Increasing local dry bean production and markets through on-farm variety trials and nutrition education

The goal of the full research project is to conduct dry bean variety trials, market surveys, and human nutrition education in Northwest Washington to increase local dry bean production, marketing and consumption. The goal of the planning grant is to gather essential baseline data regarding local dry bean production and farmgate sales, as well as local market demand in Whatcom County. Our preliminary studies indicate dry beans can be grown successfully in the region, but more work is needed to establish current production levels and marketing strategies in order to create a strong and relevant assessment plan for the proposals we are submitting. Additionally, the planning grant will be used to convene the project team to develop and submit the WSARE and WSDA research grant proposals.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 111
  • Project Status: Complete




1. Brower, B., H. Gonzalez and C. Miles. 2013. Western Washington Dry Bean Grower Survey.

2. Field trial and cooking experiment data will contribute to the MS thesis of Kelly Atterberry, Horticulture, and will be submitted for publication in 2015, either collectively or separately.

3. Grower survey and follow‐up interviews will contribute to the PhD dissertation of Brook Brouwer, Crop Science, and will be submitted for publication in the Journal of Agriculture and Human Values or a similar peer‐reviewed journal, by 2015.

4. Whatcom County Extension: the Bean Project. .

Additional Funds Leveraged

WSARE preproposal (Miles et al.) submitted in 2012, full proposal was not requested. Submitting a new revised preproposal (Jones et al.) in 2013.
WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant preproposal (Miles et al.) submitted in 2012, full proposal was not requested. Submitted a new revised preproposal (Jones et al.) in 2013 and a full proposal was requested and has been submitted, ‘Early
Maturing Dry Beans for Specialty Markets in Western Washington’ $ 268,190.
CAHNRS Emerging Issues research proposal (Jones et al.) submitted in 2012, but was not funded.
American Pulse Association proposal (Miles et al.) was funded in 2013, $42,759.
Northwest Agriculture Research Foundation proposal (Miles and Jones) was funded in 2013, $14,750.


Short‐Term: Growers in western Washington have gained awareness about the potential to grow dry beans in the region. One new grower utilized our dry bean thresher and seed cleaner in winter 2012. Dry bean production in the region will be at least 10 acres by 2016.

Intermediate‐Term: Americans will regard dry beans as a healthy and attractive food source. As a result, marketers will seek local producers for dry beans. School food programs will connect with local growers to supply dry beans. Local growers will experience increased sales of dry beans, and dry bean production will increase in the region to 100 acres by 2020.

Long‐Term: Dry bean consumption will increase through school food programs, and growers will increase sales through farm‐to‐school programs. School food program directors and Extension nutrition professionals will develop recipes suitable for school lunch programs. Human health and nutrition will improve due to increased dry bean consumption by 2025.