MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) announced on Sept. 4 that three of its members have earned the first professional credential in the grain handling industry, the Credential in Grain Operations Management (CGOM) from the GEAPS/Kansas State University Distance Education Program.

To earn the CGOM, Cory Falke, Beachner Grain, Inc.; Calvin Kerr, Southpier Terminals; and John Rossman, Kokomo Grain, Inc., successfully completed an organized series of six online classes developed by GEAPS and KSU. The courses cover topics ranging from facilities planning, to materials handling, to grain quality management.

The Credentialing Program provides a formal training option to companies, and gives individuals a way to gain recognition and a competitive advantage in their careers. "Although experience is invaluable, industry-recognized training is one of the best ways to show … one's knowledge [and] commitment to the job," said Rossman, an operations manager.

All courses in the program were developed by industry professionals and are based on current industry practices and standards, providing real-world expertise.

"I'll be using the knowledge daily in practically every aspect of my job," says Kerr, also an operations manager. 

Falke agrees that the courses have helped him to excel in his career. "I refer back to the course materials regularly. The knowledge gained in the material handling courses has been extremely useful in troubleshooting equipment problems and … making specification decisions on new equipment."

To retain the CGOM, graduates must complete at least one additional Continuing Education Unit every three years. The goal is to keep industry professionals up to speed with innovations and changing standards, and to encourage lifelong learning.