The 2014 conference was a great success! Over 240 participants from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, California and beyond attended 17 session led by 32 speakers! In addition to session participants got a chance to hear from various businesses, non-profits and government agencies at our Resource Expo and taste some of Cascadia’s finest beers and spirits at our Best of the Cascades Tasting Tour. You can view and download the 2014 Cascadia Grains Conference At-A-Glance Agenda and the Full Program in PDF format.
Bread Lab: Thinking Differently About Baking Quality
Stephen Jones, Washington State University, Mount Vernon Research Center
Bread and other baked products made from 100% of the wheat kernel can be dry, crumbly and have an over-powering taste. Learn about how The Bread Lab works with 100% of the kernel to pull out unique and desirable flavors, textures and nutrition to show what can be done with whole wheat. Also learn about the value of our local grains in whole wheat products.
Helpful resources: The Grain Gathering, The Bread Lab
Linking the Grain Producer to the Market
Matt Lincecum, Fremont Brewing Co.; Mike Sherlock, Fremont Mischief; Luke Zigovits, Organic Valley
Learn how organic dairy operators, a brewer, and a distiller connect directly with farmers to purchase grain and hay straight from the source. Hear their perspective on the challenges and opportunities in forming short supply-chain relationships in the regional grain economy.
View Luke’s presentation
Bringing the Malthouse Back: A New England Story
Andrea Stanley, Valley Malt
The recent history of malting in America is the story of only a handful of large companies dominating the industry and turning out a uniform, commodity product. Join Andrea Stanley from Valley Malt to discuss how she and her husband started a malthouse in New England in 2010. Andrea will discuss what it takes to start a malthouse and bringing back that craft of malting to a non-traditional grain growing region. The workshop will cover practical aspects such as start-up expenses, equipment sourcing, working with farmers and marketing to craft brewers.
View Andrea’s presentation
Part 1: Increasing the Regional Production of Small Grains
Don Bailey, Bailey Compost/Vegetables; Colin Barricklow, Kirsop Farm; Dan Bartelheimer, Sno-Valley Farms; Sam McCullough, Nash’s Organic Produce
It is estimated that the current annual market for livestock and poultry feed consisting of grain is well in excess of one million tons. It is likely that very little of this grain is produced by Western Washington farms. New market opportunities are also emerging for food grains. The purpose of this panel discussion is to hear from representatives of the market, small grain producers, grain millers, and government agencies. This group will discuss the current situation, potential opportunities, what will be needed to increase small grain production, processing for food, and livestock and poultry feed in Western Washington. This discussion will be followed by a work session to develop real and tangible steps that can be taken based on information and thoughts provided by the panelists.
View Don’s presentation
Designing Regional Food/Ag Businesses
John Gardner, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
Despite agriculture’s long history and stunning increase in productivity and complexity, it has spawned relatively few business models. Production, processing, distribution, and marketing stops along the supply chain have developed deeply embedded business designs rewarded by economies of scale. This session will explore ways to create or modify business models that are suited to a regional scale, driven by a market pull (rather than supply push), and meet profit, environmental, and community health goals. Short supply chains, aggregation, vertical integration, and broader ownership structures are among the design tools that will be discussed.
View John’s presentation
Effects of Grain and Grass Feeds on Meat Quality
Jan Busboom & Mark Nelson, Washington State University Animal Sciences
Two leading meat quality specialists will share some of the latest science behind nutritional effects on beef composition and palatability, with a primary focus on key differences between grass-fed and grain-fed approaches to management.
View Jan & Mark’s presentation
Incorporating Local Grains into Poultry Feed
Matthew Aamot, Scratch and Peck Feeds; Jacob Slosberg, University of British Columbia
Come learn about free-choice feeding, an alternative to pre-mixed rations based upon making feed ingredients available separately in different troughs, giving the hens the ability to choose what they need and when they need it. Free choice feed has a range of benefits including natural diet adjustments due to seasons, farmers flexibility to grow/source feed ingredients locally, and providing an additional grain market for local farmers interested in integrating grain to diversified crop systems. Learn about the UBC Farm free-choice feed trials as well as insights from Scratch and Peck, a Washington-based chicken feed company.
View Jacob’s presentation
View Matthew’s presentation
Helpful resources: UBC Farm
Producing Specialty Grains in the Pacific Northwest: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Quinoa & Spelt
Kevin Murphy, Washington State University
Have you considered growing amaranth, buckwheat or quinoa on your farm? On-farm and market diversification can be achieved by adding these specialty grains to your cropping rotations, This workshop will address many of the challenges and opportunities of specialty grain production.
View Kevin’s presentation
Helpful resources: International Quinoa Research Symposium
Hands-on Soba Noodle Making
Sonoko Sakai, Common Grains
Sonoko will lead participants through the process of turning fresh stone-milled buckwheat into delicious Soba (hot buckwheat noodle soup served with vegetables and herbs) in this step-by-step, hands-on session.
View Sonoko’s step-by-step guide
Grain Varieties and Malting: The Secret to Developing the New Cascadia Beers
Wayne Carpenter & Mike Doehnel, Skagit Valley Malting; Patrick Hayes, Oregon State University
The Cascadian region is home to the most innovative brewing and distilling industries on the planet. Many of these industries are committed to supporting local agriculture, but supporting malting barley production has not been part of the equation. Three variables that must be addressed before we can have truly local beer and spirits are variety, malting capacity, and seed viability. In this session, we will explore these topics and discuss evolving solutions.
View Pat, Wayne & Mike’s presentation
Helpful resources: Barley World
Risk Management Options for Small Grains
Jessica Jensen, Jessica Jensen Law; Chris Mahelona, USDA Risk Management Agency
Whether you are new to growing small grains or a seasoned veteran, learn how to manage yield and price risks on an individual crop basis or revenue for the whole farm. Also learn the ins and outs of developing legal contracts to protect yourself during commercial sales and transactions, as well as the leasing of land and equipment.
View Jessica’s presentation
View Chris’s presentation
The Development of the Gluten-Free Market
Joe Casey, Craft Brew Alliance; George DePasquale, Essential Baking Company
Within the last five years the market for gluten free foods has dramatically increased, changing our view of traditional food and beverage recipes. Exclusive use of wheat and barley has been expanded to include rice, quinoa, sorghum, and other grains to make everyday staples, which are both gluten-free and delicious. Learn about how Essential Baking Company has been approaching the gluten free market both now and in the future. Also, learn about the successful emergence of Omission beer in the domestic gluten free beer market, as well as the historical and the current regulatory situation surrounding gluten free alcoholic beverage labeling in the U.S.
View Joe’s presentation
View George’s presentation
Puget Sound Agricultural Origins and Ode to the Cowlitz Prairie Threshing Bee
Richard Scheuerman, Seattle Pacific University
The first large-scale production of cereal grains in the Pacific Northwest was undertaken in the earliest years of frontier settlement. The Hudson’s Bay Company’s “Puget Sound Agricultural Company” was organized in 1840 to export wheat, flour, butter, and other agricultural commodities from Ft. Vancouver, Ft. Nisqually, and Cowlitz Farm to Spanish California and Russian Alaska. These earliest landrace grain varieties have recently been identified and reintroduced in response to interest from craft millers and brewers.
View Richard’s presentation
View Richard’s Heritage Grains Origins & Ode to the Cowlitz Thresherman
Getting Licensed in the Brewing and Distilling Industry
Farshad Allahdadi, Oregon Liquor Control Commission; Heidi Braley, Washington Liquor Control Board
This session will provide a licensing process overview for breweries and distilleries. Learn about the straightforward, customer-service approach to becoming licensed from both the OR and WA perspectives. Interstate sales and land use laws also addressed.
View Heidi’s presentation
Grains in Eco-friendly Crop Rotations
Art Bomke, University of British Columbia; Lucas Patzek & Brook Brouwer, Washington State University
Learn about the important characteristics of Cascadian grain growing environments and how they justify the regional philosophy towards variety testing. Also, discover which small grain varieties have been performing well in Cascadia, and how the region’s farmers have been developing their production systems and markets.
View Lucas’s presentation
View Brook’s presentation