KDA hosts Turkish wheat millers
Eighteen wheat mill owners and managers from Turkey visited Kansas wheat production facilities earlier this month as part of a tour hosted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
The group, which was in Kansas on Oct. 23 and 24, began its tour at the Kansas City Board of Trade, where they learned about the board's methods for trading contracts and options on hard red winter wheat and met with representatives from USDA's Grain Warehousing office in Kansas City to learn about U.S. regulations for commercial grain storage. Chad Bontrager, an agribusiness development coordinator for the agency, said the group was particularly impressed that a grain receipt from an elevator in the United States could have a cash value because there is no futures market for commodities in Turkey.
From Kansas City, the group traveled to the Horizon Milling Plant in Wichita. Following the mill tour, the group visited Kauffman Seed Company in Haven where they learned about methods for selecting wheat seed, cleaning and treating seed and distributing packaged seed to farmers.
"The Turkish mill owners were especially interested in introducing hard white wheat and other U.S. wheat varieties to producers in Turkey," Bontrager said.
The second day of the tour was spent in Manhattan, starting at the International Grains Program with presentations from the Kansas Wheat Commission regarding the Kansas wheat industry and officials from IGP and Kansas State University's Department of Grain Science and Industry about educational opportunities to train flour millers, wheat merchants and flour salespeople. While touring Hal Ross Flour Mill, where K-State students receive hands-on milling experience, Bontrager said the group expressed interest in sponsoring students to come to the United States to take advantage of the training available at K-State.
From there, the group went to AIB International for information on applied bakery research and training as well as food safety training and inspections. AIB International provides educational opportunities and technical assistance for the baking industry.
"The group was very appreciative of the opportunity to visit Kansas and learn about the wide variety of products and expertise the Kansas wheat industry has to offer," Bontrager said. "Kansas is recognized worldwide as a leader in wheat production. Trips like this give us the opportunity to help improve wheat production worldwide. The millers who visited Kansas hope to use the products and services they learned about in Kanas to improve the Turkish wheat industry."
The Agricultural Marketing Team at the Kansas Department of Agriculture works to expand opportunities for international trade of Kansas agricultural products by hosting international delegations. The team also leads international trade missions for Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to develop new and strengthen existing trade relationships with buyers of Kansas products. To learn more about international agricultural marketing efforts in Kansas, contact the Agricultural Marketing team at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.