NCI Welcomes New Technical Director and Communications Manager

Neil C. Doty, Ph.D., technical director

Neil C. Doty, Ph.D., technical director

Betsy Armour, communications & public relations manager

Betsy Armour, communications & public relations manager

Fargo, N.D. — Northern Crops Institute (NCI) announced two recent additions to the organization’s team. Neil C. Doty, Ph.D., was named NCI’s technical director in a consulting capacity and Betsy Armour was appointed to communications & public relations manager.

“I am pleased that Neil and Betsy are part of the NCI team. Neil will provide expertise to our technical programs and Betsy will serve as our communications liaison to agribusinesses, legislators, commodity groups and media,” NCI Director Mark Weber said. “Their combined experience will help support NCI as we continue to promote northern grown crops globally.”
 
Doty will play a key role at the NCI and will be responsible for providing technical service programs in support of market development along with promotional efforts for northern grown crops into both domestic and export markets. “Neil will be an essential part of our efforts in NCI’s mission to continue to conduct technical programs to expand global markets for northern grown crops,” Weber said.

Doty has been actively involved in business development since 1994 through his consulting firm, N.C. Doty & Associates, LLC. As the consulting technical director to NCI, “Neil will bring a broad spectrum of technical, financial and operational knowledge for the successful planning and establishment of NCI in the global marketplace,” Weber said.

Doty received his Doctorate in cereal chemistry and technology from North Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Minn.  He has been involved in business investment and chief executive management roles with Global Electric Motorcars, LLC, Fargo, N.D. and Sonne Labs, Inc., Wahpeton, N.D. “I’m looking forward to the numerous opportunities and prospects that NCI has to expand product development and education that will continue to support crops grown in our northern region,” Doty said. “It is a pleasure to be able to be located on the NDSU campus and work with not only NCI’s technical team, but also with NDSU’s scientists and faculty.”

Armour will direct communications and public relations efforts to enhance NCI’s message and outreach efforts. She graduated from Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a Bachelor's degree in mass communications concentrating in public relations. “We are fortunate to have Betsy joining our team.  She will bring an energized and focused approach to NCI’s communications and public relations efforts,” Weber said.

Prior to being hired at NCI, Armour was the manager of communications for the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) and North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA).  She assisted both organizations with a successful effort to bring the National Genotyping Center to North Dakota and she was the project manager for their new American Ethanol Rewards App, which is scheduled to be launched in the near future. “I am excited to work with the NCI team,” Armour said. “I am passionate about NCI’s vision and values and I look forward to communicating their rich local to global story.  My background in agricultural communications will help spread the word about NCI and get the job done,” Armour asserted.

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops.  NCI is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.

To learn more about NCI, please visit www.northern-crops.com and connect with us on Facebook.  

 

NCI Soybean Procurement Course Draws 38 Buyers from 6 Asian Nations

Fargo, N.D., USA – Thirty-eight soybean buyers from six Southeast Asian nations learned how to improve their skills in electronic trading while they attended the Soybean Procurement Management for Importers short course at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) from September 22-25.  Focus of the course was to learn more about contracting and purchasing U.S. soybeans.  Course participants were from Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Sponsors were the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), North Dakota Soybean Council, Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

“The mission of Northern Crops Institute is to educate the world about our region’s crops,” says NCI Director Mark Weber.  “Soybeans have become increasingly important as the planted acres in the region multiply each year.  Recent studies by the University of Minnesota show that soybeans grown here have a potentially higher feeding value than previously thought.  During this course, in addition to learning more about electronic trading skills, we enabled our participants to visit the companies they are buying from and to meet a few of the region’s farmers who produce our soybeans,” concludes Weber.

NCI Director Mark Weber coordinated the course.  Diana Beitelspacher, Executive Director of the North Dakota Soybean Council, welcomed the group.

Course instructors were: Gene Griffin, Global Innovative Solutions; Thunyaporn (Naggie) Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Mike Krueger, The Money Farm; Frayne Olson, Ph.D., NDSU Extension Service; and William Wilson, Ph.D., NDSU Dept. of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

Two panel discussions were presented. Panelists discussing growing and handling specialty soybeans were: Scott Sinner, SB&B Foods, Inc.; Matt Bohn, Richland IFC; and Mark Halvorson, SunOpta Company. Presenting on soybean pricing alternatives and contracts were: Bob and Todd Sinner, SB&B Foods, Inc.; Paul Holmen, Brushvale Seed; Jennifer Tesch, SK Food International; and Rick Brandenburger, Richland IFC. 

A highlight of the course was training in the electronic Commodity Trading Room (CTR), at North Dakota State University’s downtown campus in Fargo.  In this commodity trading and financial laboratory, students learn how to extract and analyze information, and then make decisions with respect to risk and risk management. 

Participants were hosted for a barbecue dinner at the Bill and Karolyn Zurn family farm near Callaway, Minn.  Karolyn Zurn is the Chair of the Northern Crops Council, the governing board of the NCI, where she represents the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

The Food Soybean Team visited several NFGSA suppliers in the region, including the Brushvale Seed, Inc. in Breckenridge, Minn.; Richland IFC, Inc., Dwight, N.D.; SB& B Foods, Casselton, N.D.; SK Food Specialty Processing and SunOpta Company, Moorhead, Minn.

The Feed Team toured the NCI Feed Production Center; Alton Grain Terminal and the Peter Lovas family farm, Hillsboro, N.D.; NDSU Greenhouse Complex; Case IH Plant, Fargo; Colfax Farmers Elevator and the Jay Myers family farm, Colfax, N.D.

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops.  NCI is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.

NCI Hosts 19 Nations at the Grain Procurement for Importers Course

Fargo, N.D., USA – Thirty-one grain buyers came to Northern Crops Institute (NCI) for the Grain Procurement Management for Importers course held from September 15-24.  The participants were from 19 countries, the largest group of nations to come to NCI for any course since its beginning in 1983.  

Course participants were from Belgium, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, and USA.  U.S. Wheat Associates and USDA FAS Cochran Fellowship Program sponsored many of the participants in this course.

John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director, coordinated the course, which highlights how companies can make more effective purchases while decreasing their financial risk.  

“It’s interesting that we had 31 participants in our 31st annual Grain Procurement Management course,” says Crabtree.  “From the first year that we offered this course until today, grain buying has gone from private purchasing agencies to almost exclusively private trading, and most purchases are made electronically.  Large portions of this course are held in the NDSU Commodity Trading Room (CTR), where students learn about electronic trading.  All the information is presented simultaneously, so everyone receives the same information at the same time,” he said.

One participant commented, “Certainly this course will benefit my work.  In almost every topic, I learned new things.  And just being here and speaking with persons in the same field gave me a good idea of how interior sourcing and export handling is being done.”  Another participant explained his experience by saying, “I have found the trading game exercises very interesting, and I believe it is a very good idea to increase the number of these games.”

Highlights of the course were lectures by academic and commodity trade authorities on cash and futures markets, sessions in NDSU’s electronic trading classroom, and time with grain merchandisers who discussed the complexities of international grain markets. On-site tours of the Bill Hejl farm, Amenia, N.D.;  Hunter (N.D.) Grain Company; Duluth/Superior Port Facilities; CHS Export Grain Terminal, Superior, Wisc.; Minneapolis (Minn.) Grain Exchange; and the CHS Barge Facility in Savage, Minn., rounded out the course. 

Speakers for the course were: Joe Albrecht, Minneapolis Grain Exchange; David Bullock, Ph.D., AgriBank, FCB; Ryan Caffrey, CHS, Inc.; Dick Carlson, CHS, Inc.;  Austin Damiani, Frontier Futures, Inc.;  Ron DeJongh, Columbia Grain; Jon Harman, BNSF Railroad; Maurice Hurst, Cargill; Ron Johnson, Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Mike Klein, CHS, Inc.; Wayne Koester, Cargill;  Mike Krueger, The Money Farm; Randy Narloch, ADM-Benson Quinn; John Oades, Ph.D., Consultant; Greg Oberle, CHS, Inc.; Frayne Olson, Ph.D., NDSU Extension Service;  Jim Peterson, North Dakota Wheat Commission;  Paul Skarnagel, Hunter Grain Company;  Lynn Thomas, USDA-GIPSA/FGIS; William Wilson, Ph.D., NDSU Distinguished Professor Agribusiness and Applied Economics; and Adele Yorde, Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

NCI Baking with Soy Course Highlights Nutritional Benefits of U.S. Soy

Fargo, N.D., USA -- The nutritional benefits of soy protein in baked products were highlighted at the NCI Baking with Soy course, which ran from August 25-29 at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) in Fargo, N.D.  The course was attended by bakery managers from Burkino Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, Africa.

WISHH, The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, co-sponsored the course.  WISHH is a program of the American Soybean Association (ASA) that brings the nutritional benefits of U.S. soy protein to people in developing countries. Additional partners for course were North Dakota Soybean Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Cenex Harvest States (CHS), and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Soybeans have great potential for human food use because of their high level of protein and their functional and nutritional properties. One of the most promising uses of soybeans is in bakery products. For example, the addition of soy flour to bread products can raise protein content, balance essential amino acids, and increase bread’s nutritional value.

During the course, NCI Director Mark Weber hosted the group while visiting the Embden Grain Company, hosted by Manager Brad Koetz, and at the Mark and Linda Levos farm near Embden, N.D.  He says, “Cote d’Ivoire is about the size of North Dakota, but with a population of 23 million, it exemplifies the importance of using soy flour to help balance human nutritional needs in their country.”

This course highlighted the use of soy ingredients in baking applications by elaborating physical dough properties, baked product quality, and technical specifications of soy ingredients. Different types of breads and other bakery products were demonstrated to highlight various functional properties of adding soy. Considerable amount of time was spent in the laboratory doing hands-on baking of donuts, mandazi, scones, pan breads, hamburger buns, baguettes, croissants, brioche, and cookies.

The course was coordinated by John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director.   Lecturers were Rachel Carlson, Food Technologist; Natsuki Fujiwara, Food Technologist; Thunyaporn Naggie Jeradechachai, Crop Quality Specialist; and Clyde Stauffer, Technical Food Consultants, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The group also toured Culinex, a food service equipment store in Fargo and were hosted by the North Dakota Soybean Council for a special luncheon.  

They continued their trip with stops in Minneapolis, where they met with Cenex Harvest States (CHS) staff.  In Mankato, Minnesota, they visited with the staff of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR & PC). 

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops.  NCI is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana. 

Chinese Feed Manufacturers First to Use New NCI Feed Equipment

Fargo, N.D., USA – Eighteen leading feed manufacturers from China are attending the Feed Manufacturing Technology course that runs from August 18-22 at Northern Crops Institute (NCI), Fargo, N.D.  The China Feed Study Team is the first group to do hands-on training with the NCI Feed Center’s newly upgraded equipment.  After three days at NCI, the group travels to Portland, Ore., for the wrap-up. 

The course is co-sponsored by Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, and South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, in conjunction with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).

Lead instructor is Kim Koch, Ph.D., NCI Feed Center Manager.

“China is the largest user of soybeans and the largest manufacturer of animal feed in the world,” says Koch.  “Their demand for feed is increasing annually by 10-12%.  China raises 50% of all the pigs in the world, but their poultry production is gaining ground on swine, and aquaculture is becoming more important. Chinese domestic production of soybeans and corn has probably peaked, and therefore, they are becoming major importers of soybeans and corn.” 

“We strongly believe that the high quality soybeans produced in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota result in better animal performance,” Koch continues.  “Regional soybean production will continue to increase in the next five-ten years. NCI is very grateful to the regional soybean commodity groups who conceived and sponsored this course,” he concludes.

The course is coordinated by John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director. 

 In addition to providing hands-on demonstrations about size reduction and pelleting at the NCI Feed Center, Koch lectured on efficient use of protein; feed mill efficiency; feed mill design; mixing; particle size reduction; hygienic feed manufacturing; and pelleting. 

Additional speakers included: Frayne Olson, Ph.D., North Dakota State University, who discussed commodity price outlook; Peter Mishek, President of Mishek Inc. & Associates, Omaha, who introduced essential amino acids in soybeans and soybean meal; David Hahn, Ph.D., NCI Director of Technical Services and Business Development, who spoke on food and feed safe manufacturing practices; and Robert Thaler, Ph.D., South Dakota State University, who presented information on soybean meal utilization. 

The group visited the Scott Gauslow farm near Colfax, N.D.  Later this week, the group will tour the EGT Export Terminal in Longview, Wash., and the Wilbur-Ellis Company, a feed ingredient company in Clackamas, Ore., so participants could see first-hand the quality, efficiency and reliability of U.S. soy and logistics systems.

The NCI Feed Center equipment upgrade includes the installation of a new mixer, a new automation system, and the facility’s first micro-ingredient system.  Funding for the upgrade was a collaborative effort between the North Dakota Legislature, the feed equipment industry, and regional commodity groups, according to Mark Weber, NCI Director.

The Northern Crops Institute is the international center for meeting and learning about northern grown crops produced in the four-state region of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana.  Situated on the campus of North Dakota state University, NCI exists as a forum to bring together customers, commodity traders, technical experts, processors and producers from all pints of the globe for discussion, education, and technical service programs.  Since 1983, the NCI has hosted visitors from over 130 countries.

IGP’s Mark Fowler Becomes NCI Milling Consultant

IGP’s Mark Fowler Becomes NCI Milling Consultant

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Mark Fowler has joined the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) team as a Milling Consultant. Fowler will direct efforts to improve operating performance and efficiencies in NCI’s Flour Mill, train NCI staff in the mill’s basic operations, teach educational programs related to flour milling, and build partnerships with private industry who want to utilize NCI’s facilities. 

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IGP’s Mark Fowler Becomes NCI Milling Consultant

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Mark Fowler has joined the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) team as a Milling Consultant. Fowler will direct efforts to improve operating performance and efficiencies in NCI’s Flour Mill, train NCI staff in the mill’s basic operations, teach educational programs related to flour milling, and build partnerships with private industry who want to utilize NCI’s facilities.         

      Fowler will continue his duties as Associate Director of the International Grains Program (IGP) Institute at Kansas State University.       

      “I am extremely pleased that Mark Fowler has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity to manage our flour mill,” says NCI Director Mark Weber.  “He has over 20 years of experience in the milling industry.  He is well respected in the milling industry and has taught flour milling courses at IGP Institute for many years,” he concludes. 

      Fowler was the lead instructor for the IGP-NCI Durum Milling course held this spring at the NCI.  That successful effort led to the formation of this exciting new partnership between the NCI and IGP Institute.

      Fowler comments, “I am looking forward to working with the NCI team.  I place a high value on partnership and collaborations when two organizations such as the IGP Institute and Northern Crops Institute can advance our mission by working together to serve U.S. wheat farmers.  I bring both international and domestic milling experience to the NCI classroom and experimental milling program. The milling capacity of NCI’s pilot mill is complimentary to that of the Hal Ross flour mill at Kansas State,” says Fowler.

            In 2009, NCI’s pilot durum mill was converted into a dual-purpose or “swing mill” to give the region the capability to mill pilot-scale or test-scale quantities of bread wheats (Hard Red Spring, Hard Red Winter and Hard White) into flour for quality and test baking/processing evaluations. The mill retains the capability to mill durum wheat into high quality semolina.

NCI/IGP Milling Course Focuses on Improving Durum Wheat Milling Skills

NCI/IGP Milling Course Focuses on Improving Durum Wheat Milling Skills

Fargo, N.D., USA -- The NCI/IGP Durum Wheat Milling Short Course is underway at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) in Fargo, N.D., and runs through Wednesday, April 9.  The course is co-sponsored with the International Grains Program (IGP) at Kansas State University.  Lead instructor is Mark Fowler, IGP Associate Director and Milling Specialist.  The course is coordinated by John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director.

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NCI Presents First Food-Grade Soybean Procurement Course for Importers

Fargo, N.D., USA – Twelve food soybean buyers and processors from Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan are at Northern Crops Institute October 14-18 to attend the Food Soybean Procurement Management for Importers course.  The course is co-sponsored by the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association, North Dakota Soybean Council, and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.   

This course is designed to give the participants an overview of the quality characteristics of U.S. northern-grown food soybeans, as well as the intricacies of buying, handling and shipping food soybeans from the region. 

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South Asia Wheat Workshop at NCI Strengthens Grower-to-Buyer Connections

Fargo, N.D., USA -- A team of six quality control and procurement managers from mills in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam attended the South Asia Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop at Northern Crops Institute (NCI), Fargo, N.D., from September 9-12. The workshop concluded with sessions at the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) office, Portland, Ore.

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NCI/IGP Course Focuses on Improving Durum Wheat Milling Skills

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Northern Crops Institute (NCI) and the International Grains Program (IGP) at Kansas State University are co-sponsoring a Durum Wheat Milling Short Course May 21-24 at NCI in Fargo, North Dakota.  This course will provide participants with a better understanding of the durum milling process and add insight into milling performance and semolina quality.

Lead instructors are Mark Fowler, IGP Associate Director and Milling Specialist, and Alyssa Hicks, NCI Milling Specialist.  The course is coordinated by John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director.

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