Hundreds of milling professionals from around the world will attend the International Association of Operative Millers’ (IAOM) Annual Conference & Expo April 4-8 in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.

The event will be at the Hyatt Regency Columbus Hotel and the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn through comprehensive education programs, connect with industry peers at several networking events and see the latest products and services from multiple vendors in the expo hall.

Educational and technical programs presented at the conference assist millers in improving yields, productivity, customer satisfaction and safety. The programs are presented by seasoned professionals in the field who have experienced the issues affecting millers.

In addition, the annual conference also includes on of the world’s largest expo for milling professionals, typically featuring more than 100 companies displaying milling and processing equipment and related services.

Conference schedule

The conference begins on Monday, April 4, with the IAOM board of directors meeting and a Food Protection Committee meeting. Committee meetings continue on Tuesday, April 5, along with pre-conference registration from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The opening reception is that evening from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The conference officially kicks off on Wednesday, April 6 at 7:30 a.m. with the IMEF Breakfast. The keynote address will be given by JoAnne Buth, chief executive officer of the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi).

In her address, “Wheat’s not Wheat,” Buth will present a view of the complexity of wheat, the global wheat market and the importance of this staple food for people around the world. Buth has spent her professional life in agriculture and has worked in private industry for government and non-profits.

“JoAnne has been a voice for Canadian agriculture for many years and has now seen first-hand the impact of the wheat industry across the globe,” said IAOM President Roy Loepp, Seaboard Overseas & Trading Group. “We are honored to have someone of her political stature addressing our membership.”

The expo opens at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday with a ribbon cutting.

Educational sessions begin 10 a.m. on Wednesday and continue on Thursday, April 7. The specialty milling track, which covers all aspects related to milling grains other than wheat, which was added in 2015, continues this year. Other education tracks include employee management, facility management, product protection (including sanitation, food protection, food safety, finished product testing, storage and transportation) and technical operations (including technical aspects of raw product evaluation, testing, storage and processing).

Product Showcases also begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday in the expo hall and continue in the morning on Thursday. Eligible products include new products and existing products that have new applications. The Product Showcase allows selected exhibiting companies to promote their products directly from their booths in the expo hall.

Those selected are given 10 minutes to discuss their product while showing the product, a slideshow presentation, or anything else they can show within their booth space.

The Allied Trades event is planned from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday at Huntington Park, located in the Arena District in downtown Columbus. It is home to the Columbus Clippers, a Triple-A baseball team and Cleveland Indians affiliate.

IAOM conference attendees will have a chance to explore the Tansky Sawmill Toyota Club at the ballpark. The team’s opening day is scheduled for the following day, so it is very likely that attendees will have the opportunity to watch the Clippers practice on the field.

Thursday begins with the Annual Meeting and Safety Award Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and is open to all attendees.

IAOM Safety Award recipients will be honored for their hard work and dedication during the plated breakfast. To be eligible for a safety award this year, a facility must have a recordable injury/illness rate less than or equal to 1.8 and have no work-related fatalities in the calendar year of 2015. Applications for the awards were taken through March 1.

The final product showcase and educational sessions are scheduled for the rest of the day, followed by district and leader meetings. The awards ceremony is planned during the closing banquet at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency.

On Friday, April 8, the conference concludes with the Annual Golf Tournament at the Foxfire Golf Club in nearby Lockbourne.

The scramble will start at 9 a.m. on the Players Club course, followed by a barbecue lunch, awards and hole prizes.

IMEF auction

The International Milling Education Foundation’s (IMEF) Silent Auction will open on the expo floor on Wednesday, April 6. The auction will close at the Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony on April 7.

Donations to the auction are made by milling companies, individuals, partner organizations, equipment and service suppliers, and others. Proceeds from the auction support the learning, knowledge and resources provided by the IMEF.

Last year, the auction raised more than $60,000 and a total of $860,000 has been contributed to IMEF since 2004.

“We were really excited about bringing back the live auction to the conference activities,” said Loepp. “We continue to have great support for the Foundation and the auctions, in particular. Our allied partners and milling companies have been very generous with their donations on an annual basis.

“That next milestone of one million dollars is getting closer and closer, thanks to the tremendous support of our community.”

One of the recent projects funded by the IMEF endowment was the creation of an online career kit at The career kit was designed and developed to promote careers in the grain milling industry. In addition, IMEF funds a scholarship program for milling science students at Kansas State University, as well as professionals in the industry to take the IAOM Correspondence Course in Flour Milling and resident milling courses.

The IMEF trustees also allocated funding in 2015 to cover the cost of translating the Correspondence Course into Arabic.

Special events

The IAOM Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony on April 7 will honor and pay tribute to its award recipients. The event will be at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus. The evening starts at 6 p.m. with a reception, which will include the close of the IMEF Silent Auction.

The event will feature a program that includes the passing of the gavel and presentation of IAOM awards. Tickets are $75.

The 2016 Milling Operative of the Year award will be presented during the ceremony. Nominations for the award were accepted through Jan. 31.

Established in 1986 by Milling & Baking News, sister publication of World Grain, the award is presented to the practicing milling operative who has made the most significant contribution to the progress of a plant, a company and the industry from an operating point of view.

The winner will receive an inscribed plaque, and a scholarship will be established in the winner’s name at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.

John Hultman, Ardent Mills, Decatur, Alabama, U.S., was the recipient of the 2015 award.

Registration, hotel information

Registration is available online at A copy of the registration form can also be printed from the website. Cost for the full conference is $500 for IAOM members and $575 for non-members.

A block of rooms has been reserved for IAOM participants at the Hyatt Regency Columbus at a special rate of $169. A limited number of rooms are available, and March 1 is the last day for the special rate. More information is available at

Schedule at a glance

Monday, April 4

7-8 a.m. IAOM Board of Directors’ Breakfast, Hyatt Regency

8 a.m.-5 p.m. IAOM Board of Directors’ Meeting, Hyatt Regency

Noon-1 p.m. IAOM Board of Directors Luncheon, Hyatt Regency

1-5 p.m. Food Protection Committee Meeting, Hyatt Regency

Tuesday, April 5

7-8 a.m. Combined Committee & Board of Directors’ Breakfast, Hyatt Regency

8 a.m.-Noon IMEF Trustees’ Meeting, Hyatt Regency

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Exhibitor Move-in (3 or more booths), Convention Center

8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pre-conference Registration Open, Hyatt Regency

8 a.m.-5 p.m. IAOM Committee Meetings, Hyatt Regency

10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Exhibitor Move-in (all booths), Convention Center

Noon-1 p.m. Combined Committee Luncheon, Hyatt Regency

3-4 p.m. Allied Trades Reception with the IAOM Board of Directors,
Convention Center

5:30-7 p.m. Opening Reception, Hyatt Regency

Wednesday, April 6

7 a.m.-4 p.m. Conference Registration Open, Hyatt Regency

7:30 – 9 a.m. IMEF Breakfast with Keynote Address, Hyatt Regency

9:15 a.m. Expo Ribbon-cutting Ceremony, Convention Center

9:15 a.m.-Noon Expo and Silent Auction, Convention Center

9:45 -10 a.m. Refreshment Break, Convention Center

10-11:40 a.m. Educational Programs, Convention Center

Noon-12:45 p.m. Lunch, Convention Center

1-1:10 p.m. Product Showcase 1, Convention Center

1-5:30 p.m. Expo, Convention Center

2-2:10 p.m. Product Showcase 2, Convention Center

2:40 -3 p.m. Refreshment Break, Convention Center

3:15-4 p.m. Global Strategies Committee Meeting, Convention Center

4 -4:10 p.m. Product Showcase 3, Convention Center

4:30 -5:30 p.m. Reception & Silent Auction, Convention Center

5:15 p.m. Expo Floor Drawing, Convention Center

6 -9 p.m. Allied Trades Event

Thursday, April 7

7 a.m.-Noon Conference Registration Open, Hyatt Regency

7:30 a.m.-9 a.m. IAOM Annual Meeting and Safety Award Breakfast,

Convention Center

9-10 a.m. Unopposed Expo & Silent Auction, Convention Center

9:15-9:25 a.m. Product Showcase 4, Convention Center

9:45-10 a.m. Refreshment Break, Convention Center

10-11:40 a.m. Educational Sessions, Convention Center

11:45 a.m.-Noon Unopposed Expo & Silent Auction, Convention Center

Noon-12:45 p.m. Lunch, Convention Center

12:45 -2:00 p.m. Expo & Silent Auction, Convention Center

1-1:10 Product Showcase 5, Convention Center

2 -2:30 p.m. Ice Cream Break and Exhibitor Raffles, Convention Center

2:45 -3:45 p.m. Millers’ Panel Discussion, Convention Center

4 p.m. Leaders Meeting, Hyatt Regency

4:15 p.m. District Meetings, Hyatt Regency

6 -6:45 p.m. Pre-Banquet Reception & Silent Auction, Hyatt Regency

7-10:30 p.m. IAOM Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Hyatt Regency Columbus

Friday, April 8

7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. IAOM Annual Golf Tournament