MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. – Registration is now open for the Grain Elevator and Processing Society’s (GEAPS) 87th Exchange, Feb. 27-March 1, 2016, at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, U.S. The event features more than 40 hours of educational programming, over 350 exhibitors in the expo and several networking opportunities. Registration and other information is available on the GEAPS Exchange 2016 website.

Exchange 2016 includes several new and updated features. The Austin Mixer is a new networking event for first-time and international attendees. The schedule has been adjusted to allow for an additional hour to meet with suppliers in the expo hall, there is a new time and date for the opening workshop and the schedule includes more education with processing sessions.

The educational program starts with the opening workshop Feb. 27, 2016 at 2 p.m. Other learning opportunities include up to 28 hour-long, concurrent education sessions, interactive pods in the expo hall and the Idea Exchange, highlighting new methods and technologies that make the grain industry safer and more efficient. Several of the education sessions will qualify for continuing education units (CEUs), and one track is focused on grain processing. The complete educational programming schedule will be released in December. 

“The education will include topics that are very timely with changes occurring in our industry,” said Allan Tedrow, McCormick Construction Co., GEAPS Exchange Education Programming committee chair.  “The opening workshop will address changes to the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). It will give a hands-on opportunity to do a short segment of a FSMA program, setting up further development back at the facility. Education sessions will tie into the workshop as well. Sessions have been added for processing companies and others are more technical, designed for more ‘experienced’ attendees. Speakers will be around after sessions to answer specific questions and attendees can see various products and operations solutions from sessions up close and personal in the expo.”

In addition to the educational side of the conference, the expo also hosts over 350 exhibitors in nearly 250,000 square feet of space. Exhibitors present products and services to help attendees store and process grain more effectively. A map of the expo hall and a complete list of exhibitors are available on the GEAPS website. Booth space is still available for Expo 2016, for more information or to join the waiting list for booth space, contact GEAPS at 1.763.999.4300 or [email protected].

Another updated event at the exchange is an enhanced Student Day, giving students a structured environment to meet grain industry professionals and learn about careers in the industry. Student Day will be held Feb. 28 with a two-hour program during the day and a social event in the evening. The program will introduce students to several fields, including grain storage management, milling facility management, equipment and silo vending, human resources, facility control systems/IT, design/build engineering, fumigation/grain quality, transportation/logistics and grain merchandising. The program also includes roundtable discussions with professionals in the fields. For more information on Student Day, contact Deb Most with GEAPS at 1.763.999.4302 or [email protected].

Room blocks for Exchange 2016 will open soon. GEAPS has secured specially discounted rates at a selection of recommended hotels. All reservations for Exchange 2016 are being handled by the Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Room blocks can only be accessed online through the link on the Exchange 2016 website. The deadline for reservations is Jan. 27. For questions on making reservations, contact Jerry Esters at the Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 1.888.339.7717 or e-mail [email protected].