I declared mechanical engineering as my major when I enrolled at Kansas State University. I thought at the time, that engineering was right for me because I enjoyed math and had a keen interest in the mechanical aspect of how things work. Then, after the first couple of years in mechanical engineering, I started to question that decision.
I was not too fond of the thought of potentially being at a desk for the rest of my career. I grew up on a farm and always liked being involved with agriculture and was hands on so I looked around for other curriculums that might fit better.
Luckily, I came across milling science and management within the College of Agriculture. After taking Principles of Milling I was hooked. With milling, I was being prepared for what I knew I would be doing as a career. It was hands on, agricultural-related and I would have the satisfaction of producing something that all consumers would use. This was a link between an agriculture commodity and the end user consuming bread and flour-related products.
Since I had interest in engineering, I completed my degree in milling science and management with the operations option. This led me to a starting position with a major milling company. What is great about milling is there are seasoned millers who are more than happy to mentor those interested and show them the detailed milling craft and I was fortunate to have a great mentor. He shared and instilled his love of milling onto me.
As a head miller, technical miller and plant superintendent I liked the hands on and feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day. I enjoyed and preferred the day-to-day activities of working directly with employees and the milling machinery.
Milling is a great industry where you can find your niche. As new millers become acquainted with the industry there are associated paths millers can take that since they have milling experience they are very productive experienced contributors. Other paths within milling include leaders of quality assurance, safety, food safety, warehousing and maintenance. With all these options within milling and the demand for millers within the industry, milling is one of the most secure and rewarding careers.
– Randy Frank
36 years in the industry in various roles: Milling Technician, Head Miller,
Technical Miller, Plant Superintendent, Plant Manager