MINNEAPOLIS — The GEAPS Foundation’s professional development programs endowment fund has received a $500,000 contribution through CHS Inc.’s new national agricultural safety initiative. The GEAPS Foundation was one of five organizations selected for funding. The Grain Elevator and Processing Society established the GEAPS Foundation in 2011 as a way to secure funding to support training for grain and processing industry operations professionals. The CHS contribution will support the development of courses for the GEAPS/Kansas State University Distance Program, said Mark Fedje, GEAPS Foundation board chair.

“It also demonstrates the vital role for industry businesses in helping to fund development of courses needed to train the next generation of grain industry operations professionals to safely and sustainably feed the world,” he said.

The GEAPS Foundation is working to raise $4 million over five years to support the distance education program, which provides on-line, peer-reviewed courses taught by grain industry leaders in operations safety and grain quality management, facility design, materials handling and equipment maintenance.

“CHS and the CHS Foundation recognize that meeting the food needs of a growing population requires significant enhancements in our production systems,” said William Nelson, vice-president of corporate citizenship for CHS, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and president, CHS Foundation. “And, the health and safety of the workforce will be a key component. The GEAPS/K-State Distance Education Program is well-suited to help meet that need.”