CCE Ulster County and the Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program hosted the 3rd annual Hudson Valley value-added grains school on February 10, 2017 near Coxsackie 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 2017 school had ~60 participants, a mini-trade show, and five speakers.
Justin O’Dea of CCE-Ulster provided an update on Hudson Valley grain variety trial results, and on upcoming trials of several promising varieties of milling wheats, malting barleys, and ryes being tested by several collaborating area bakers, brewers, and distillers. Aaron MacLeod of the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage explained aspects of malting quality and alternative grains (other than barley) that can be grown for craft beverage markets. Author Amy Halloran shared an array of value-added grain business models that she encountered nationwide while researching her book, The New Bread Basket: How the New Crop of Grain Growers, Plant Breeders, Millers, Maltsters, Bakers, Brewers, and Local Food Activists Are Redefining Our Daily Loaf. Upstate NY farmer Corey Mosher and Ontario farmer George Wright finished out the last two hours of the day with entertaining talks on their experiences in building value-added grain businesses. Mosher explained how malting barley has been a profitable, relatively low-labor-demand crop that has likewise been an excellent rotational crop for their vegetable production system. Wright explained how his strategies for adding multiple value layers to grains and innovative marketing has allowed him to run a profitable, diversified grain business on ~50 acres. Attendees this year were also given multiple opportunities to network with each other and twelve trade show participants.
Last updated September 27, 2017