Hi again! The trade show this year in St.Louis was an amazing experience. Being able to reconnect with those I met this summer on the immersion tour, as well as meeting new faces helped me gain an even better perspective on the grain industry. The trade show was a one-of-a-kind experience, and I am glad I was able to be a part of it.
After the trade show, I was able to come home for spring break and continue my elevator experience with Consolidated Grain and Barge. I visited the Albany location along the Mississippi River and was able to learn the operations of a barge loading facility. The timing was perfect, as the river had just reopened up from the winter and they loaded two barges that day. I worked there with Nick Starr, where I was able to go out to the river and see the loading process up front. Taking barge measurements and reading drafts of the barge is very important. If these steps aren’t done correctly, the barge could be overloaded on one side and cause it to tip over or weigh too much to be shipped away. If the barge is overloaded, it won’t be able to make it down the river without getting stuck in the bottom. Learning the process of transferring grain from one facility to another was very interesting to me and is something I would like to learn more about.
Later that week I returned to Albany and met with Jake Holschlag, the Grain Manager at CGB. There I was able to learn about merchandising, managing, and marketing. Jake also taught me about barges, how they are bought, and where they go after they are loaded. I was also able to attend a marketing meeting with that day with Mike Hogan, the corporate grain originator. This was an amazing experience for me, and I was able to learn a lot from Mike and about the current grain markets and drivers of demand.
While I did not have the typical college spring break experience, I am glad I was able to return to the elevator in Albany and work that week. My job shadowing experiences were unique and being able to see several facilities and jobs at each one helped me piece together the operational process. I look forward to continuing working in this field and learning more about it.
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.