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International Grains Program Hosts Annual Flour Milling Course For State Wheat Commissioners and Staff

Date Posted: January 16, 2014

Manhattan, KS—Fifteen wheat growers and industry personnel representing state wheat commissions from across the U.S. and the U.S. Wheat Associates office in Mexico traveled to Kansas State University’s International Grains Program to participate in a flour milling course.

This customized course took place Jan. 7-9, 2013, and was intended to provide participants with a better understanding of the milling and baking processes.

“This course was designed for wheat commissioners to experience the entire milling process from wheat selection and processing to flour quality and the finished product produced for the consumer,” says Mark Fowler, IGP associate director and flour milling specialist.

Participants gained a greater understanding of the relationship between wheat quality and flour performance through lectures, hands-on milling labs in Shellenberger Hall, the Hal Ross Flour Mill and a bakery lab.

As a producer himself, David Schemm, Sharon Springs, Kan., knows how to grow wheat.

Through this course he learned what happens after the wheat leaves his farm.

This training focused on the post-harvest process that transforms wheat to a consumer product as well as how different qualities can affect the final product outcome.

“I’ve learned that millers are really focused upon efficiency and not only being able to turn out a great product, but to do it in the most efficient and cost effective way they can,” Schemm says.

“And that is something that I can take back even to my operation.”

These sentiments were echoed by Kevin Whitehall, CEO of Central Washington Grain Growers and a commissioner for Washington Grain Commission, who found the Shellenberger lab helpful because he didn’t realize all of the little things that go on within all of the milling equipment.

“This class gives some knowledge that should almost be a pre-requisite for any director- or commissioner.

"It just helps us understand whoever we are going to visit and gives us more of an overview of what they are doing in their mills,” Whitehall says.

Schemm adds, “Based on comments I’ve heard from past courses, I was excited to attend this course. It really has lived up to and exceeded those expectations.”

This is just one example of the specialized trainings offered through IGP’s flour milling and grain processing curriculum.

In addition, IGP offers courses in the areas of feed manufacturing and grain management, and grain marketing and risk management.

For more information visit the IGP website at www.grains.k-state.edu/igp.

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