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April 05, 2017 | Elise Schafer

Learning Season Begins

Leave the workplace behind to learn what’s new in the industry.

It’s no secret we work in a cyclical industry. There’s planting in the spring, harvest preparation in the summer and the busy harvest season in the fall. Winter brings “downtime,” which for those involved in state and national industry associations, it also means travel season. Beginning around December, when the temperatures drop and snowflakes fall, droves of feed and grain industry professionals travel the country to soak up as much education, networking and host city hospitality as they can.

It can be quite a busy, jet-lag inducing time, but it’s also beneficial to get out of the office — or mill or elevator — every once in a while. Meetings such as the National Grain and Feed Association’s Country Elevator Conference, the American Feed Industry Association’s International Production and Processing Expo, and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society’s Exchange are all great opportunities to get exposed to new ideas, ways of doing things and seeing things that are just plain neat.

I recently attended the Country Elevator Conference in Chicago and a presenter shared pictures of one of the most impressive storage bunkers I’d ever seen — a 5-million-bushel wheat pile sitting on an abandoned Naval air base strip near Yoder, KS. Mid-Kansas Co-op built the six-football-field-long bunker to make room for customers to deliver fall crops to their elevators. Check out a video of this massive engineering feat.

As I prepare to head to Kansas City for GEAPS Exchange (see our preview on pg. 44), I can only imagine what innovation will be on display. From the equipment suppliers to the resourceful elevator operators that rely on ingenuity to keep their customers satisfied, I’m sure to learn a thing or two — as I do every year.

For live updates of what Feed & Grain’s editorial staff learns at the show, be sure to like us at and follow us on Twitter, @feedandgrainmag. Also be sure to stop and visit us at booth 2103. See you in Kansas City!

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