AMES, Iowa – With the goal of providing information and training on grain handling and storage safety, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has produced a series of online learning modules. Developed through the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, the no-cost learning modules can be used to train employees on current best practices.
A wide variety of issues are examined in the series, including: drying, aeration, grain storage, mycotoxins, processing, rendering, quality assurance and safety, sanitation and pest management and preventive maintenance. Modules also include information on the beef, dairy cattle, poultry, and swine industries. Go to the Extension Store to view the complete selection.
“These modules provide a new format for the public to access information and distance education that we haven’t previously seen at Iowa State,” said Howard Shepherd, extension program specialist with the Center for Crops Utilization Research.
The modules contain videos that cover each topic, along with audio and text information. When accessed through the Certified Crop Advisor program at Iowa State, the modules can also be used to gain continuing education credits.
“We wanted to provide information that previously had only been available in a brochure or other written form and make it accessible to all,” Shepherd said. “Visually, the modules allow producers to look at specific things they could do to have better quality management strategies.”
With the modules covering such a wide variety of topics, they can also be useful in onboarding new employees, Shepherd said.
“Our partner in this process — the FDA — wanted tools specifically geared to train new employees,” Shepherd said. “Ag businesses also have new employees who could use these modules as a learning tool when they begin their jobs. Or they can be used to enhance the education level of their producers so they would have a better understanding of food safety and management practices.”
The series is authored by Iowa State researchers Greg Brenneman, agricultural engineering specialist; Steve Johnson, farm management specialist; Erin Bowers, postdoctorate research associate in agriculture and biosystems engineering; Charles Hurburgh, professor and extension ag health and safety specialist in agriculture and biosystems engineering; Alison Robertson, associate professor and extension specialist in plant pathology and microbiology; Connie Hardy, specialist in value added agriculture; Heather Snyder, lecturer and extension specialist; Gretchen Mosher, assistant professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering; Megan Smith, veterinary specialist with the Centers for Food Security and Public Health; and Shepherd.
Cassie Jones, assistant professor of feed technology at Kansas State University; Charles Stark, associate professor of feed technology at Kansas State University; Bhadriraju Subramanyam, distinguished professor in grain science at Kansas State University; Carlos Campabadal, specialist of integrated pest management at Kansas State University; and Adam Fahrenholz, assistant professor of feed milling and poultry science at North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension also wrote sections of the series.