MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Nigerian Millers participated in the Nigerian Flour Milling short course from June 25-July 4 at Kansas State University’s (KSU) International Grains Program (IGP). The course was offered in conjunction with U.S. Wheat.
“Nigeria is a growing market for U.S. wheat and we need to educate the Nigerian milling industry and enhance their knowledge and skills for U.S. wheat,” said Muyiwa Talabi, marketing consultant for U.S. Wheat in Nigeria.
The course manager and IGP’s associate director, Mark Fowler, made sure to schedule the course during the wheat harvest so the participants could experience it firsthand. The first day in Kansas participants visited a production farm in Leonardville, Kansas, U.S., where a local farmer was just finishing harvest. The participants learned about the process of planting and harvesting the wheat.
“This is important because you can’t just know milling you have to know where it comes from and how it has been planted and processed,” said Ijomah Samuel Olisa, chief miller for Flour Mills of Nigeria.
Also during the field trip the group traveled to the Cargill Grain Elevator in Salina, Kansas, U.S., where they learned how grain is stored. They toured the facility and learned the economics of storing grain and the management practices that must be followed.
Throughout the week the participants were between classroom presentations and hands-on laboratories. The leaders of this course were Fowler and Dan Wells, grain science and industry instructor, who instructed the formal presentations and workshops within the classroom. Once the group grasped the concepts it was time for them to travel to Shellenberger Hall for milling demonstrations. The hands-on experiences were appreciated by several of the participants.
Adenike Awonusi, quality assurance manager for Honeywell Superfine Foods, says her favorite part was the hands-on training and the classroom interactivity. It has helped make the process more clear.
“We manufacture a lot of noodles and pasta and flour is a major material, so I need to have a good understanding of the flour milling itself,” Awonusi said.
For a lot of the millers that joined the course, they have had years of experience, but Talabi said they are still learning and this experience has only brought the relationship between the Nigerian milling industry and the American milling industry closer.