U.S. Department of Agriculture collaborated with IGP to provide Cochran Fellowship Program for professionals from Egypt in grain marketing.
Grain marketing and risk management is one aspect in the grain industry that Kansas State University’s IGP Institute covers in several of its courses each year. The courses offered at IGP reflect in the institute’s mission to provide innovative and relevant education. This part of the mission was demonstrated during the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cochran Program for Egypt – Risk Management for Grains and Oilseeds course held at the IGP Institute Conference Center October 15–27.
The two-week program included numerous classroom presentations and discussions, as well as tours of the KSU Hal Ross Flour Mill; Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kansas; Manhattan Farmers Coop in Manhattan; USDA Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan; Ron Roth’s farm near Green, Kansas; the KSU Stored Product Protection Entomology Laboratory and Stored Product Entomology Lab; Central States Fumigation in Salina, Kansas; Scouler facility in Salina, Kansas; Kansas Grain Inspection Service in Kansas City, Kansas; and USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service Technical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I have really enjoyed having a comprehensive look where the grains are grown and the procedures in the production chain that are important while I can evaluate the risks of different imports coming into Egypt,” says Shaza Omar, second phytosanitary specialist at Central Administration for Plant Quarantine in Dokki, Giza, Egypt.
The program covered numerous discussion topics, led by KSU faculty and staff, including the U.S. grain production and marketing system; pest risk analysis; pest management and fumigation techniques in grain storage facilities; port fumigations and safety; pesticide detection, usage and maximum residue levels; grain markets and price management; common contaminants of grains and oilseeds; grain elevator and flat warehouse management and logistics; SPS principles and regulations; U.S. grain grading and regulatory system for exports; contracting and negotiating grains and oilseeds; grain receiving and quality control in flour mills; grain and oilseed quality and its relationship to feeding production animals; and mycotoxins.
“It was an interesting and important team that IGP was honored to host through the USDA Cochran Program from Egypt,” says Jay O’Neil, IGP Institute senior agricultural economist. He adds, “Throughout the classroom presentations and numerous trips provided in the program, IGP sought to highlight the USDA grading standards, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and controls, which ensure food safety for consumers both domestically and exports for the U.S.”
O’Neil highlighted that the course included three participants from Egypt, one representative from an international trading house and two participants from the Egyptian government’s phytosanitary lab. He explains that one of the critical focuses for this program was educating the participants on grain quality and grain and food safety. O’Neil says that Egypt is developing its new transparency policy regarding food safety issues on grain imports for the country, and that the team will be issuing a report that will be influential in Egypt’s new importation policies.