Cascadia Grains Conference and Growing Grains Extension Publication
CSANR Project 140
Small grains – wheat, barley, oats, and rye – have been in cultivation in Western Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia since the fur-trade era of the mid‐1800s. Today, these crops and pseudo-grains (e.g. quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat) are grown in rotation with high‐value fruit and vegetable, as well as on pastures and haylands. Consumer demand for local grains, whole grain products, and alternative and gluten-free grains has been increasing, and farmers and agribusinesses have begun to respond. However, the Pacific Northwest grain economy is highly consolidated and export-oriented, and generational knowledge as well as appropriately-scaled handling and processing infrastructure is lacking, thus developing alternative markets is proving difficult. Therefore, we propose the Cascadia Grains Conference to occur on January 11, 2014 in Tacoma, WA, which will bring together 200 farmers, processors and end-users to support rebuilding a grain economy in this region through three value-added enterprises: animal feed, baking and other food uses, and brewing/distilling. This conference will focus on identifying and managing risk in integrating grains into local production systems, and in forming new short supply-chain relationships between farmers and processors/end-users. The full conference program and additional information can be found here: http://cascadiagrains.com. Additionally, a new Extension publication will be developed on “Growing Wheat and Barley in Western Washington and Oregon.” This proposal is a collaboration between Washington State University and Oregon State University.