K-States International Grains Program will help leaders become informed purchasers and processors of U.S. food and feed grains
By Courtney Wimmer, K-State Research and Extension
Kansas State University broke ground March 7, 2003, on its new International Grains Program Executive Conference Center, a place where foreign business and governmental leaders will develop technical knowledge and skills that enable them to become more informed purchasers and processors of U.S. food and feed grains. IGP courses also acquaint participants with current trends and issues affecting the industry.
The International Grains Program, established by the Kansas legislature in 1978, has trained thousands of international grain industry representatives in its 25-year existence.
"IGP strives to be a wellspring of training and information for international purchasers and processors using grains produced by U.S. farmers," said Brendan Donnelly, head of K-States department of grain science and industry. "Today you can find IGP-trained buyers of grain in literally every corner of the world."
The initial funds to build the International Grains Program facility came from the Kansas Wheat Commission. The Kansas Corn Commission also has made a significant contribution and a pledge for additional funds.
The new center, a $4 million project within K-States department of grain science and industry, will provide world-class meeting and instructional facilities. Consisting of nearly 20,000 square feet, the building will include a grain-grading laboratory, conference room, tiered auditorium-style classroom, dining and lounge area, staff offices and other rooms that will fully meet and serve the needs of the International Grains Programs international participants.
Both the classroom and the grain-grading laboratory will be equipped for simultaneous translation of up to three languages and will include audio, visual and multimedia equipment for state-of-the-art presentations.
The new center will also include communications equipment that will allow the International Grains Program to provide programs and information to sites nationally and throughout the world.
"With the completion of the new executive conference center in March 2004, the International Grains Program will be better equipped to meet the information, communication and training needs of the 21st century," Donnelly said.
For more than 20 years, the International Grains Program has established a worldwide reputation as a center of excellence for international programs related to grain marketing, and flour and feed milling processing and utilization. Additionally, the program has a rich tradition in training related to marketing, processing, purchasing and shipment of corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat. The new center will allow the program to continue training international purchasers and users of U.S. commodities in a world-class facility.