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GEAPS Exchange: Back in Omaha and Better Than Ever

A guide to help plan the perfect Exchange

The annual Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) rides into Omaha, NE, this February for its 2014 GEAPS Exchange. From Feb. 22-24, the CenturyLink Center Omaha will be host to more than 380 exhibitors and thousands of grain facility owners and their top staff. The leaders of the current and future grain handling industry will be rubbing elbows, learning what to expect in the coming year and checking out the newest products and technology the industry has to offer. This year’s GEAPS Exchange looks to be better than ever and promises to be a must for those in the grain handling industry. It can be overwhelming with so much to see and do, but this guild will help you hit all the action at GEAPS Exchange 2014.

1. The Expo

Over 380 vendors will be filling the Expo 2014 floor in the colossal 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall at the CenturyLink Center Omaha from Feb. 23-24. This massive trade show is the largest in the grain oper­ations industry and will be full of companies that offer everything a facility could want, need or dream of in one location. Booth staff will be ready to answer questions and chat with attendees as they browse the floor or grab a bite at the com­plimentary lunches. Walking the floor offers the chance to research and plan purchases for the coming year, and see what state-of-the-art equipment and services the industry now has to offer.

2. Networking

After a day of walking the show floor, nothing beats sitting down, having good dinner and conversa­tion. One of the best ways to find the pulse of the industry is by cre­ating a network of others in simi­lar situations and sharing insight as well as solutions. The GEAPS Expo offers attendees chances to meet and connect with peers, not only on the Expo floor and learn­ing sessions, but also with a variety of activities aimed at networking. These events offer participants the opportunity to discuss the futures market or the best way to get rid of lesser grain borers with their peers, along with the chance to form friendships that will last for years to come.

Get-acquainted Party

Saturday, Feb. 22, 7 – 11 p.m.

If you arrive at the Exchange early, come enojoy the true spirit and culture of Omaha at the Get-acquainted Party. Various food stations will explore food repre­senting Omaha’s diversity, from traditional American to Mexican, South Pacific, Italian and more. Magicians and a percussion spe­cialist will entertain you while you network.

Welcome Reception

Sunday, Feb. 23, 4:30 – 6 p.m.

This Expo Hall event is open to everyone — all registered dele­gates, exhibitors and guests. Enjoy a beverage and an appetizer while strolling through the trade show. The Welcome Reception will be a casual opportunity to network, do business or simply relax with other attendees while bringing the first day of the Expo to a close.

President’s Banquet

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 6 – 11 p.m.

Exchange 2014 will conclude with an evening of socializing and din­ing. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by a gourmet dinner. Following din­ner, there will be entertainment courtesy of stand-up comedian Bob Zany and Las Vegas illusionist Keith West.

3. Opening Workshop

This year’s opening workshop cov­ers the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), one of the most important pieces of legislation to affect grain elevators in years. This is a must-attend event for anyone with questions about what the FSMA means for their operation.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)Sunday, Feb. 23, 7 – 10 a.m.

John Mueller, Food Protection Services, Carmel, IN

David Fairfield, NGFA, Atlantic, IA

Dr. Angela Shaw, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

The session will begin with a brief history of the FSMA, its objectives and resources available to assist the grain and feed indus­try with this food safety law. Next, Dr. Angela Shaw of Iowa State University will provide an update on current mandates being enforced and any others in the pipeline for enforcement. The workshop will conclude with John Mueller of Food Protection Services, who will provide practical implementation and operational strategies to con­form to the current mandates as well as insight on current federal auditor reports from the industry. A Q&A panel will be held at the completion of the presentations.

4. Educational Sessions

Between the weather, other nations and government regula­tions and policies, it’s impossible in agriculture to know exactly where any year will take us. But it is possible to look at where we are now and make the best effort we can to weather the year ahead. That’s where the GEAPS edu­cation sessions come in. These hour-long sessions are packed full of information that will be useful the moment it’s brought back to the facility.

This year’s Exchange highlights seven educational categories, fea­turing 20 individual sessions. These sessions are covering every­thing from “Ag Sustainability” to “Workplace Electrical Safety.” From here to pg. 90, you will find the name and description of every session featured under each of the educational categories.


Ag Sustainability

Brittni Furrow, director of product and supply chain sustainability, Walmart, Bentonville, AR

Retailers are developing strong commitments to sustainable agri­culture. Through a demand from end consumers, there is a need to reduce and optimize the resources required to produce food and drive more transparency in agricultural supply chains. For the first time, retail grocers will ask suppliers about the water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide they use per unit of food produced. This session will discuss the questions being asked of food suppliers and which will also filter down to the need for information from raw ingredient originators, handlers and proces­sors of the grain industry. Furrow will review the key performance indicators that some large retailers are focusing on with key food and ingredient suppliers.


Best Practices in Facility Design

Marcus Neal, director of facility operations, Lansing Trade Group, Overland Park, KS

How can I have a successful con­struction project?

This session will talk about construction projects from initial concept to implementation in the field. It will address the informa­tion that will be needed by the designer or the contractor, how to properly size the equipment required and how to specify what the owner wants.

Handling the Paperwork: Permitting for Grain Handling Facility Projects

Kevin Fry, consultant, River Consulting, Metairie, LA

When it comes to building a new grain facility or upgrading an existing one, most people visual­ize new steel or concrete structures and the equipment that goes into them. However, a key component is made of paper — the many permits required before a project can get underway or a facility can go into operation. The speaker will describe the various permits required on the local, county, state and federal level and describe the permitting process in detail that will prevent your project from stall¬ing under a mountain of red tape.

“You Just Committed to the $10 Million Construction Contract. Now What?”

Mark Aljets, partner, Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Des Moines, IA

This presentation will address those issues routinely confronted by contractors and owners relat¬ing to the construction of a grain facility. Topics to be discussed will include the pitfalls of poorly described scope of work negotia¬tions, an analysis of contractual terms which provide proper pro¬tection to the parties including insurance provisions, indemnifica¬tion clauses and warranties of the work performed and equipment utilized. Finally, this presentation will outline the role/obligations of the contractor and the owner to complete a “safe project,” including permitting issues, safety programs as well as OSHA considerations.


Dryer Maintenance

Jeff Fjelstul, VP parts and services, Koehl Bros, Maroa, IL

This session will be useful for anyone who operates or maintains a tower grain dryer. The main goal is to assist you in becom­ing more familiar with the typi­cal issues seen on tower dryers that many times can be resolved with on-site staff. Fjelstul will cover the components of your tower dryer that include: gas pipe train, unload system, motors and bearings. He will also be covering preseason, in-season and end-of-season tower dryer maintenance.

Dust Systems

Ben Kice, technical sales and sys­tem design, Kice Ind. Inc., Wichita, KS

This presentation explains the problems associated with migrant dust and how to properly handle it. We will take time to explain different details that are very important to properly sizing your dust control equipment. It will also be helpful if you have a cur­rent system that is not performing correctly as we address common problems seen in the field.


HACCP – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point

Perry Nettles, corporate director and delta region manager, Food Protection Services, Bay, AR

The safety and quality of grain is an important and high-profile subject. As grain is an integral part of the food and feed supply chain, grain storage and opera­tions must ensure their custom­ers that the grain is produced according to good practice and relevant standards, of required quality and suitable for the intended use, and above all, safe for the consumer.

Fumigation of Stored Grain and Milled Products: Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Thomas Phillips, profes­sor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

This session will review the importance of protecting the investment from the pests that may destroy their commodity. Through everyone knowing or having a better understanding of pest management, focused on phosphine resistance, will not only strengthen the partnership between the operations and the pest management professional, but will create an awareness that is needed in the industry. During this session, there will be a brief review of integrated pest manage­ment and coverage of the basics of fumigation. A stronger focus will be on phosphine resistance as it is a hot topic in the industry, and methods to manage resistant and alternative controls will be reviewed. Dr. Tom Philips has performed extensive research and continues to do so on this topic at Kansas State University.

NC213 Sessions – Current Research in Grain Handling and Storage: Solving the New Challenges Facing the Grain Industry

NC213 is a USDA-recognized mul­tistate research consortium of scien­tists, the ag industry, the grain trade, farmers and governmental agencies, identifying and resolving issues relat­ed to the quality and marketing of grains and oilseeds since 1978.

Session 1

Mark Casada, research agricultural engineer, USDA-ARS, Manhattan, KS

Gretchen Mosher, assistant pro­fessor agricultural and biosystems engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Dr. Erin Bowers, post doctoral research associate, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Session 1 will cover the Pack Factor Study, mycotoxin man­agement, and training food and feed safety inspectors for the Food Safety Modernization Act. Emphasis will be given to describ­ing the practical application, rea­sons for doing the work, and ben­efits to the industry. The objec­tive is to demonstrate that real operational problems are being addressed by researchers, and that input from operations personnel is necessary to maintain the practical application of NC213.

Session 2

Cassandra Jones, assistant pro­fessor of feed technology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Session 2 will cover tips on incorporating food safety plans with operations and other com­pliances. Following the presenta­tion, there will be a discussion forum with attendees focused on identifying pressing problems the attendees are experiencing and how best to use the public research system for solutions.


Automation Lifecycle Planning

Reid Vander Veen, business development manager, Interstates Companies, Sioux Falls, SD

Automation is becoming more and more a key factor in the opera­tional infrastructure of today’s grain facilities. Whether you already have an automated control system or are exploring options and the possibilities of adding automation to your facility, understanding these systems, their lifecycles and maintenance is very important. Technology evolves, and obsoles­cence is inevitable as time marches on. Identify practices and process­es to stay on top of where your automation infrastructure sits in its lifecycle and key methods of planning a sound path forward to ensure minimal control system related unplanned downtime and expensive emergency upgrades.


“Building a Bench” – Succession Management

Mike Koenecke, HR recruitment/ talent management, Ag Partners LLC, Albert City, IA

Succession Management will explore your most important asset, your employees, and what it takes to consistently maintain a dynamic bench. We will define, build and create a talent pipeline, resulting in diminishing turnover, prepar­ing for natural attrition, and fore­casting for developmental/career pathways. Concluding this session, you should successfully be able to assess current talent and forecast future talent needs for your loca­tion or division benchmarks.

The Training Trap/Effectively Incorporating Response Technology into Employee Safety Training Programs

Melinda Micheletto, Ph.D., perfor­mance and development specialist, MJM Solutions Group, Hadley, MA

Are you unhappy with the results of your training curriculum? Perhaps it needs a turbo charge! This session will explore learning strategies that can enhance learn­ing, engage learners and increase information retention. As reten­tion of information is increased, the amount of time and money spent in training may be reduced, thus increasing an organization’s ROI. When combined with an assess­ment tool, any training environ­ment can be transformed by pro­viding immediate feedback to the trainer and the learner. Each learning strategy will be illustrated with interactive questions posed to the session attendees which will enhance knowledge of the instruc­tional strategies and how to enrich any learning environment.


Concrete Bin Structural Integrity

Craig Thompson, structural engi­neer, WL Port-Land Systems, Pittsburgh, PA

Concerned about the state of your concrete bin? Spending too much to keep it in service? Considering adding a concrete bin to your facility? These structures are major investments and should be treated accordingly. This session will cover ways to prevent, ensure and maintain the structural integ­rity of your concrete bin.

Crisis Communication – Lessons Learned

Lani Jordan, director of corporate communication, CHS Inc., Inver Grove Heights, MN

This session will offer observa­tions on the best and worst crisis communication practices and how CHS manages crisis response for its global ag and energy operations.

Grain Engulfment

Bill Harp, CEO, SATRA, Livonia, MI

Wayne Bauer, safety and security director, Star of the West Milling, Frankenmuth, MI

Review the responsible actions needed and required by business­es in the grain handling industry to address the history and legacy that has developed regarding the hazard of grain entrapment. The speakers will outline the strategy and actions needed to significantly reduce the potential of having an employee or patron become a fatal­ity statistic as a result of exposure to grain engulfment hazards. They will delve into detailed measures that should be taken to properly design processes, equipment and prepare and train employees on how to properly address grain operational issues without having to put themselves at risk. Harp and Bauer will discuss proactive mea­sures as well as specialized skills and equipment needed should a grain emergency arise that would require an entrapment rescue.

How Prepared are You?

John Ricker, risk management area manager, Kansas Farmers Service Association, Hutchinson, KS

Every grain company should review the rescue plan they have in place. The rescue plan should not only address a case of grain entrap­ment but also the retrieval of an injured or ill employee from the top of the elevator, the basement or a confined space. This presentation will take a close look at specific situations and the discussion which needs to be held with the local first response agency to determine if their personnel have the capability and equipment necessary to meet the challenge.

Fumigation of Stored Grain and Milled Products: Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Thomas Phillips, profes­sor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

This session will review the importance of protecting the investment from the pests that may destroy their commodity. Through everyone knowing or having a better understanding of pest management, focused on phosphine resistance, will not only strengthen the part­nership between the operations and the pest management professional, but will create an awareness that is needed in the industry. During this session, there will be a brief review of integrated pest management and coverage of the basics of fumigation. A stronger focus will be on phos­phine resistance as it is a hot topic in the industry, and methods to man­age resistant and alternative controls will be reviewed. Dr. Tom Philips has performed extensive research and continues to do so on this topic at Kansas State University.

Improved Hazard Monitoring Practices

Mark Spindler, chief technology officer, The Lakeland Companies, Plymouth, MN

Hazard monitoring systems have been in existence for many years. However, many existing hazard monitoring systems are antiquat­ed, improperly installed or simply have room for improvement. This session will explore some of the latest standards and best practices in designing, installing, commis­sioning, operating and maintain­ing hazard monitoring systems that achieve significantly improved safe­ty performance over other systems.

Don’t Let Your Guard Down: An Introduction to Machine Guarding

Kip Reiher, safety consultant, Safety Services of Northwest Ohio, LLC, Perrysburg, OH

A machine guard is a shield or device covering hazardous areas of a machine to prevent contact with body parts or to control hazards like material and noise from exit­ing the machine. But, when the guard is an impediment to the performance of the machine, as in a sweep auger, some will consider taking the risk of operation and hope not to get caught by OSHA or injure a worker.

This session will summarize the standards for machine guarding, the methods of guarding, and give examples of good and bad machine guarding in the grain industry. Sweep augers are allowed to be used with operators in the bin, but only by adhering to specific rules. The speaker will highlight the legal risks of not conforming to machine guarding rules with his insight as a former OSHA Compliance Officer.

Rail Safety: Protecting Your People

Harry Rupe, consultant/opera­tions instructor, Roadway Worker Training, Jacksonville, FL

Do you have the skills necessary to ensure your employees will be protected while operating around railcars? Many employers unknow­ingly put employees at risk by not utilizing a proper protection sys­tem for rail. This session will dis­cuss how to minimize exposure for your employees by taking the necessary actions to put positive protection in place and secure equipment while it is on your property. Additionally, this discus­sion will equip you with the ability to develop sound operating rules and procedures as well as auditing steps to ensure compliance.

Workplace Electrical Safety: Preventing Shock and Awe

Mark S. Wirfs, P.E., electrical engineer, R&W Engineering Inc., Beaverton, OR

Electrical safety is an extremely important issue in grain elevator and processing operations. Larger capacity motors and more complex control systems along with regula­tory requirements are making it imperative that operators of these facilities do so in the most efficient and effective way possible. This presentation will review the latest update on the most comprehensive standard for electrical safety in the workplace: National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 70E (2012). The speaker will highlight some of the changes in the standard while emphasizing the basics of electri­cal safety including working on de-energized circuits (lockout/tag-out) and working on or near live parts where arc flash hazard protection is required.

5. Expo Pods

Expo Pods make a return this year featuring four important pieces of conveying equipment. Drag conveyers, screw conveyers, belt conveyors and bucket elevators will be featured in this year’s batch of Pods. Each type of equipment will be represented in three pods for a total of 12 sessions over two days. Sessions will offer up to 30 attendees a chance to get advice on design, maintenance and upgrad­ing along with troubleshooting and problem solving from designers of the equipment, such as Essmueller Co., Union Iron, Schlagel Inc., GSI, Hi Roller, Intersystem, The Lakeland Companies, Sukup Mfg. and Sweet Mfg.

6. The products

Each GEAPS Exchange gives the industry a chance to see what has happened over the past year, and what is on the horizon. Nowhere is this as evident as in the “What’s New?” products. Though you will see many new innovations on the Expo floor, the GEAPS Exchange has also gathered a select few to be featured in the “What’s New?” por­tion of the Idea Exchange. Each of these products will be at the center of a brief presentation that high­lights its value to the industry.


The AIB International Grain Handling Consolidated Standard is a key tool for managing food safety in the agricultural grain industry. These stan­dards cover receiving, handling and ultimately, the transfer of the grain to the next user. They incorporate key food-safety practices, industry standards, and regulation and food-safety trends so a site can imple­ment and evaluate their own food-safety program.


AgriDry, LLC introduces ADLink. An addi­tion to the already popular CFlow Dryer Controller with Moisture Sensor provides remote access to read dryer discharge grain moisture and afford farmers access to dryer data anytime, anywhere. ADLink will enable the Moisture Sensor to set a target moisture level. This service is Web-based and can be accessed through any available Internet connection.


aokin AG has developed a sensitive and rapid kinetic immunoassay system. With excellent correlation to “gold standard” methods such as HPLC, the quantitative sub-ppb aokin assay can be performed in under six minutes. Superb sensitivity and specificity delivers lower assay costs when compared to ELISA and HPLC. Furthermore, the system can be used with very complex samples, such as foodstuffs, with minimal sample cleanup prior to analysis. The company has already launched the extensive and fully validated aokinmycontrol range of assays for rapid determination of mycotoxins (ZON, DON, AFLA, OTA, FUM, T2/HT2) in grains, corn, coffee, chocolate, milk, CGM, feed products and wine.


Compu-Watt’s Intelligent Junction Boards for Thermocouples digitize thermocouples and RTDs in new installations and retrofit to existing equipment for maximum cost savings. Applications include hazard monitoring and grain temperature moni­toring for grain piles and silos. Interface capabilities include Ethernet IP, Modbus TCP/RTU and PC. Errors and interference due to costly leadwire runs are eliminat­ed. Galvanic isolation eliminates ground fault errors. The low power, intrinsically safe, multi-drop, 3-wire network pro­vides a cost-effective, easily expandable system. Grain piles and silos can be monitored remotely with radio links and optional solar power.


Matrix Group InSITE introduces its revolutionary The Intelligent Site, which turns commonplace smartphones into a shipping logistics system with a host of useful functions. The Intelligent Site allows for easy communication with driv­ers and makes auditing easier through GPS logging. Tickets are displayed on the phones’ screen, leading to faster paperless tickets. The Intelligent Site has a low installation and ongo­ing maintenance cost.


KC Supply’s patent-pending Red Rescue Auger can quickly aid in the removal of grain, which has engulfed a victim. The auger can be powered by any drill using an 11/16 socket. Simply insert the auger’s inlet into the grain and direct the discharge away from the victim. The power drill can remove approximately 1 bushel of wheat within 30 seconds.


The Bruker Optics HTS-250 Autosampler offers unsurpassed capacity and through­put of grab samples. Featuring high-performance grab sample analysis, the HTS-250 provides better statistical profil­ing of inbound deliveries and outbound shipments. It can be left unattended for overnight operation with SQL database storage and subsequent data mining. The time saving bar code reader, flat-panel touchscreen or PC interface allows labora­tory labor to free up time for other tasks.


Now paired with the TENSIONEER for mea­suring take-up tension, EBM Manufacturing Inc.’s TENSIONEER Belt Lifters can also be used on enclosed belt conveyors in addi­tion to bucket elevator belts. Lifting and leveling the belt to set take-up tension is simplified. Belt lifters eliminate over-or under-tensioning with the TENSIONEER which allows maintenance personnel to set the tension required on conveyor belts as well as bucket elevator belts.


Continuously monitor temperatures and CO2 levels with The Lakeland Companies’ Extron Ground Pile Monitoring System-GPM System. This will give you the information you need to help detect spoilage, understand trends and confidently manage your grain. Fan Control monitors local weather conditions and provides fan control to hold traps in place, prevent shrink loss, as well as reduce energy usage. Log on to your exclusive monitoring site from the comfort of your office, home or even the road to access your data while custom alerts can be sent via text or email to operators as desired providing 24/7 access and informa­tion. The Extron Ground Pile Monitoring System-GPM System pro­vides a proactive solution to a typically reactive situation.


The Matrix FE by Bruker Optics Inc. allows for the unattended analysis from up to six points in your plant. Featuring small, eas­ily mounted sensors that have the option to be used on table tops allows for versatility in use. The Matrix FE features NEMA 4/ ATEX/C#D# protection and has a RockSolid™ Interferometer with 10-year warranty. Each unit comes with a Sapphire window, dual lamps and internal reference. The key in-line applications are Grain Segregation and Mis-Binning avoidance; control of feed and flour mill unit operations/optimization; soybean meal analysis; and high resolution oil analysis by transmission measurement.

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