MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. – The Kansas State University (KSU) IGP Institute announced on Aug. 17 the departure of Mark Fowler, associate director and milling specialist. Fowler began his new role as president and chief executive officer of Farmer Direct Foods on a part-time basis in August and will transition full time in December.

During this transition period, Fowler will continue to lead the IGP Institute team in conjunction with Gordon Smith, IGP Institute director and grain science and industry department head.

“We are grateful for Mark’s leadership these past 12 years and wish him well as he returns to industry,” Smith said.

Under Fowler’s leadership the IGP Institute has grown its course offerings substantially. In 2014, 1,687 participants representing 45 countries joined in 62 on-site and online trainings. These courses cover the areas of grain processing and flour milling, grain marketing and risk management, and feed manufacturing and grain quality management.

“The IGP Institute enabled me to work with great people to build a world-class program demonstrating that a dedicated team can accomplish anything,” Fowler said.

He adds that one of his proudest accomplishments during his tenure was his ability to build on existing relationships and make new connections.

“The success of the IGP Institute is built on the cooperation with our partners, and collaboration with our competitors when all parties have an opportunity to benefit,” Fowler says. He adds, “I enjoyed being involved with those strategic planning sessions that maximize the stakeholder’s investment in our company.”

Looking ahead Fowler will apply his knowledge and experience as he continues to develop and grow the business and product line for Farmer Direct Foods, which is based in Atchison, Kansas, U.S. The company specializes in white wheat products. Fowler plans to continue to serve as an industry milling expert in upcoming course offerings at the IGP Institute as he is needed.