K-State Research and Extension News
January 21, 2014
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Sharing Wheat Knowledge

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International Grains Program holds the annual flour milling course for state wheat commissioners and staff.

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Fifteen wheat growers and industry personnel representing state wheat commissions from across the United States and the U.S. Wheat Associates office in Mexico traveled to Kansas State University’s International Grains Program to participate in a flour milling course Jan. 7-9. 

“This course was designed for wheat commissioners to experience the entire milling process from wheat selection and processing to flour quality and the finished product produced for the consumer,” said Mark Fowler, IGP associate director and flour milling specialist.

Participants gained a greater understanding of the relationship between wheat quality and flour performance through lectures, hands-on milling labs in Shellenberger Hall, the Hal Ross Flour Mill and a bakery lab.

As a producer himself, David Schemm, Sharon Springs, Kan., knows how to grow wheat. Through this course, he said, he learned what happens after the wheat leaves his farm. In addition to covering the post-harvest process that transforms wheat to a consumer product, the training showed how different qualities can affect the final product outcome.

“I’ve learned that millers are really focused upon efficiency and not only being able to turn out a great product, but to do it in the most efficient and cost effective way they can,” Schemm said. “And that is something that I can take back even to my operation.”

These sentiments were echoed by Kevin Whitehall, CEO of Central Washington Grain Growers and a commissioner for Washington Grain Commission. He said he found the Shellenberger lab helpful because he didn’t realize all of the little things that go on with milling equipment.

“This class gives some knowledge that should almost be a pre-requisite for any director or commissioner,” Whitehall said. “It just helps us understand whoever we are going to visit and gives us more of an overview of what they are doing in their mills.” 

The course is one of several specialized trainings offered through IGP’s flour milling and grain processing curriculum. IGP also offers courses in feed manufacturing and grain management, and grain marketing and risk management. For more information visit the IGP website. 


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Briana Jacobus
K-State Research & Extension News

Lisa Moser, IGP Marketing and Communications Coordinator - 785-477-4837 or lmoser@ksu.edu