MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. —  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cochran Program invited eight individuals from Bulgaria to travel to the U.S. from June 11-22. This program covered enhancing the competiveness and sustainability for grain management.

“The major focus was on how to affect farm policy and grain management practices,” said Debra Frey, consultant for grain science and industry and course manager.

Their first stop included five days in Washington, D.C., U.S. During their stay in D.C. they visited the USDA and Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts of Kansas. The Bulgarian group experienced Capitol Hill firsthand as they were briefed about the farm bill and other policies effecting agriculture.

After leaving Washington, the group traveled to Kansas where they toured the Kansas City Board of Trade, Polansky Seed, Inc., Kansas State University research facilities, Kansas Grain Inspection Services and several other agriculture companies around Kansas. Upon completion of their tours, the group journeyed to Kansas State University’s (KSU) International Grains Program (IGP) Conference Center, which allowed them time to reflect and discuss their experiences at the capital and other tours.

While at IGP, they also heard a few formal presentations by KSU’s industry professionals. They discussed the Farm Bill policies within it as well as how these policies will affect Kansas farmers. Among the new technologies, the Bulgarian group wanted to see how to become more efficient when feeding the world, which is a growing concern for all those involved in agriculture.

This is one example of the trainings offered by IGP. In addition, IGP faculty also lead courses in flour milling and grain processing grain marketing and risk management, and feed manufacturing and grain management.