It will be held March 24-28 in Denver, Colorado, U.S., includes closing workshop on effects of substance abuse on recruitment, retention.
The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) will address the rise in employee substance use and abuse among prospective candidates and current employees at a closing workshop during GEAPS Exchange 2018. The trend in substance abuse presents safety risks, decreased productivity, difficulties in retaining employees and increased costs associated with hiring and training new employees.


“The Effects of Substance Abuse on Industry Recruitment and Retention” will give an overview of the signs of substance abuse, causes of use and tools to engage employees to get support. Presented by Fatina Cannon, clinical director, NorthStar Transitions, the workshop will cover conversational tools and initiating dialogue with employees. Participants also will learn alternative solutions for recruitment and retention of employees through case studies and idea sharing.

The workshop wraps up the programs for the event, which is March 24-28 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, U.S. Overall, Exchange 2018 will feature more than 380 exhibitors in the Expo Hall, nearly 40 hours of educational programming and a variety of networking opportunities at special events. Last year, a record 3,589 delegates from 21 countries attended the show in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.

“Last year we set records for attendance, exhibitors and size of the Expo Hall,” said Barb Kraft, president of GEAPS International. “Over the last three years we have averaged more than 3,300 attendees. Whether or not we set attendance records this year, it’s going to be another great experience for attendees. There is no better place in the grain industry to build your skills, learn about the latest trends, expand your professional network and browse the latest products and services all in one place.”

As in past years, the educational programming begins with the Opening Workshop at 7 a.m. on Sunday, March 25. Other learning opportunities include up to 24 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 all, 20 hour-long sessions will each qualify for one-tenth of a CEU as well as the Opening Workshop (two-tenths) and Closing Workshop (one-tenth). To receive CEUs, attendees must sign in at the appropriate sessions and complete an online quiz.

GEAPS has partnered with Experient, a housing management company, to handle all hotel reservations and inquiries for Exchange 2018. Reservations must be made online through the housing page on the Exchange 2018 website, accessible from

The room block cut-off date was Feb. 22. After that date, room availability is based on hotel availability and may not be available at the discounted rate.

AGI had several pieces of equipment from its many brands on display at the GEAPS Expo in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S. in 2017.

Educational Programming

Expo Pods in the Expo Hall, scheduled on Monday, March 26, and Tuesday, March 27, 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, these sessions feature interactive presentations and equipment demonstrations. Presentations include hands-on time and question-and-answer ­sessions. This year the pods will cover various aspects and methods of grain cleaning.

The pod sessions will cover grain cleaning systems; grain cleaning to reduce mycotoxins; multi-aspirator demonstration; optical sorting to remove off-color and damaged grain; principles of grain cleaning; export grain cleaning systems; and multiple separation techniques.

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 affecting members. Session topics are based on GEAPS seven core competencies.

This year’s sessions include:

  • “Creating an Employee Experience: Five Essential Tools for Attracting and Retaining Employees,” Sara Kepley, chief executive officer, ProValue LLC.
  • “Deciphering the Intricacies and Magnitude of Information Technology Security,” Douglas Clingman, general manager, Ag Solutions IT LLC.
  • “Facility Design: Maximizing Efficiency and Throughput,” Kurt Rosentrater, associate professor, Iowa State University.
  • “Saving Money with Preventative and Reliability Maintenance,” Edward LaPreze, sales/marketing director, Pepper Maintenance.
  • “Don’t Break the Bank! Reduce Energy Costs and Losses at Your Facility,” Mark Spindler, president, CIM Software Corp.
  • “FDA Inspector Visits — Know Your Rights and What to Expect,” Perry Nettles, vice-president of operations, Food Protection Services.
  • “Proper Sampling: One Size Doesn’t Fit All!” Erin Bowers, post-doctoral research associate, Iowa State University.
  • “Valuation for Mergers and Acquisitions,” Jeffrey Berg, president, Crown Appraisals Inc.
  • “Distillers Grains: U.S. Production Update, Handling and Storage,” Klein Ileleji, associate professor and extension engineer, Purdue University.
  • “New Research on Safety Culture for Agribusiness Retailers,” Erik Hanson, assistant professor, North Dakota State University.
  • “Reducing Foreign Material Using Controlled Flow Transfer Chute Technology,” Matthew Koca, principal Flowpath engineer, Flexco.
  • “The Inseparable Nature of Inspection and Maintenance,” Christopher Wortmann, owner, NOHR Wortmann Engineering.
  • “Advanced Design and Maintenance of Commercial Aeration Systems,” Mike Phillips, director of special projects, Perdue AgriBusiness.
  • “Air Quality Regulations and Compliance: Your Role in Creating a Cleaner Environment,” George Iwaszek, managing consultant, Trinity Consultants.
  • “Partnering in the Process: Effectively Managing a Construction Project,” Gregory Franzen, business development manager, Faithful+Gould.
  • “When Rescue Personnel Arrive…,” Jeff Decker, owner/president, Decker Consulting and Investigations Inc.
  • “An Exploration of New Technology for Design and Construction,” Andy Ahrendt, Robert Duerksen and Bill Bennington, PCL Construction Enterprises.
  • “Automation Life Cycle Planning and Beyond: Techniques to Keep Your Facility Relevant and Productive,” Tony Ferguson, project engineer, Matrix Technologies, Inc.
  • “Comprehending the Complexities of Canadian Fumigations,” Micheal Hendrickson, regulatory director, Maheu&Maheu Inc Pest Management.
  • “Unearthing the Merit of Grain Dryer Maintenance,” Randy Sheley, conditioning product specialist, GSI.
  • “New President, New Rules: How Current Regulatory Updates Will Impact the Grain Industry,” Jess McCluer, vice-president of safety and regulatory affairs, National Grain and Feed Association.
  • “Oilseed Processing- A Crushing Overview,” John Mulholland, general manager, N. Hunt Moore and Associates.
  • “Process Flow Diagrams: A Step-by-Step Approach to the Grain Industry,” Greg Esham, engineer and environmental project engineer, Mountaire Farms Inc.
  • “The ABC’s of Variable Frequency Drives: Application, Benefits and Cost Effectiveness,” Steve Reed, vice-president safety and engineering, Kasa Controls and Automation.

Idea Exchange

The Idea Exchange features a variety of companies that 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, March 25, in the Four Seasons Ballroom. It will include 11 companies introducing new products and services, and two companies showcasing new ideas as part of Small Changes…Big Impact! Each participant will deliver five-and-a-half minute presentations.

Small Changes…Big Impact presentations include:

·  “CVIS Program: Equal Voice in Safety,” TE Ibberson Co.

·  “Key Features of Code Compliant Facilities,” VAA LLC.

What’s New presentations include:

·  “Three-Dimensional Indent Cleaning,” ArrowCorp Inc.

·  “Corner Cleaning Whip System,” C-TEC Ag.

·  “Wireless Level Cable,” Extron.

·  “Grain Identification System,” GSI.

·  “Electrical Utility Management Software,” KASA Controls & Automation.

·  “Grain Elevator Safety Simulation Smartphone App,” Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co.

·  “IIoT Smart Gear Drives,” Rexnord Industries.

·  “Vertical Circulation of Personnel,” Schumacher Elevator Co.

·  “Air Assist Sweep,” Sioux Steel Co.

·  “Truck Hopper Opener,” Wellman Enterprises.

Opening Workshop

The opening workshop from 7-9:15 a.m. on Sunday, March 25, will focus on “Crisis Communication-Define, Design and Drive Your Outcome.”

The workshop is a chance for attendees to dive deeper into the main components of a crisis communication plan for their companies or operations. Crisis communications expert Lani Jordan will lead workshop participants through an interactive, hands-on session that includes message development, communicating with critical audiences, including employees and the media, and social media strategies.

The workshop is an advanced session, so attendees are advised to view Jordan’s 2017 webinar on crisis communication. More information is available at

special events

A Denver Mixer special event for first-time and international attendees is planned from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Convention Center. During this ticketed event, attendees will enjoy drinks and appetizers and learn how to make the most of their time at Exchange.

The get acquainted event, “Après Ski,” is planned from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Ballroom. Admission includes two drink tickets, hearty food stations, entertainment and a ski-themed photo opportunity. Attendees can also sample Colorado whiskeys and visit the s’mores station.

The President’s Reception and Banquet is planned for 5-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 27. The event includes a cocktail reception followed by a three-course meal and a showdown of 60’s musical stylings in Motones vs. Jerseys.