Image by Justin O'Dea
Image by Justin O'Dea

1st Annual Hudson Valley Value-Added Grains School

1st Annual, 2015: CCE Ulster County and the Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program hosted the 1st annual Hudson Valley value-added grains school on February 6 near Catskill in Greene County. The school is intended to:

  • support burgeoning interests in small grains for the artisan baking and craft brewing and distilling industries
  • interest in other grain/field crops and marketing strategies with potential for significantly greater-than-average crop value. 

The 2015 school had ~95 participants, a mini-trade show, and five speakers. Topics covered were: considerations for growers getting into small grains production, small grain growth stages and management, crop insurance for NYS small grain growers, crop rotations for producing quality value added grains, and small grain storage and drying. 

Featured speakers were Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms and Farmer Ground Flour, and Dr. Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University’s Extension agricultural engineer and grain drying and storage specialist. Oechsner explained crop rotation principles that have helped him produce eight different quality grains on 1200 certified organic acres in a 6-7 year rotation. Dr. Hellevang explained the science behind successful grain drying and storage to maintain grain quality. 

Presentations (disclaimer: video recordings have poor sound quality):

  1. PDF: Considerations for getting into small grains production -- recording
  2. PDF: Small grains growth stages & management -- recording
  3. PDF: Crop Insurance for small grains in NYS -- recording
  4. PDF: Oechsner Farms cropping systems -- recording
  5. PDF: Drying and storage of small grains -- recording



  • USDA Risk Management Agency 
  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets 
  • Local Economies Project


Christian Malsatzki
Agriculture Program Leader
845-340-3990 ext. 316

Last updated October 4, 2017