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International Grains Program hosts two grain courses

Understanding currentĀ grain marketsĀ and the U.S. grain handling system are crucial when working in grain trading or similar environments. TheĀ International Grains ProgramĀ at Kansas State University teamed up with theĀ USDA Cochran Fellowship ProgramĀ to host two courses, held August 26-September 6, 2013.

Understanding current grain markets and the U.S. grain handling system are crucial when working in grain trading or similar environments. The International Grains Program at Kansas State University teamed up with the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program to host two courses, held August 26-September 6, 2013. A total of 10 individuals, four individuals for the USDA Cochran Indonesia Grain Handling and Storage Course and six individuals for USDA Cochran Tunisia and Morocco Grain Management and Storage Course, traveled to IGP to attend these trainings.

The Cochran Program provides participants from middle-income countries or emerging markets with high-quality training to improve their local agricultural systems and enhance trade links with the U.S. Since starting in 1984, the program has provided training for more than 14,300 participants from 123 countries.

Participants began their courses at the International Grain Program Conference Center. Jay Oā€™Neil, senior economist for IGP, and Carlos Campabadal, IGP specialist in feed manufacturing and grain storage, served as the course managers for these trainings. During the two weeks, participants had the opportunity to tour the KSU O.H. Kruse feed mill, a Cargill grain terminal, a local coop, Kansas Grain Inspection Services, Bob Haselwood Farms, Ron Roth Farms, as well as the USDA Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, the Hartland Innovation Center and the Kansas Wheat Commission Innovation Center.

ā€œTrading mechanism and storage handling was my favorite part. Based on the information I received here, I will be able to make a recommendation to the board of directors about how and when anything related to soybean trading happens,ā€ says Cahvaningtiyas Rispinatri, grain manager for Perum Bulog in Indonesia.

Her company works as a state trading enterprise that belongs to the Indonesian government. Rispinatri attended this course because the company started trading soybeans, in addition to rice, and soybeans were new territory for everyone.

During the weekend that these groups were in the U.S., they each traveled to different places. The Indonesia group traveled to Topeka and Kansas City to see the sights and tour in the area. The Morocco-Tunisia group traveled to New Orleans where they toured grain facilities, FGIS offices and Bluewater Shipping as well as sightseeing.

One participant attended the course to gain expertise about grain trading, due to her lack of knowledge in this area and her company just starting in this industry.

ā€œIn Tunisia, there are few women in the industry. I came to this course to gain knowledge and confidence because I am also new,ā€ says Galia Benenita, manager for Les Grand Solios Du Nord in Tunisia.

The company that Benenita works for stores wheat, corn and now soybeans for the Tunisian government. She was able to take advantage of this course opportunity through U.S. Embassy and the USDA. She has learned not only how to understand contracting, but other important aspects of grain purchasing as well.

ā€œJay taught us that the contract is the most important thing every time. I will now pay more attention to all of the contracts that I make because the contract is so important.ā€

This is one example of the trainings offered by IGP. In addition, IGP faculty also lead courses in flour milling and grain processing, grain marketing and risk management, and feed manufacturing and grain management. 

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