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Why I Believe In
GEAPS/K-State Distance Learning Provides 32 Courses Throughout The Year

Grain Elevator & Processing Society (GEAPS) • 763-999-4300 Kansas State University Dept of Grain Science & Industry • 785-532-4080

Students have opportunities to earn a wide range of credentials

More than 5,000 people have registered since 2005 for distance education courses offered by the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) and Kansas State University.

Today, GEAPS and K-State offer 32 distance education courses in rotation throughout the year.

Students have the opportunity to earn credentials including a Credential in Grain Operations Management (CGOM) or a Credential in Grain Processing Management (CGPM) through the successful completion of a prescribed set of courses. CGOM holders also can earn a Master Credential in Grain Operations Management (MCGOM) by completing the requirements for three specialist credentials – Grain Quality Management, Grain Handling Equipment Management, and Property and Casualty Risk Management.

Tuition for GEAPS/K-State distance education courses currently is $700 for GEAPS members and $965 for nonmembers.

Here are what previous students have had to say about the courses.

R. Scott Brittingham | Regional Manager | Delaware Grain Facilities | Mountaire Farms of Delaware | Harrington, DE

“I enrolled in my first GEAPS/K-State course, GEAPS 500: Introduction to Grain Operations, in early 2014, when I was the assistant manager at Mountaire’s Harrington, DE grain facility. Although I had years of experience working at a grain elevator, I thought the course might be beneficial as a resource for me to draw upon when training new workers.

“As I learned more about the credentialing program, I could see the value in pursuing the Credential in Grain Operations Management, both as a means of educating myself to things I may not have experienced personally, as well as demonstrating to my employer commitment to achievement and performance enhancement. I soon became the first person in my company, as well as in the GEAPS Mid-Atlantic chapter, to earn the CGOM.

“The courses are hosted online over a period of five weeks, so they can be taken at your own pace. They are taught by some of the most prominent professionals in the industry, so we benefit from their years of specialized knowledge and experience. The grain industry is constantly evolving and becoming more complicated, and these courses help the decision-makers in our industry become better educated and prepared to deal with that evolution.

“Having the Masters credential has been influential in various ways. Over the years I’ve developed a reputation among my colleagues of being a problem solver, and I get asked for guidance quite often when situations arise. The exposure and understanding of concepts I got from GEAPS/K-State courses has better equipped me to render assistance when needed.

“I’ve been receiving congratulatory messages and acknowledgments from many of the people I’ve met either through GEAPS or otherwise in the grain industry, so I would have to say the networking potential is outstanding. In addition, Mountaire recently promoted me to a new position, regional manager of Delaware grain facilities, and although my years of experience and success in the company were the primary determining factors in my obtaining that position, the MCGOM credential definitely was the icing on the cake.”

David McKerchar | Regional Construction Coordinator | Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. | Yorkton, SK

“I’ve been using the program for over five years. I completed all the courses to achieve the Master Credential in grain operations, a total of 18 courses. I use the information that I gathered in the courses regularly in my employment.

“One of the chief advantages of the GEAPS/K-State distance learning program is it allows people who are working in rural or remote locations to get industry-specific education related to grain operations and the grain industry. It’s the ability to further their knowledge and education while working, which is a benefit both to the employee and the employer. And it provides technical knowledge that isn’t easily available in a lot of areas. Even in the United States, not a lot of venues offer courses of that type and definitely not in a distance education format.

“I would definitely recommend it to people. It gives them the opportunity to learn new things, and regardless of how many years of experience you have in the industry, it never hurts to have a reminder of some things you may have not been aware of or might have forgotten over the years.

“Between doing the GEAPS program and going back for my degree, I think I did something like 54 courses in 2-1/2 years. I completed a four-year bachelor’s degree and the GEAPS credentialing program at the same time, and I was still working. If you want to get ahead in life and in business, you might have to take a step back. It never hurts to actually go back to school when you get older, because it helps teach you some new things.”

Barb Grove | Quality Systems Manager | Central Valley Ag Cooperative| Beloit, KS

“I took my first class using the GEAPS/K-State distance learning program about seven years ago, right about when it first started, and I take at least a couple of courses each year.

“I first began taking classes that I really felt I wanted to know more about for my job. When they began offering the credentialing, I started filling in with other courses within the credentialing program.

“The credentialing program wasn’t offered when I first started, so it was more about taking classes on grain preservation, grain quality, and things that would help me more in an area, because even though I grew up on a farm and have been around agriculture all my life, what I went to school for wasn’t related to grain. This program helped me to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge.

“There are people starting work in this industry that don’t necessarily have the technical background or education related to the things they’re doing. This program is great for them.

“For example, aeration management is one of those courses that has changed over the years – the concept of why we’re doing it or what we need to get out of it is not the same. I think that’s a really strong course for people to take, because we are seeing more workers who didn’t grow up on a farm or around grain handling equipment, but this is where the jobs are, and so some of these classes give them more background on why we do them.

“I would definitely recommend the GEAPS/K-State program, because it is a series of classes that are specifically for us in the grain industry. It is focused on the things we do every day. And if you look at developing your people, you don’t just want a warm body in a spot – you want people who really understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. You may have employees who are good, solid, hard workers, and maybe they don’t want to be a manager of people. This is a good place to develop them operationally.

“I think one of the biggest benefits is the way it’s offered online. You have your lectures and also coursework and extra reading. It gives people the opportunity who are out there working full time a very convenient platform to be able to study. You have flexibility in the program on what day, or time of the day, or whatever schedule works for you.

“You still have the ability to ask questions, if you’re confused about something or need more information. You have people you can call. You can email them first, and then you can start the conversation with questions you have about the class. I like the question board, where there are questions that they ask of everybody throughout the course. It gives you and your classmates an opportunity to give input that everyone can benefit from.”

Cory Woywada | Location Manager | Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. | Moosomin, SK

“The reason I believe in the GEAPS/K-State distance learning program is because it offers a pretty comprehensive list of courses and topics. I’ve taken about 22 courses so far. As far as topics that interest me, it’s generally three or four courses that they offer on maintenance, grain quality, and grain drying. There’s also a safety course and one on electrical.

“The benefit of the program is the flexibility of the online training. And if you’re taking the courses with other people, you get the benefit of learning from their experiences, as well. Of course, with GEAPS, the benefit overall is just keeping up to date with standards and the state of the operations in the industry. And the networking is a huge part.

“I absolutely recommend the distance learning program to anyone in the industry. I think it’s a very good program, and they’re improving it continuously by updating some of the older courses to new, modern content.”

Reprinted from Grain Journal March/April 2018 Issue

About Grain Elevator & Processing Society (GEAPS)

Golden Valley, MN

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About Kansas State University Dept of Grain Science & Industry

Manhanttan, KS

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