MANHATTAN, KAN. - Twenty-five industry professionals met at the Kansas State University's International Grains Program (IGP) Conference Center Sept. 19-22 to enhance their knowledge of aquaculture feed manufacturing and nutrition. The course was jointly sponsored by the United Soybean Board Rapco, the American Soybean Association-International Marketing and the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
This course was designed to equip participants with knowledge allowing them to make decisions concerning storage, processing techniques such as pelleting and extrusion, as well as educating them on the effect of processing on nutrition, says Carlos Campabadal, course coordinator and IGP program specialist in grain storage and feed manufacturing.
"Aquaculture in Latin America is a fast-growing market that bases its production on U.S. commodities, especially U.S. soybean and soybean meal as one of the main protein sources," Campabadal says. He adds, "This course allows participants to fully understand the key aspects of feed production in aquaculture and to learn new technologies in feed manufacturing and nutrition. This knowledge will improve their production on the farm and in the feed mill."
Attendees listening to a presentation
One such participant who plans to put this training into practice is Servando Benavides, production director for Groupo PAF in Guatemala. Benavides has worked in the industry 30 years and has a handle on the industry obstacles.
"The challenges that my company faces are to reduce cost, improve quality, have the least cost on feedstuffs and improve technology," he says.
Benavides says that this short course provided him with good information that will help him meet these challenges, especially when it comes to nutritional quality. "On the nutritional side, I have learned many things to improve costs and give customers good results so that our business can keep going," he says.
Benavides' fellow participant Nestor Salazar, general director for Nutritional Technology (Naltech Perú) in Perú, does not have as many years of experience as Benavides. In fact, he entered the industry six months ago. For Salazar, attending the course was a great way for him to increase his knowledge of the industry.
"I came here to learn. In six months, I have had a lot of practice. Here I received a lot of helpful tips that I can understand. I have learned a lot that I can transmit to my crew. I can now go to the plant and provide better instruction," Salazar says. He continues saying that after this course he is interested in purchasing more U.S. soybeans.
Salazar says that one of his favorite things about the course was getting to learn from individuals with industry experience-both from the instructors and the other participants.
He says, "We have here great technology, people and partners who have a lot of experience both in knowledge and practice. Our instructors have practice in the fields, and the partners and students also have knowledge. I was able to share my experience in quality control and commercialization."
This is just one example of the many partnership trainings offered through IGP. In addition, IGP offers standard short courses in grain marketing and risk management, flour milling, and grain processing, and feed manufacturing and grain marketing. For more information about IGP, visit www.grains.k-state.edu/igp.