MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) said on Sept. 10 that it will offer an expanded menu of Spanish-language courses to members and their companies next year. APOSGRAN, an affiliated group based in Argentina, plans to translate and adapt five distance-education courses that are currently part of the GEAPS-Kansas State University curriculum.
“We’ve known for some time that there is international demand for our courses, and we are responding,” said Bill Lyster, GEAPS International president. “APOSGRAN will translate the courses at no cost to us, and offer them to their members and others in South America. GEAPS will offer the courses to our members and others in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Central America. It is a win-win situation.”
An APOSGRAN leader, Dr. Ricardo Bartosik of INTA, is leading the translation project. INTA is an Argentine agricultural research and extension service.
“Our first course was Quality Grain Management and it worked very well with approximately 30 people taking the training each time it was offered,” Bartosik said. “The students were mostly from Argentina but we also had people from Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Perú, Mexico, Colombia, Panama and El Salvador take the course.”
Much of the courses’ success was due to word of mouth, he said.
“Those who took the course referred it to friends who told others and the word just spread,” he said. “It really got people motivated to learn.”
Bartosik said the five new courses were chosen based on feedback from those who took the first course. “We asked people what courses to offer and the top choice was safety.”
In addition to translating the courses to Spanish, the process also involves adapting the courses so that they reflect South American regulations. “There are different realities that we have to take into consideration,” Bartosik pointed out.
The courses being translated and dates they are expected to be offered by APOSGRAN are:
• GEAPS 520: Safety Management for Grain Facilities  – October  2012
• GEAPS 521: Aeration Systems Design and Fan Operational Management – June 2013
• GEAPS 524: Grain Drying – June 2013
• GEAPS 530: Quality Management Systems for Bulk Materials Handling Operations – August 2013
• GEAPS 523: Management of Insect Pests in Stored Grain  – October 2013
The English-language versions of these courses have been offered previously by GEAPS and will be available again in 2013.
A total of 18 online courses will be offered during 2013, up from 14 this year and 12 in 2011.