MANHATTAN, KANSAS, US — Members from various US wheat foreign offices learned more about producing and exporting US wheat to buyers around the world during a three-day seminar at the IGP Institute in Manhattan, Kansas, US.

The IGP Institute and US Wheat Associates (USW) partnered to bring the 15 staff members from Morocco, Mexico, South Korea, Chile, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Netherlands, Philippines, and the United States for the three-day seminar.

The group met with a panel of university and industry wheat breeders and geneticists who presented the science behind creating new varieties of wheat. Additionally, participants learned aspects of how different wheat varieties affect mill streaming and the various types of flour used for baking cookies, crackers and bread.

The course included a discussion of the US Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) and provided an overview of the wheat inspection and certification process. Group members also presented individual lectures on topics related to their overseas operations and received an overview of the current global wheat market and the challenges presented by potential disruptions in production due to weather, logistics, and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Participants enjoyed field trips to several locations in Manhattan outside of the IGP Institute, including the Engrain baking lab facility where they tested varieties of wheat flour from different countries to see the effects on bread quality. They also toured Kansas State University’s Hal Ross Flour Mill and the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center greenhouse and labs for a look at the cutting-edge techniques used in creating new varieties of wheat that feature desirable traits featuring high yields, good baking qualities, disease resistance, and drought tolerance.

“US Wheat Associates technical staff could be considered the overseas marketing personnel for every wheat farmer in Kansas,” said Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations for the Kansas Wheat Commission. “It is a rare and valuable opportunity to interact personally with this group of talented people, and we appreciate US Wheat Associates for making this technical course possible.”

Prior to arriving at the IGP, the group had visited the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Oregon, US, and the Northern Crops Institute in Fargo, North Dakota, US, where they learned about new research and training being used to achieve the highest-quality products for all involved in the wheat supply chain from producers to millers, bakers, and individual consumers.

The entire two-week educational trip was funded through support from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and checkoff dollars from 17 state wheat commissions.