USDA Cochran Brazil Fellows visited the Cargill Export Facility in Westwego, Louisiana
Image credit: IGP KSU

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cochran US Wheat Classification and Standards for Brazil Fellowship Program was held in an effort to familiarise fellows with US agriculture, and the various systems used to supply and market US wheat.

This course was held December 1-14, 2019, at Kansas State University's IGP Institute, where four fellows were in attendance. The program included classroom discussions, wheat milling and grading labs, wheat research facility and elevator visits, and a field trip to an export facility in New Orleans, Louisiana.

'I have extensive milling experience, but I learned something new every day that I was here. For example, the blending of softer wheats; it's important that you can blend different wheat qualities, different proteins and different classes. For me, it's very interesting,' says Ruy Cassio Zanardi Toledo, industrial director of OCRIM. 'My opinion has not changed but reinforced in the sense that US products and services are high-quality and reliable.'

Some of the topics discussed throughout the two-week program included US wheat classifications, US grain production supply chain and marketing system, wheat and flour quality analysis, futures and options, purchasing strategies, and storage and quality management of wheat. The Brazil fellows were able to meet and learn from Kansas wheat growers and researchers, Kansas Wheat Commission staff, US Wheat Associates staff, Kansas State University grain and milling experts, as well as many other industry professionals.

Participants also received hands-on experience in the milling lab where they made their own wheat flour and toured several wheat-related facilities. At the end of the course, the group travelled to the Cargill Export Facility in Westwego, Louisiana, to experience a US export facility first-hand.

All of the participants were very engaged during the entirety of the course, says Shawn Thiele, IGP Institute associate director and flour and milling and grain processing curriculum manager.

'The program participants were eager to learn about the dealings of wheat in the US and were actively sharing experiences during the program,' says Mr Thiele. 'They will be able to use the information they learned in their operations to strengthen trade and agriculture in Brazil.'

The Cochran Fellowship Program provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies. The goals of this program are to help countries develop agricultural systems necessary to meet dietary needs as well as to strengthen the trade linkages.

In addition to flour milling and grain processing, the IGP Institute also offers courses in the areas of feed manufacturing and quality management, and grain marketing and risk management.

To learn more about these other training opportunities, visit the IGP Institute website, HERE.

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