IGP USGC sorghum workshop
After classroom lectures, participants in the USGC Sorghum Workshop receive hands-on learning about flour production during the tour of the Hal Ross Flour Mill.
Photo courtesy of IGP.
MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the IGP Institute set out to provide more information about sorghum with a workshop about how it can be used for more than just feed for livestock. One method of processing sorghum that few consider is making it into food for human consumption. That was the topic of the recent IGP Institute-led USGC Food Sorghum Workshop held May 16–17. 

The workshop covered topics such as milling methods and requirements for optimum flour production, products derived from sorghum for food use, and sorghum flour characteristics and baking properties. 

“The USGC Sorghum Workshop hosted by IGP was a great success,” said Shawn Thiele, course coordinator and IGP flour milling and grain processing curriculum manager. “The participants were very interested in learning what potentials were available for the sorghum food market and the lectures provided detailed information on sorghum grain characteristics, milling traits and baking qualities, which were then complemented by the hands-on milling and baking labs that tied everything together.” 

In addition to classroom lectures, the participants also received hands-on experience in laboratory activities. The group learned about a whole white sorghum production run on a commercial flour mill and the impact that a milling production run makes on decorticated sorghum at the Hal Ross Flour Mill at Kansas State University (KSU). 

“There is nothing in particular that stands out because I was pleasantly surprised with everything in the course,” said Manuel Angel Alvarez Diez, veterinarian at Novopan in Madrid, Spain. “Just being here in the university environment where you are exposed to the American philosophy and the attention to detail that Americans devote efforts to was very interesting.” 

He said the professionalism of the instructors and their knowledge of the course material was impressive. 

The IGP Institute offers several other training courses in addition to flour milling and grain processing. The institute holds trainings in feed manufacturing and grain quality management, and grain marketing and risk management.