MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Kansas State University’s (KSU) International Grains Program (IGP) hosted from July 1-12 the Nigerian Flour Milling course in conjunction with U.S. Wheat Associates.

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 Roth Farms outside of Green, Kansas, U.S., where a local farmer was just finishing harvest. The participants learned about the process of planting and harvesting the wheat.
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. To add to this, the group also toured Cereal Food Processors in McPherson, Kansas, U.S., to learn more about this industry.

As a mechanical engineer by profession, turned miller by the demand in the Nigerian milling industry, Omoijui Julius attended this course for the experience and confidence boost.

“After attending a training like this, I am able to understand everything myself. I have decided to give my all to learn about the milling industry and truly invest my whole time and effort into it,” he said.

Throughout the week the participants were between classroom presentations and hands-on laboratories. The instructors of this course were Fowler, Francis Churchill and Dan Wells, grain science and industry instructors, who led the formal presentations and workshops within the classroom. Once the group grasped the concepts, it was time for them to travel to Shellenberger Hall and the Hal Ross Flour Mill for milling demonstrations. The hands-on experiences were appreciated by several of the participants.

Cathy Marais, an accountant for U.S. Wheat in Nigeria, accompanied the group on their trip. She came along to assist the group because many of them have never been to America before.

“For me, someone who has never been in a mill, my eyes were opened. Normally when I hear others in the office speaking about milling problems, I wonder how it all comes together and how it all works,” she said. “After this course, I now know and I am much better informed.”

For a lot of the millers that joined the course, they have had years of experience, but Julius said they are still learning and this experience has only brought the relationship between the Nigerian milling industry and the American wheat industry closer.