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distance education

GEAPS 500: Introduction to Grain Operations

Next course offering: July 17-Aug. 18, 2017
Registration opens: June 6

Registration is now closed.

Course Description: The course provides basic but comprehensive information about operations and handling procedures at grain facilities, and serves as an introduction to new hires, students and others in need of beginner-level training. Stressing safety, it focuses on how grain moves through a facility, and covers main elevator types; components and equipment; grain receiving procedures; sampling, testing and grading; binning; housekeeping and maintenance; fumigation; outbound procedures; and other fundamental grain facility functions.

Course Goals: GEAPS 500 is intended to serve as an introduction to the key purposes, equipment and processes of grain handling facilities. The course aims to provide basic and practical information about the most common grain facility operations, serving as a primer for those who could benefit from an introductory look at the grain handling and operations profession. The course also is intended to cover the most common hazards at grain facilities, and to emphasize safety at all facility levels and operations.

Target Audience: The course is for new hires or recently employed operations staff, non-operations staffers who need to learn more about storage and handling procedures, front-line supervisors with responsibilities for training, students, interns, and other people considering jobs or careers in grain operations.


Jim Voigt, President, JFV Solutions | Show Bio

Tom Dahl, Vice President, Sioux City Inspection & Weighing | Show Bio

Darren Zink, Strategic Accounts Manager, Brock Grain Systems | Show Bio

Jerry Heath, Product Manager, The Industrial Fumigant Co LLC | Show Bio

Jeff Caskey, Facility Manager, The Scoular Co | Show Bio

Jude DeJean, Retired, Consolidated Grain & Barge | Show Bio

Brandi Miller, Distance Education Program Coordinator, Kansas State University | Show Bio

Tim Ciucci, VP Sales & Marketing, CompuWeigh | Show Bio

The Course of Study

Lecture 1 – Introduction
Lecture 1 discusses the main purposes and goals of grain facilities; the importance of customer service, return on investment, and safety; who the end-users are (feed, milling and processing facilities); essential grain handling procedures; types of grain handling facilities (origination, barge, train and port); the main component parts of grain elevators; and basic elevator procedures and policies.
Lecturer: Jim Voigt

Lecture 2 – Inbound Grain Receiving Operations
This lecture covers basic grain receiving procedures, mainly receiving by truck. It discusses customer variation and communicating with drivers, determining ownership of the shipment, gross and tare weights, the need for sampling and grading, scale types and scale tickets, and inbound accounting. It also discusses typical types of grain receiving layouts and their advantages, and automation of grain receiving operations.
Lecturer: Tim Ciucci

Lecture 3 – Grain Sampling and Testing Operations and Procedures
This lecture focuses on the basics of testing and sampling, and emphasizes the importance of getting representative samples and the procedures required to obtain them. It also discusses various probe types and how and where to use them, mechanical sampling, what a grain grade is, equipment used in grading, grading procedures and factors, assignment of grades, and grading charts. Moisture meters, dividers and protein testers will also be covered.
Lecturer: Tom Dahl

Lecture 4 – Binning Procedures
Lecture 4 defines binning procedures and discusses their importance. It also explains the justification for segregating different types of grain for identity, purity, quality, value and customer demand. The lecture covers binning plans, who is involved in making the plans, and operational factors of planning; grading, weighing, testing, conveyance, distribution and other equipment needed; the process steps of binning; and dust control, explosions and safety.  Lecturer: Jim Voigt

Lecture 5 – Fundamentals of Grain Storage
This lecture describes the various types of grain storage structures, including steel flat-bottom, hopper-bottom, and smooth-wall storage; concrete jump-form or slip-form structures; and flat storage buildings and ground piles. The lecture discusses the purposes and advantages and disadvantages of each main type, and, for perspective, briefly covers the history of grain storage structures.
Lecturer: Darren Zink

Lecture 6 – Fumigation Purposes and Procedures
In this lecture, students will learn about the basic purposes and procedures of fumigation, licensing requirements, certified applicators, fumigation management plans and recordkeeping, placarding and site maps, monitoring applications and processes, pellet application equipment, aeration and re-entry, respiratory safety, personal protective equipment and hygiene, and product storage.
Lecturer: Jerry Heath

Lecture 7 – Grain Shipping
Lecture 7 covers how shipping works in grain operations, including planning, blending, sampling, inspection, weighing and lead-out. It also describes modal shipping types; including truck, rail, container, vessel and barge; and discusses equipment used for shipping and equipment design; planning for shipping; contractual and regulatory requirements; blending and weighing systems; procedures and documents; housekeeping; cost management; and safety.
Lecturer: Jim Voigt

Lecture 8 – Housekeeping and Grain Explosion Prevention
This lecture discusses priority and non-priority areas of housekeeping; inspection frequency and reporting; cleaning frequency; authorized housekeeping methods; rodent, bird and insect control; mineral oil applications; dust system equipment, including bag house monitoring and reporting, cyclones and dust holding tanks. The lecture will also emphasize the need for good housekeeping in the prevention of grain dust explosions.
Lecturers:  Jeff Caskey; Brandi Miller

Lecture 9 – Maintenance and Recordkeeping Programs
Lecture 9 discusses the need for formal preventive maintenance and maintenance recordkeeping programs at grain facilities, and how they protect equipment, minimize downtime and save money. The lecture also covers what types of equipment and maintenance should be included in a preventive maintenance program, who within the company or grain facility is responsible for maintenance and maintenance recordkeeping, and maintenance safety.
Lecturer: Jude DeJean

Lecture 10 – Facility Safety
This lecture discusses the paramount importance of safety at grain facilities, and stresses basic safety principles, including the necessity of learning how to behave safely, employer responsibilities and the need for an effective safety program. The lecture also addresses the main safety issues in grain elevators, and takes a close look at emergency action plans, fire and explosion procedures, bin entry, fall protection, machine guarding, housekeeping and personal protective equipment.
Lecturer: Jim Voigt