The Knowledge Resource for the World of Grain Handling and Processing Industry Operations

GEAPS 500: Introduction to Grain Operations

2020 course offerings:

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

Mr. Voigt is president of JFV Solutions. He formerly worked at ADM, where he was vice president of operations and engineering for the domestic and international grain divisions. His responsibilities included operational and engineering activities for all origination, terminal, and port grain handling facilities located in North, South, and Central America. Jim also co-founded the Operational Continuous Improvement Team within ADM. He is a past International president of GEAPS.

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

Mr. Dahl has been a grain inspector for 37 years, and is part owner of Sioux City Inspection & Weighing, an officially designated grain inspection company in Sioux City, Iowa. Tom is vice president of the American Association of Grain Inspection and Weighing Agencies, and was formerly past president. He has also served on the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) Grain Inspection Advisory Committee.

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

Mr. Zink is the strategic accounts manager for Brock Grain Systems, a CTB, Inc. business unit. His responsibilities are to market Brock’s full line of grain handling, storage, conditioning and drying products to strategic partners both domestically and internationally. Darren began his career at CTB as the Asian project manager for the company’s international business unit. Prior to CTB, Darren was the Asian division sales manager for Micromatic – a Textron Company. He also has experience as sales and project manager for Safe-Grain, Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Purdue University, and an honorary engineering certificate from Agricultural State University in Kiev, Ukraine.

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

Mr. Heath received a Bachelor of Science in entomology from Washington State University. As a product manager and entomologist at The Industrial Fumigant Company, he is involved with product marketing and technical services for the food processing and commodity industries. He has also worked on insect growth regulators and pheromone mating disruption products for stored grain.

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

Mr. Caskey has worked for The Scoular Company for 10 years and has worked in the industry for 31 years. His experience with trucking and rail operations includes shuttle train shipping and receiving, barge loading and unloading operations, container loading, export ship loading, logistics and multi-facility operations management.

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

Mr. DeJean worked for Continental Grain Co, Consolidated Grain and Barge Co and Cargill before retiring in 2010. He has held numerous positions in the grain industry, including regional operations manager, corporate operations training manager and assistant VP of operations and engineering. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural mechanization from Louisiana State University in 1970 and a Master of Science in agricultural mechanization from the University of Missouri in 1971.

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

Brandi Miller serves as the distance education program coordinator for the Department of Grain Science and Industry and International Grains Program at K-State. In this role, she focuses on for-credit course development as well as professional development classes. Currently, Brandi is working on her master’s degree in Adult and Continuing Education at K-State. Prior to joining the department, Brandi worked for Quaker Oats.

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

Mr. Ciucci has worked in the industrial weighing industry for over 17 years, starting as an area sales manager with Fairbanks Scales based in St. Paul, Minn. He is currently vice president of sales and marketing for CompuWeigh Corporation based out of Marquette, Mich. There, he provides consulting services to companies in the grain industry to help them bring value to their customers. He also provides consulting to facilities on high speed receiving, load-out and automation in order to increase their productivity and save time and money. Tim has a Bachelor of Science from Northern Michigan University, where he majored in speech communication with a minor in marketing.

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