safer and more efficient along with 40-plus hours of education and social events. Demonstrations are planned in the Expo Hall on grain entrapment rescues as well as small-group presentations. 

The Idea Exchange will showcase new products in the industry and innovative ideas that facility managers recently have implemented to improve operations. Multiple social events are planned, including the Get Acquainted Party, Welcome Reception and Closing Reception.  

Education opportunities 

The Idea Exchange, which is planned 10 a.m. Sunday, March 27, features a variety of five-minute presentations separated into two segments. The “Small Changes…Big Impact!” highlights ideas that grain operations managers and workers put into practice to improve safety or efficiency at their facilities or enhance environmental awareness, company culture or community involvement. The “What’s New?” segment includes new products and services developed for grain operations during the past year. 

This year’s Keynote Session planned 8-9:30 a.m. on March 27 features Shawn Ellis, The Speakers Group. He will address “Beyond Resilience: Making a Shift from Surviving to Thriving.” Ellis will discuss how to regain a sense of control, even when it seems like everything is out of control, and learn how to find peace, joy and meaning in the midst of uncertainty and change. 

The GEAPS Member Awards Celebration will follow his address. GEAPS will recognize the International Member of Distinction, Industry Leader and the Corbett Award. 

Education continues throughout the event with workshops and hour-long sessions on Monday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 29. The hour-long sessions are divided into tracks: Safety, Human Resources and Technology. 

In the Safety track, sessions are planned on pesticide safety; the importance of sleep; railroad safety and rail car mover operations; the importance of proper grounding; fumigation plans and the use science and technology to control exposure. 

For the Technology track, sessions will address why bearings fail; energy management; solar renewables; dust collection; barge/river infrastructure updates and cyber security. Human Resources will include presentations on internships for small companies; launching a diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging program; change management, hiring and retention; human and organizational performance and crisis communication response.

Jess McClure with the National Grain and Feed Association will provide an update on emerging regulatory issues within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Topics will include OSHA’s policies, rulemakings and interpretations as well as continued enforcement. McClure also will provide an overview of the executive order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety and the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards, including the new vaccine mandate.

W. Scott Downey with Purdue University will make two presentations on “The Role of Trust in Relationships,” and “Strategy as a Tool for Understanding Behavior.” In the first, he will discuss ways in which the components of trust are expressed and observed in various ways in the grain industry. The second presentation will look at how strategy is the answer to three simple questions that form the basis of all human behavior. The questions will be presented and tied to concepts such as leadership, service and relationships.

Mark Herbert and Greg Franzen with Faithful + Gould will present the “Philosophy of Engineering and Construction Risks in Project Management.” The session will include practical suggestions to construction, design and facility managers on balancing risk factors and using collaboration to reach a project goal.

Social events

The Get Acquainted Party is planned 7-10 p.m. Saturday, March 26, in Hall B of the convention center. The casino-themed event will include just-for-fun blackjack, roulette, Texas hold ‘em and Plinko. Music will be provided by Glen Hofbauer, a former chairman of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. After 40 years in the agriculture industry, he is retired and releasing music.  

Admission includes two drink tickets and food. This event is included in the full registration option as well as an a la carte item. 

The fun continues with the Welcome Reception at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, in the Expo Hall. Enjoy drinks and snacks while walking through the Expo Hall. The event is free for all attendees.

Finally, Exchange wraps up with the Closing Session/Closing Reception starting at 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 29, in the 3500 Lobby, with The Peterson Farm Brothers. The trio of brothers farm in Assaria, Kansas, US, and have become popular on YouTube where they perform parody songs such as “Cropdusters,” “Crazy Grain” and “Highway to Sell.” Their videos have received more than 150 million views and have more than 1 million followers. The Kansas State University graduates regularly speak at events and aim to promote agriculture around the world. 

GEAPS Exchange is $300 for GEAPS members and $550 for non-members who register before March 4. Registration is available online atwww.geapsexchange.com.