MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — In response to industry demand, Kansas State University’s International Grains Program (IGP) and the Northern Crops Institute (NCI), Fargo, North Dakota, U.S., will combine resources to host a durum wheat milling training April 7-9,  as well as an advanced grain procurement strategies course May 19-23. Both courses will be held at the NCI educational center situated on the campus of North Dakota State University.

“In past years, some of our courses have competed for the same audience,” said Mark Weber, NCI director. He says, “By collaborating with IGP to avoid duplication, we will be able to have a larger audience attend the course and, consequently, deliver an even better educational program.”

These sentiments are echoed by IGP Associate Director Mark Fowler who said, “These joint courses are in direct response to the request made by our commodity stakeholders to align our resources with others who offer similar high quality programs.” He adds, “We also see this as an opportunity to extend the IGP reach through these collaborative efforts with NCI.”

Leading the durum course will be Fowler who, in addition to his management role, also serves as the IGP flour milling specialist.

“I participated in one of Mark’s milling courses in Manhattan and I was impressed,” Weber said. “I am excited to have him share his expertise in this course.”

Fowler is also looking forward to teaching the course. 

“It makes sense to offer this class in the heart of durum wheat country. NCI’s mill is set up well for processing this type of wheat,” he said.

Course topics for this class include durum wheat selection, cleaning and tempering, as well as mill flow sheet analysis, grinding and sifting, purification and air utilization. Participants will enjoy a field trip to a durum mill and pasta plant, and they will watch a pasta extrusion laboratory demonstration.

A short month later is the advanced grain procurement strategies course that will be co-instructed by Bill Wilson, distinguished professor, NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, and Jay O’Neil, IGP senior agricultural economist. Other industry speakers will provide additional industry experience to this course.

This course will begin by covering basis analysis as well as hedging and contracting for grain importers and buyers says Weber. Participants will visit the Alton Grain Terminal to gain experience then the balance of the training will focus on risk management, grain logistics and grain procurement.

“Both Bill and Jay bring years of industry experience to this course. Participants will walk away with strategies that they can put into practice immediately in their own companies,” Fowler said.

To learn more information or register for either of these courses, visit the NCI website at or call 1.701.231.7736.