1. K-State home
  2. »MAB
  3. »Research
  4. »VelasquezSarah2007

Master of Agribusiness

The Adoption of Good Manufacturing Practices in Grain Elevators

Sarah Velasquez, Manhatan, Kans., defended her thesis, “The Adoption of Good Manufacturing Practices in Grain Elevators,” Tuesday, November 13, 2007. Velasquez is a Technical Information Coordinator for AIB International in Manhattan, Kans. She graduated from Kansas State University in December with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB).

Since September 11th, there has been an increased focus on safety and improving security in the United States. Measures have been taken to improve food security in order to prevent acts of bioterrorism, including initiating good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for food processing facilities. However, some facilities, such as grain processing facilities and elevators, are not required to follow GMPs. Velasquez’s thesis sought to determine the extent that Kansas grain elevators have adopted GMPs and if not, what it would take for the elevator to make the switch.

“I started with the assumption that most Kansas elevators are independently owned and may be smaller and older, so they would require more manpower and equipment to successfully implement new manufacturing practices. However, many may have similar types of sanitation and safety programs in place,” Velasquez said.

She surveyed 42 Kansas elevators to find out about their grain safety programs, pest control procedures, operational and personal practices, and facility and equipment maintenance. Through the surveys, she confirmed her earlier assumptions: many of the elevators do not comply with GMPs and would require more resources in order to do so.

“While research facilities with similar programs in place, they said the highest costs to implement good manufacturing practices was from training new and existing employees and on equipment,” she said.

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/463.