By: Garrett O’Donnell, Agricultural Systems Management | Killbuck, OH
This past February, 12 student leaders from The Ohio State University Agricultural Systems Management Club had the opportunity to attend the annual Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) Exchange in St. Louis, Missouri. The GEAPS Exchange is the largest conference for grain handling and processing. This was a great opportunity for students to make industry connections, to learn about new and upcoming technologies and practices from across the grain handling industry.
Fellow classmate and friend Ryan Riddle and I planned and organized the logistics for the trip to St. Louis; everything from hotels to rental cars to registration to tour stops. Along the way, we set up tours with Consolidated Grain & Barge (CGB) Enterprises in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company and Anheuser Busch Brewing Company in St. Louis, Missouri. The tours really helped students receive a thorough overview of the grain handling industry. For some, this was the first time visiting a barge terminal facility or a facility larger than their local country elevator. Since we were in St. Louis, we also journeyed 630 feet up to the top of the Gateway Arch!
The highlight of the trip for me was the Student Day at the Exchange. We had the opportunity to visit the trade show, meet and interact with grain industry professionals, and industry suppliers in many facets of the industry. We participated in round table discussions with professionals from several major grain companies, where we could ask questions about the industry, learn about internship/career opportunities and network with other student attendees with similar interests. Not only was this a rewarding experience for me but an invaluable experience for all who attended. Eight of the 2015 attendees, including myself, are now pursuing grain handling careers.
In 2016, the GEAPS Exchange is in Austin, Texas and The Ohio State University Agricultural Systems Management Club will be there!