International Grains Program Adds Carlos Campabadal as Faculty Member and Curriculum Manager
Date Posted: May 8, 2012
Manhattan, KS—Growing up in Costa Rica working alongside his father, Carlos Campabadal learned lessons of hard work, business and agriculture.
It is that foundation that has led him to where he is now.
After having worked for IGP part-time as a program specialist while finishing his dissertation, Campabadal was recently hired as a full-time faculty member serving as the International Grains Program’s new instructor and curriculum manager in feed manufacturing and grain storage.
“With the growth of the program, this hire brings IGP back up to full strength.
"We need full-time focus and having Carlos allows us to plan ahead on how we are going to meet industry needs,” says Dirk Maier, grain science and industry department head.
“Carlos’ background includes feed manufacturing, grain storage and handling — this expertise is a large part of our courses, and he will complement that team.”
A Life-long Learner
Campabadal earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Costa Rica, but he says it is growing up on his family’s diversified feed operation, which features an integrated swine and dairy operation and where the majority of their production is in extruded tilapia feed, is where he did much of his practical learning.
After working full-time in his family business for three and a half years after graduation, Campabadal went to the University of Illinois to receive a master’s in agricultural and biological engineering, and focus his studies on the recovery of co-products from corn milling.
From there, he sought out a doctorate in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University concentrating on the use of ozone as a non-chemical alternative pest control technology for stored grains under Maier.
In 2010, after Maier moved to Kansas State University to join the Department of Grain Science and Industry, Campabadal followed to finish his dissertation.
This move landed him at IGP, working part-time as a program specialist in grain storage and to conduct field research in stored grain quality presentation.
“Working at IGP has helped me understand the economics side of my research and I have been able to bring my background in grain storage and quality and apply it to the short courses here,” Campabadal says.
“I am looking forward to being in a faculty position and spending more time involved in department programs and working on IGP projects with more direct responsibility.”
Breaking a Barrier
In his new position, Campabadal will continue to assist IGP in carrying out its mission using his skills as a native Spanish speaker.
“I want to continue to expand IGP into new markets,” Campabadal says.
“If we can relate to our customers and audiences better by increasing Spanish outreach — they in return will better understand and be more comfortable using U.S. grain commodities, which opens up opportunities for our Kansas grain and oilseed producers.”
Recognizing the long-term value in this opportunity is Mark Fowler, IGP associate director.
“Carlos has already been instrumental in developing courses in Spanish for feed manufacturing courses and translating materials for our curricula,” Fowler says.
“Having a native Spanish speaker like Carlos on our faculty allows us to better communicate and relate to important markets for corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.”
Maier adds, “His language ability represents a large customer base for U.S. grains and oilseeds which creates for IGP a new level of interaction and relationship building.
"He contributes to Spanish language publications, newsletters and blogs.
"Every piece of what he does furthers our outreach to customers and our relationships with industry associations.”
Carrying on a Tradition
Looking to the future, Campabadal is ready to take on the next set of challenges.
“My goal is to continue to improve IGP as a leading location for technical training of U.S. grain users including buyers, handlers, processors, feed manufacturers and flour millers,” Campabadal says.
“So how do we do this? We work toward increasing numbers, creating hands-on experiences, translating courses into other languages, increasing distance education courses and focusing on identifying the needs of the customer.”
After having already seen him in action for the past two years, Fowler is confident that this hire is the right fit.
“Carlos comes from a family tradition of feed manufacturing and teaching,” Fowler says.
“With his background and experience he will be able to make an impact at IGP with minimal additional training.
"He is prepared with extensive knowledge of the feed manufacturing industry and has excellent industry contacts to further enhance IGP’s relationships with our customers.”
IGP offers standard short courses in grain marketing and risk management, flour milling, and grain processing, and feed manufacturing and grain management.
For more information about IGP, visit www.grains.k-state.edu/igp.