GEAPS 2017
Exchange 2016 in Austin, Texas, U.S., featured 412 exhibitors in 250,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) is coming back to Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., Feb. 25-28, for the 88th International Technical Conference and Exposition, commonly referred to as GEAPS Exchange.

The event at the Kansas City Convention Center will feature more than 400 exhibitors in the Expo Hall, more than 40 hours of educational programming and a variety of networking opportunities at special events. Last year, 2,852 delegates from 28 countries attended the show.

“The growth of the Exchange in recent years has been astounding,” said GEAPS International President Marcus Neal, Lansing Trade Group. “Over the last three years we have averaged more than 3,100 attendees, and last year we set records for square feet in the Expo Hall and total exhibitors. I look forward to seeing a ton of great equipment in the Expo Hall, and our education sessions will be practical and relevant. It’s going to be a great conference.”

Last year’s Expo had a record-setting 412 exhibitors in 250,000 square feet of exhibit space. The 2017 Expo is on pace to be even bigger, with more than 400 exhibitors registered as of October and more than 270,000 square feet of hall space reserved.

As in past years, the educational programing begins with the Opening Workshop at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. 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).

In order to accommodate the needs of the growing Exchange, GEAPS has partnered with Experient, a housing management company. Experient will handle all hotel reservations and inquiries for Exchange 2017. Reservations must be made online through the housing page on the Exchange 2017 website, accessible from Registration for the Exchange is also available online through the GEAPS website.

The room block cut-off date is Jan. 26. After that date, room availability is based on hotel availability and may not be available at the discounted rate.

Educational programming

Expo Pods in the Expo Hall, scheduled on Monday, Feb. 27, and Tuesday, Feb. 28, are some of the most interactive learning opportunities at the Exchange, offering hands-on learning opportunities. Designed for small groups of up to 40 attendees, the sessions feature interactive presentations and equipment demonstrations. Presentations include hands-on time and question-and-answer ­sessions. This year the pods will cover dust suppression and collection equipment and techniques.

The 12 pod sessions will cover air curtain fan applications; baghouse and filter media options; measuring air; dust collection for grain dump pits; dust system design; dust collection hoppers; dustless loading spouts; magnesium chloride for roads; and mineral oil usage and installation.

The hour-long educational sessions throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday are selected by the Exchange Education Programming Committee, which starts with a list of hundreds of program ideas and narrows the list based on member input and timely industry issues impacting members. Session topics are based on GEAPS’ seven core competencies.

This year’s sessions include:
  • “Avoiding Issues with Practical PLC Maintenance,” Jim Robinson, master electrician/project coordinator, Maurer Electric Inc.
  • “Choosing Storage Options Part I: Concrete vs. Steel Bins,” Joshua Munson, president and Michael Blough, project engineer, Clear Creek & Associates Inc.
  • “Effects of GMO’s on Ethanol Production & Byproducts,” Lyndon Jones, plant manager, Pacific Ethanol.
  • “Preventing Loss with Construction Quality Control Plans,” Ryan Michalek, risk management property engineer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
  • “Arc Flash: So You Thought Your Motor Control Center (MCC) Was Safe?” Terry Keenan, corporate safety director, McC Inc.
  • “Choosing Storage Options Part II: Temporary & Bulk Storage,” Bob Graverholt, principal structure engineer, Structural Division, ASM Engineering Consultants LLC.
  • “NFPA 652 and 61: Changes that Impact the Grain, Feed and Processing Industries,” Craig Froehling, global engineer lead-grain, Cargill.
  • “The Importance of Training in Retaining Employees,” Molly Crowe, senior HR consultant, ProValue LLC.
  • “Grain Preservation Through Aeration,” Kevin Miles, president, Rolfes@Boone.
  • “Material Handling Equipment: Determining Selection & Design Criteria,” Alok Kumar Singh, proposal engineer, WL Port-Land Systems Inc.
  • “Rescue Workers and the Grain Industry: Learning to Communicate, Educate & Coordinate,” Jason Holland, faculty fire science instructor and retired division chief of training, Hutchinson Community College.
  • “Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About LED Lighting!” Jaron Vande Hoef, senior project manager, BD principal, Interstates Companies.
  • “Conveyor Belt Splicing Best Practices,” Kevin Finnegan, mechanical fastener applications specialist, Flexco.
  • “Creating and Maintaining Your Safety Culture,” Marc McClure, corporate safety director, IES Commercial & Industrial.
  • “Energy Management: Making Financial Savings a Reality,” Syd Panzer, product manager, Konnection a division of KASA Companies.
  • “Pest Management: Alternative Protectants and Application Systems,” John Mueller, president, Food Protection Services.
  • “Leveraging the Power of Recognition,” Don Groover, senior vice-president, DEKRA Insight.
  • “OSHA & EPA Regulatory Updates,” Jess McCluer, vice-president safety and regulatory affairs, NGFA.
  • “Practical Impacts of the Food Safety Modernization Act on Grain Handlers,” Charles Hurburgh, professor, ag and biosystems engineer professor in charge, Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, Iowa State University.
  • “Upgrading Existing Concrete Facilities & Lifecycle Planning,” Gregg Blaszak, business development manager, Milliken Infrastructure Solutions LLC.
  • “Choosing Grain Bin Support for Soft Soils,” Charles Allgood, principal engineer, Ground Improvement Engineering.
  • “Crisis Management: Are You Ready?” Lani Jordan, director, corporate communication, CHS Inc.
  • “Dust in the Wind: Medical Implications of Inhalations in the Grain Industry,” Clayton Cowl, chair, preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine division pulmonary & critical care medicine, Mayo Clinic.
  • “The Benefits of Whole Chain Traceability: Implementation & Evaluation (NC-213),” Brian Adam, professor, Oklahoma State University.
  • “Use Data to Drive Innovation (NC-213),” Anton Bekkerman, associate professor, Department of Ag Economics, Montana State University.
  • “Advanced Session: Troubleshooting and Solving Problems in Dust Control Systems,” John Staskiewicz, senior regulatory sales engineer, Donaldson Torit.
  • “How Grain Quality Affects Your Beer,” Steven Pauwels, brewmaster, Boulevard Brewing Co.
  • “Interactive Grain Bin Rescue Demonstration,” Jack Volz, loss control, Parthenon Agency LLC.

Idea exchange

The Idea Exchange features a variety of companies who give brief presentations on how their product or idea benefits the industry. This year’s event will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 26, in the Grand Ballroom. It will include 11 companies introducing unique products and two companies showcasing new ideas as part of Small Changes…Big Impact!, with special focus on social and environmental responsibility in the grain industry.

Opening workshop

The opening workshop from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, will focus on “Making Good Operations Great: Maximizing Operational Efficiency in your Facilities.”

One way for grain facilities to save money and increase production is to maximize operational efficiency. This year’s workshop will focus on improving efficiency in grain drying, manpower, electricity and automation. Learn the basics of drying, how to manage shrinks, the benefits of measuring efficiencies, and helpful tools for practicing each of these strategies.

In regards to manpower, discover how to create goals, make a plan and manage only what can be controlled. Participants will receive training on how to comprehend electric bills, decrease energy use and prepare for the future of power. Automation, the last of the workshop topics, is one way to integrate these various efficiencies by practicing active energy management, streamlining machine use, minimizing manpower and more. Attendees will have a class exercise that will allow direct practice and application of the session information, and GEAPS/Kansas State University credential holders will have the opportunity to earn .3 CEUs.

Speakers include Bob Marlow, owner, Operations Professional Services; Josh Mulder, manager, commercial and industrial design, Power System Engineering Inc.; and Mark Spindler, CTO, The Lakeland Companies.

Special events

A Kansas City Mixer special event for first-time and international attendees is planned from 6-7 p.m. Saturday at the Marriott Hotel Barney Allis Lobby. During this ticketed event, attendees will enjoy drinks and appetizers and learn how to make the most of their time at Exchange. Longtime GEAPS members will share information on the organization and tips for navigating the event.

The get acquainted event, “A Taste of KC,” is planned from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Marriott Hotel Imperial/Colonial Ballroom. Admission includes two drink tickets, plus locally-inspired food and games. The party is included in the attendee and companion full registrations and also may be purchased a la carte. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite collegiate colors to the event.

Remarkable chapters and individuals who have helped advance the organization will be recognized during the GEAPS Celebration from 7:30-9:15 a.m. on Sunday. Recognitions include: Safety Award winners; member recruiters; credential earners; Chapter Member of Distinction award winners; and 25-, 40- and 50-year members.

The President’s Reception and Banquet as well as Club GEAPS are planned Tuesday evening, Feb. 28. The reception from 5-8:30 p.m. includes cocktails, a three-course meal and a performance of Lucia-Aerial Performing Arts. Wrap up the evening at Club GEAPS, featuring a new look and feel this year, from 8:30-11 p.m.