MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) and Kansas State University (KSU) are offering a new course on the Canadian Grain Industry in May. GEAPS 506: The Grain Industry in Canada – Climate, Crops and People offers a broad and comprehensive view of Canada’s multifaceted and historic grain industry. Registration for this course opens April 19. The course runs from May 23-June 24, and is available anytime as a Course On-Demand.

This course is a resource for anyone who does business in or with Canada, or is a major player in the global grain economy.

Doug Forst, CMC Industrial Electronics, GEAPS continuing education program chair, said one of the objectives of the course is to highlight the differences between the Canadian grain industry and how operations are handled in the U.S.

“As we started planning the course, several major themes emerged, but one seemed to resonate with everyone,” Forst said. “It’s that the Canadian grain industry is truly unique. It has its own history, climate, geography and political systems, and, consequently, its own way of doing things. Assuming that the Canadian grain system is a clone or twin of the U.S. system is simply inaccurate. We wanted to be sure to point out the fundamental differences, because they are significant and important, and I think we have succeeded.”

Participants will gain a better understanding of the influence of Canada’s climate and population, crop production, marketing, regulatory regimens, grading, cleaning and drying, quality control, rail transportation, domestic use and grain exports.

The class consists of 11 lectures, taught by the following grain industry experts:

• Mohammad Torshizi, sessional lecturer, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business & Economics, University of Saskatchewan

• Mark Hemmes, president, Quorum Corp

• John Dewar, general manager, Cascadia Port Management Corp

• Dave Burrows, chief operating officer, CIGI

• John De Pape, president, Farmers Advanced Risk Management Co. (FARMco)

• Catherine Galay, manager, food and plant safety, Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd

• Walter Rubert, former chief of weighing, and registrar, Canadian Grain Commission

• David Ladd, grains and field crops specialist, Policy and Programs Branch Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

• Jason Murphy, acting national manager grain and oilseeds section, CFIA

• Leigh Lamontagne, manager, grain quality control, Viterra

• Jim McKerchar, director, country operations, Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd

The course was created by GEAPS’ Continuing Education Program Oversight Committee (CEPOC). The committee currently has 37 members, including staff from GEAPS and KSU, and oversees the organization’s entire continuing education program. The idea for the course came from the CEPOC, and development started in May 2014.

After the committee identified the course, a task force was appointed to plan and organize the course, determine lecture topics and identify potential instructors. Once each lesson was written, it was peer-reviewed by subject matter experts in Canada. The review was conducted by a combination of GEAPS members and non-members.

The GEAPS 506 planning task force consisted of:

• Doug Forst, CMC Industrial Electronics, CEPOC chair

• David Kushnier, Alliance Grain Terminal Ltd

• Jim McKerchar, Parrish & Heimbecker

• Bill Roszell, Viterra

• Dave McKerchar, Parrish & Heimbecker

• Slav Waplak, Hi Tech Installations Ltd

• Robert Taylor, Cargill Inc.

• Bill Pickell, The Lakeland Companies

According to Jim McKerchar, Parrish & Heimbecker, one of the challenges of planning the course was limiting the lectures to 10 or 11 topics that could be completed in 10 hours.

“Once we sorted out what we would cover in this course we managed to produce an excellent cross-section of the industry,” McKerchar said.  “I think it will allow industry participants who are handling, trading or purchasing Canadian grain directly to have better insight into this vital industry.”

Tuition for GEAPS/KSU continuing education courses is $670 for GEAPS members and $850 for non-members. For more information about the courses or to register, visit the GEAPS website, contact Katya Morrell at [email protected] or call (763) 999-4300.