College of Agriculture
202 Linfield Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717


Follow The Grain

MSU College of Agriculture



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Program Overview: Four Parts




Int'l Markets


 Cross-pollinating a wheat plant - MSU Plant Growth Center


 Class member using "gene gun" - MSU Plant Breeding Program

The first five weeks of the class focused on scientific development of wheat varieties. Guest speakers discussed topics ranging from grain genetics to plant breeding. Many of the issues discussed were centered around production, milling, and baking quality development.

Week 1: An overview of grain variety development, production, handling, transportation, marketing, processing, and product development.

Week 2: Grain genetics: The role of basic scientific research. Visit to MSU genetics laboratory.

Week 3: Plant Breeding I: Professor Luther Talbert: The science of developing new varieties and a visit to the MSU Plant Growth Center.

Week 4: Plant Breeding II: Debra Habernicht: The science of developing grain quality attributes with a field trip to the MSU Cereal Quality Laboratory.

Week 5: Plant Breeding III: Plant Varietal Protection: The role of science, patent laws, and the development of seed breeding monopolies.


The second section of the course addressed grain production and management practices, both in theory and in practice. Discussions included soil management, crop rotation, alternative crops and environmental concerns.

Week 6: Soil Science and Grain Production: Soil management, grain yields, and grain quality

Week 7: Soil Science and Grain Production: Grain production practices and the environment.

Week 8: Student presentations on science issues in grain development and production.

Week 9: Grain Production in Principle: The grain farmer’s market and policy planning of environment and production decisions.

Week 10: Grain Production in Practice: Field trip to a dry land wheat and feed barley operation and a “round table” discussion with farmers and county extension agents. BACK TO THE TOP


 A closer look at a Montana wheat operation


Round-table discussion with wheat farmers and extension agents 

This section of the course included grain storage, handling, processing, and marketing. In addition to guest speakers on world wheat marketing topics, the class took several field trips to local elevators, mills, and bakeries to better understand the flow of grain within the state of Montana.

Week 11: Grain Handling: From the farmer to the county elevator. Discussion of the grain handling system in Montana and the western U.S. - Dr. Linda Young, Montana Trade Research Center - and field trip to local county elevator with round table discussion.

Week 12: Grain Processing: Milling and baking. Field trip to General Mills and High Stack Bakery, Great Falls, with subsequent round table discussions.

Week 13: World Wheat Markets: Links to U.S. and Montana wheat and barley producers - Jim Christiansen, Executive Director, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.

Week 14: Student presentations on industry and economic issues in domestic and world grain markets.




 Debra Habernicht learning the art of making steam bread in Taiwan


Visiting the Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial in Taipei 

International Markets
The final section of the class addressed international markets for Montana wheat. This included a six-day field trip to Taiwan to visit with the shipping, milling, and baking companies who use Montana wheat. In addition, members of the class were invited to meet with the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service representative and officials from the Taiwanese Department of Agriculture. Mei Mei Wang, representative of the Montana Department of Commerce, was the interpreter and guide for the visit. U.S. Wheat Associates arranged several meetings as well as hosting a dinner for the class.

Travel Itinerary:
May 9: Depart Bozeman.

May 10: Depart Seattle to Taipei via Tokyo. (Cross international date line)

May 11: Arrive Taipei. Meet Mei Mei Wang, Montana Dept. of Commerce Representative.

May 12: Meeting with U.S. FAS representative, Mr. Larry Shenger, Agricultural Section Chief, American Institute in Taiwan: discussion of Taiwanese agricultural issues affecting U.S. commodity exports. Meeting with Mr. T.Y. Ku, Director of International Department Council of Agriculture: a closer look at Taiwanese agriculture and environmental policy. Meeting with Mr. Paul Hsu, Director, China Grain Products Research & Development Institute: Exchange of ideas on grain research and development issues. Depart Taipei for Taichung.


 Visiting with grain-research scientists at China Grain Products Research and Development Institute, Taiwan


 Far Eastern Silo and Shipping Corporation, Taipei

May 13: Visit Far Eastern Silo & Shipping Corp, Taiwan’s largest privately owned grain shipping company. Visit Chia Hsin Food and Synthetic Fiber Co., Ltd Flour Mill for a chance to see the differences in U.S. and Taiwanese flour milling and end-use. Tour Encore Garden, Taiwan‘s largest private garden with spectacular musical water fountain laser show.

May 14: Visit National Museum of Natural Science's special exhibition, The History of Agriculture in China. Depart Taichung. Visit President Enterprises Corp, one of the largest food companies in Taiwan, operating several franchises, including all the 7-11 convenience stores in Taiwan. Depart factory for Taipei.

May 15: Meeting w/ Importers and Exporters Association in Taipei. Sightseeing at Hsingtien Temple; State of Montana Commerce Office at the Taipei World Trade Center; local traditional market; tour Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall; Holiday Flower and Jade Market.

May 16: Sightseeing at Martyrs Shrine; The National Palace, Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall; and a traditional tea shop.

May 17: Depart Taipei and arrive in Portland to tour grain terminal faciltities.

May 18: Depart Portland and arrive in Bozeman. BACK TO THE TOP


Program Objectives

Other Courses

Program Funding Sources

Contact Us