Registration Now Open For GEAPS/K-State Hands-On Training Program and Grain Elevator Managers Course

Minneapolis MN - Sept. 14 – GEAPS and Kansas State University announced today that registration is open for two in-person training programs at the IGP Institute.

The Hands-On Training Program is an in-depth maintenance course that gives participants opportunities to disassemble and repair grain conveying equipment.

The Grain Elevator Managers Course gives a broad overview of the responsibilities of managing a facility.

Both courses will take place on-site at Kansas State University if the situation with COVID-19 allows.

Courses will follow COVID-19 safety procedures as outlined by K-State policy.

Hands-On Training Program

The two-and-a-half day maintenance program has participants working in small groups to repair common grain conveying equipment.

The program takes place Dec. 1-3, 2020, in the Hal Ross Flour Mill at Kansas State University.

After a safety orientation, participants break into six groups, working on modules involving the following equipment:

  • Bucket elevator
  • Distributors
  • Screw conveyors
  • Bin sweep
  • Chain conveyors
  • Belt conveyors

Participants will be required to complete three hour-long online sessions on safety, lubrication and preventative maintenance before starting the training on site.

Past participant Rhonda Knutson, CGOM, United Grain Corp, used the program to move from an office role to an operations position.

“I really enjoyed taking equipment apart and putting it back together,” Knutson said.

“Removing the tiling from the distributor and then putting it back together all by myself was a great experience.

"I am always around equipment like this, and I know the names of the major parts, but this training allowed me to see the inner workings to get a better understanding of what is happening at our facility when the employees go out to work on this or that.”

Michael Leyva, Keen Project Solutions, took part in the program to see if it could supplement his company’s in-house training.

As quality control and millwright apprenticeship trainer, his duties include training millwrights.

He said the program is unlike anything else available to the industry today.

“We were trying to figure out how to do the training in-house without purchasing large pieces of equipment or having large areas to provide that training,” Leyva said.

“This training is a great opportunity for newer mechanics in the industry, and also for engineers.

"It’s an opportunity to understand more than how to install equipment at your facility, but also how to design accessible areas for equipment.”

The HOT Program costs $1,375 for GEAPS members and $1,725 for non-members. Register online at

If a minimum number of attendees is not reached by Monday, Oct. 19, the program will be cancelled and attendees will be refunded registration fees.

If the program is cancelled due to COVID-19, attendees will receive a full refund.

Grain Elevator Managers Course

This four-day course helps facility managers build a broad skillset. It covers 18 topics ranging from safety to quality management and personnel management.

Training focuses on the science behind practices used in grain management. New managers will learn the information they need to correctly interpret the experiences they will

have when managing grain quality, and the insight they will require when evaluating the practices used by their predecessors.

Topics include:

  • Personnel management
  • Grain elevator safety
  • Grain quality characteristics
  • Inventory management
  • Aeration principles
  • Hardware

The last time the GEM course was offered in January, it drew 43 attendees from 15 companies across 11 states and provinces. For Jimmy Spitzer, location manager at Tempel Grain Elevator, it was his second time taking the course.

He said the information on aeration, maintenance and people management were things he would bring back to his facility.

Shayne Abele, elevator superintendent from Farmers Grain Company, attended from Pond Creek, Oklahoma.

“Our company is expanding and they recommend this course for management jobs and future advancement,” Abele said.

“The aeration part was phenomenal. I’m running a newly acquired elevator and we’ve got a lot of aeration issues.”

The GEM course runs from January 19–22, 2021. Registration for this course costs $670 for GEAPS members and $1,000 for non-members.

Register on the Kansas State University website.

If the course is not able to take place in person due to COVID-19 it will move to a virtual format over the same dates.