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K-State Today

July 31, 2014

IGP Institute joins with industry organization to expand distance trainings

Submitted by Lisa Moser

The Grain Elevator and Processing Society, or GEAPS, and Kansas State University have agreed to expand their partnership in distance education to offer online courses and a credential in grain processing management. The current GEAPS/K-State program offers more than 20 online courses and credentials devoted mainly to grain handling operations.

"We're building on success," said Mark Fedje, chairman of the society's international board. "The expanded partnership will allow us to offer the grain-processing industry high-quality, focused and practical courses — the hallmark of our current program."

Initially, Fedje said, the expanded program will combine current GEAPS/K-State operations online courses and K-State wheat-milling courses, leading to a credential in grain processing management. New processing courses, specialist credentials and a master credential will be added later.

"We're confident that grain processing and milling companies will find the courses and the credentials very useful," said Dirk Maier, director of the GEAPS/K-State distance education program. "They'll help train new employees and improve the job skills of existing employees — even up to the veteran levels. They'll also help build a career path for young people and help build qualifications at the entry level." Maier also is director of K-State's IGP Institute and head of the grain science and industry department.

"GEAPS is pleased to be expanding our program with K-State. This will enhance support for the 'P' or processing component of our membership, and the industry, by providing companies a resource for training current employees and supporting their career advancement," Fedje said.

Fedje and Maier agreed that expanding the partnership to offer processing courses allows them to more effectively leverage the resources and networks of both organizations to address global grain industry needs. Nearly 2,800 registrants from 30 nations have taken GEAPS/K-State online courses since the program began eight years ago.

All required courses for the processing credential will provide the knowledge and training needed for successful operation of a flour mill or gain processing facility. Courses required focus on milling principles, grain receiving, cleaning and conditioning, grain quality management, quality control/quality assurance in flour milling, safety management for grain facilities and materials handling.

Current K-State and GEAPS/K-State courses for the remainder of 2014 will be offered on their already published schedules. Work is underway on the expanded dual track course schedule for 2015.