MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Professionals interested in learning about the fundamentals of grain purchasing as well as risk management procedures can participate in the International Grains Program (IGP) Grain Purchasing short course planned for April 4 to 15 at the IGP Conference Center, Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.

“This class covers all the fundamentals that international grain buyers and traders need to know to conduct their business in a proper way,” said Jay O’Neil, course coordinator and IGP senior agricultural economist. “It is more than just educating people on how to write a contract and deal with transportation issues. We cover what professionals need to know to protect their company’s best interests, and hopefully stay away from trouble.”

As the lead instructor, O’Neil brings over 37 years of experience in grain trading. His past employers include Continental Grain, Pillsbury Company, Ferruzzi Group and Bartlett Grain Company. Along with O’Neil’s insights, attendees will also hear from other grain industry experts.

“This class gives participants practical training that they can take back to their companies,” O’Neil said.

The course is broken into two, one-week sessions. Week one covers the fundamentals of grain purchasing, and the second week focuses on grain trading and hedging. There is also an optional field trip to an export elevator in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., to observe vessel loading and export operations on the weekend between the sessions.

This course is conducted annually and has been well received by past participants.

“I work with the documentation for the importation of Hard Red winter wheat. Now I understand the importance of test weight, protein levels, moisture levels and all the other things I document on a daily basis,” said Adeola Olaojo, 2010 course participant from Honeywell Flour Mills PLC in Nigeria.

Another 2010 participant Salomon Singer from Harinas del Istmo, S.A. in Panama says he enjoyed the fundamentals of grain purchasing part of the course.

“Before this course, I knew a lot of things in theory, but I had never touched them or felt them,” Singer said. ”There is no room for theory in business, so it was really great to get some hands-on experience in the physical aspect of the industry especially in contracting and shipping.”

The registration deadline for this course is March 1. For more information on the course fees and how to register, go to the IGP website