For the sixth time in as many years, three IAOM districts met in the Ozark Mountains for their Summer Meeting and Technical Conference. Hosted by the Central District, this year’s event at the Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa and Convention Center in Branson, Missouri was another hit for attendees and family members who could join for the after-hours activities.
With attendance up from 2018, this year saw 115 registrants in Branson to participate in the Central, Wheat State and Texoma Districts’ event, a family-friendly gathering which included a golf tournament, get-reacquainted dinner, a day of technical presentations, and an allied trades social hour and lake-casual dinner to conclude the gathering.
The event opened with a Thursday golf tournament at Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course. Keeping the schedule change from last year, the golf outing teed off on late Thursday morning. The weekday tee time allowed those within a commutable distance to travel that morning and left Saturday open for family activities. Thirty-seven played the 18-hole course on an unusually temperate afternoon.
Central District Director Pat Eberle, Grain Craft, said he was pleased with the program and delighted to see an increase in the number of millers, suppliers and their families at the event.
“We moved the golf tournament to Thursday last year, the day before the technical meeting, and had more people who were able to participate in that kick-off activity. The weather really cooperated and made for an excellent turnout. I think the change in schedule impacted the number of millers and their families who decided to attend,” he stated. “We had a great turnout of well over 100 registrants and millers at this year’s summer gathering. I was pleased with the range of technical speakers and the content they shared with our millers.”
The Chateau on the Lake sits high atop a hill overlooking scenic Table Rock Lake and Branson, a well-known vacation destination. Next year’s meeting will be at the Hilton Branson Convention Center, which is located in the heart of historic downtown Branson adjacent to the Branson Landing, a scenic boardwalk filled with shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
Central District Secretary/Treasurer Mike Branson, Sefar, Inc., and District Chairman Ian Tillinghast, Grain Craft, took the lead in planning the event. Their efforts began many months prior to the opening picnic Thursday evening, as they reviewed potential technical presentations, coordinated efforts and needs with the hotel, and arranged the myriad of details that go into such an event.
“I am very pleased with the turnout for the event and am so happy to see so many family members included. I can’t thank the allied trades enough for the ongoing support to our districts and am so pleased to have had ten tabletop exhibitors,” said Branson. “Thanks also to the IAOM office, for all the planning support.”
Tillinghast served as moderator for the technical conference, and IAOM Treasurer Ron Galle, Miller Milling, and IAOM Director of Professional Development Tom Sargent provided updates regarding international and office activities prior to the start of presentations. Sixty-three industry professionals attended the Friday technical conference.
“I am truly grateful for all the technical speakers who gave their time and shared expertise at the conference. We had a nice mix of topics and I received a lot of positive feedback from attendees,” stated Tillinghast. “Having rooms set up so that attendees walked through the table top area to get to the educational sessions is a big plus.”
Refreshment breaks and lunch were served in the expo area.
Mark Hodges, Plains Grains, Inc., provided a wheat crop update to open the program. He was followed by Dr. Jeff Gwirtz, JAG Services, who spoke to laboratory milling challenges in wheat crop evaluation. Bob Castenada, CMC, then reviewed capabilities of Millguard roll stand monitoring. Prior to the lunch break, two additional technical sessions occurred. Bruce Bratney, Bratney Companies, presented the BoMill grain quality separator, while Ben Kice, Kice Industries, reviewed the company’s baghouse filters.
Afternoon technical sessions included Celia Schlosser, Revtech Process Systems, providing an overview of wheat kernel heat treatment. Tom Byrnes, Jr., Blower Engineering, reviewed specifics regarding pneumatic conveying above 15 PSIG, and Eric Ross, Electro-Sensors, discussed the HazardPro wireless hazardous monitoring with or without a PLC.
Two What’s New presentations ended the afternoon’s technical slate. Kendall McFall, Engrain, presented flour additives for challenging wheat, while Matt Fanshier, Great Western Manufacturing, reviewed the company’s new products and sifter maintenance best practices.
All of the districts met for business meetings following the closing remarks. The Central and Wheat State Districts elected new slates of officers. The Texoma District discussed their role in hosting the 125th Anniversary IAOM Conference & Expo, which is scheduled for April 13-16, 2021 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
Central District Director Pat Eberle, Grain Craft; Chairperson James Mueting, General Mills; Vice Chairperson Travis Hawkinson, Ardent Mills; Secretary/Treasurer Mike Branson, Sefar Inc.; 1st Exe. Committeeperson Bryan Baker, Ardent Mills; 2nd Exe. Committeeperson Aaron Rusteberg, ADM Milling; 3rd Exe. Committeeperson Shawn Green, Grain Craft; and Allied Trades Chairperson Bob Klasek, Nitta Corporation.
Wheat State District
Director David Byers, Ardent Mills; Chairperson Michael McElroy, Ardent Mills; Vice Chairperson Kayle Lyman, Grain Craft; Secretary/Treasurer Tracy Eustace, WD Patterson; 1st Exe. Committeeperson Jeff Trillo, ADM Milling Co.; 2nd Exe. Committeeperson Brian Allinger, Ardent Mills; and 3rd Exe. Committeeperson Keaton Hale, Grain Craft.