MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — The grains industry took on a new look for participants in the Resident Training Introduction to Flour Milling course held by the International Grains Program (IGP) on Jan. 24-28. The course was a collaboration of Kansas State University (KSU) and the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM). Seventeen participants came from across the U.S. to attend.

“In the Intro to Flour Milling course, participants gain a general understanding of the principles of the milling process, learn the relationship between wheat quality and the effect on the milling process, and gain knowledge of wheat types and products each can produce,” says Mark Fowler, course coordinator and IGP associate director. “They also learn the role each department plays in the success of the milling company.”

For Diwakar Mokadam, general manager of Imas North America from Hamburg, New York, U.S., gaining a better understanding of those roles was one of his primary reasons for attending the course. “I wanted to get a general overall understanding of milling because as someone who sells equipment it’s important to understand the industry,” he said. “Without that understanding, it would be like getting behind the steering wheel of a car and not knowing how to drive.”

Fellow course participant, Dave Dreyer, supply chain manager of Horizon Milling from Wayzata, Minnesota, U.S.., echoed his classmate’s outlook.

“I realize now that there are many roles to fill and I appreciate the course’s focus on trends and forward-looking ideas brought directly from those straight out of academia,” he said.

To help participants understand how to better fulfill their role as millers, the course featured a variety of presenters. This aspect of the course reflects the vision of collaboration between IGP and IAOM.

“We recognize that using respected and experienced industry leaders in our programs is a valuable means to keep our training programs current and in touch with the challenges facing the industry today,” Fowler said. “IAOM is highly regarded within the industry, and its focus is on providing the best training and educational offerings available without promoting any specific provider or service over another.”

According to Fowler, that partnership allows both organizations to reach broader markets with training courses for participants. Mokadam agreed and said, “This is the perfect fast introductory course that provides functional knowledge.”

This class is just one example of the partnership courses offered through IGP. In addition to flour milling, IGP regularly offers short courses in grain purchasing, feed manufacturing and risk management. For more information about IGP programs, go to the IGP website