Hello, my name is Jonathan Waibel. I live in Forrest, IL, and I am just finishing up my tenure at Parkland Community College where I studied Agricultural Business Management with the goal of becoming involved in Grain Merchandising. I am grateful to have been named a scholarship recipient by the GFAI this year, this has presented to me opportunities that otherwise I would have missed. For my job shadowing this fall I spent two days at Allliance Grain in Gibson City. I spent most of my time the first day with Adam Moritz, who is Grain Merchandiser for Alliance. My highlight of this session was our discussion on the grain flow between their facilities and also the arbitraging that takes place to hit their many different markets. I was intrigued by the topic of rail logistics: the specific rail lines that link specific destinations, the amount of volume that can be handled compared to truck logistics, and the specialized equipment that is used to load the cars at each terminal. The second day I shadowed JB Daughenbaugh, who is General Manager for Alliance. My time with JB was mainly focused on Alliance’s 15 locations. Being spread over such an area geographically has its benefits, such as short travel time from any given farm in the county, but it also presents a set of difficulties. Equipment at 15 different locations needs to be maintained, bushel flow needs to be managed especially at harvest to maximize storage capacity, and then the 20-some million bushels of grain in storage must be conditioned so they don’t spoil. JB took me on a tour of Alliance’s southern locations, I believe we checked out 6 different places. JB also explained to me the process of cooling, conditioning, and storing the grain. If this is not done correctly, the grain will heat up and begin to burn, which phenomenon causes great headaches to all involved. JB could speak from experience as he has dealt with burning grain in the past. Overall, the 2 days of shadowing were extremely beneficial for me. Observing and dealing with business operations in the real world provides an experience that cannot be replaced. Thank you to team at Alliance Grain!
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.