Shawn Thiele with the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program

(Shawn Thiele) Hi, my name is Shawn Thiele. I’m excited to be here today at the IGP Institute here at Kansas State University. The IGP Institute is working closely with the USDA. This is a USDA Cochran Fellowship Program. This program works with countries with emerging markets to help train them on the importance of agriculture. We host two to three week long training courses, hands-on training programs that really showcase and highlight agricultural related fields, how they benefit and are important for the other countries. This particular course was a group of flour millers from Ethiopia. For the next two weeks, we’re going to be focusing on the value of US wheat. US wheat is a very consistent high-quality grain in the US that we’re used to. Other countries are familiar with this too and love to use wheat from US, but with exports, the price is typically a littler bit higher. We like to bring in the individuals and discuss how they get the value for the higher priced US wheat through training them on the consistent quality of US wheat and how they can benefit from that with their finished products in their mills; as well, on US milling practices and how to increase milling efficiencies and showcase a standard of excellence for US mills. The IGP Institute works closely with the USDA, is able to conduct these types of specialized trainings because of the amazing resources we have right here in Manhattan, Kansas. The goal of the IGP Institute is to promote and market US grains, Kansas grains, for export internationally. Because of the unique facilities here in Manhattan we’re able to do that very well. Not only do we have Kansas State University and all of its research going on in agriculture, we’ve got the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center right next door, where their focus is on developing new varieties of wheat. We’ve also have the USDA right here in Manhattan, the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan which provides a lot of great places to visit, to show the visitors different things that are taking place in the United States. Manhattan is also centrally located in the heart of a wheat growing country. A lot of courses were able to visit farms to showcase farming practices in the US, as well as milling locations or grain elevators around the state or different grain inspection services like the Federal Grain Inspection Service in Kansas City or the Kansas Grain Inspection Service in Topeka, Kansas. Location and the expertise, we have here at Kansas State University to educate visitors on flour milling and grain quality, grain markets and trade, feed manufacturing and grain elevator management are all conveniently located at Manhattan to provide us the opportunity to work with programs like the USDA Cochran training.

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