Course for Grain Elevator Managers Offered at Iowa State

Iowa Grain Quality Initiative and Agribusiness Association of Iowa partner to offer educational opportunity

August 7, 2017, 7:53 am | Dirk Maier

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Grain Quality Initiative (IGQI) is partnering with the Agribusiness Association of Iowa (AAI) to offer a week-long course in advanced grain elevator operations management. The course will be offered on the Iowa State University campus in Ames Jan. 8-12, 2018.

Grain Elevator“We are excited to partner with Iowa State to offer this course for grain elevator managers in the state of Iowa and surrounding area,” said Joel Brinkmeyer, chief executive of AAI. “The close relationship between IGQI and the AAI Grain Committee keeps our members up to date with information on the latest technology, seasonal challenges, and regulatory changes. This course will be a new opportunity to provide professional development for front line operations managers and location superintendents.”

The 1,100 members of AAI represent a wide range of ag-related businesses, including more than 95 percent of all grain facilities in the state of Iowa.

“AAI is on our IGQI advisory council and we have been discussing different approaches to partner with them in delivering educational offerings to their members and the Iowa grain industry,” said Charles Hurburgh, grain quality and handling specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The technologies and risk management required of grain elevators are quickly turning grain handling into an industrial supply chain. This course will help current operators be on the leading edge of this transformation.”

Dirk Maier, professor of grain and feed operations and processing at Iowa State and a member of the IGQI management team, will lead the course.

“Managing grain for maximum quality and quantity during handling, drying and storage is key to profitability of a grain elevator,” Maier said. “Operations personnel carry a critical responsibility for minimizing shrink loss and maximizing quality. This course will teach the scientific principles and advanced practical skills to further increase the professional competence of grain industry employees.”

The course will be team-taught by Bob Marlow, owner of Operations Professional Services and a well-known speaker and trainer with over 40 years of grain industry experience. Each attendee will receive the book “Managing Stored Grain to Preserve Quality and Value” by Carl Reed, a grain storage specialist formerly with Kansas State University. Subjects will include personnel management, operations costs, grain quality characteristics and measurement, air properties for drying and cooling, handling and conveying to minimize grain breakage, principles of grain drying and conditioning, grain monitoring and aeration control, and managing shrink loss to maximize profit. The emphasis of all topics will be on operating economics.

The course will be registered for participants to earn three continuing education units through Iowa State University that will be transferable towards maintaining existing grain industry credentials. Registered professional engineers will be able to submit course participation to count towards professional development hours.

More information on the course and how to register will soon become available via IGQI and AAI news releases and websites. For more information or inquiries, contact Dirk Maier at (515) 294-0140 or

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