CCE Ulster County and the Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program hosted the 2nd annual Hudson Valley value-added grains school on February 6, 2016 near Catskill in Greene County. The school is intended to 1) support burgeoning interests in small grains for the artisan baking and craft brewing and distilling industries, and 2) interest in other grain/field crops and marketing strategies with potential for significantly greater-than-average crop value. The 2016 school had ~100 participants, a mini-trade show, and eight speakers. Topics covered were: lessons from the Vermont specialty grains boom, post-harvest grain management and innovations, decoding malting barley quality, demystifying the distilling grains market, crop insurance for NYS small grain growers, making grains work on modest acreages, and small grain seed certification and sourcing. Featured speakers were Dr. Heather Darby from the University of vermont and vale-added grain growers Ben Gleason of Gleason grains in Bridport VT, and Gene L'Etioile of Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA. Darby shared experiences in developing education and research programs supporting the growing local artisan/craft grain economy in Vermont. Gleason and L'Etoile shared their respective experiences in using value-added approaches that allow them to profitably grow small grains on acreages many orders of magnitude smaller than typical North American grain farms.
Last updated October 4, 2017