Farmer-generated training and equipment solutions for producing and processing value-added grains
OGRIN, the Northeast Organic Farming Organization of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ), and the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) are collaborating on a new project that will help farmers adopt sustainable production practices and increase profitability by growing and processing value-added grains. The three-year project is made possible through the award of a NE SARE research and education grant.
Northeast farmers interested in growing grains with high profit potential for the burgeoning local/regional foods market—such as einkorn, spelt, emmer, heritage varieties, and hulless oats and barley—need support in 1) developing expertise in best management practices for food-grade grain production and 2) accessing and efficiently using affordable, scale-appropriate production and processing equipment.
The project will provide an intensive training program largely conducted by expert grain farmers and experienced grain processors in our region. Topics will range from best field practices to drying/cleaning/storage options to processing opportunities and marketing and distribution strategies. The training program will also focus on solutions generated by farmers themselves to the problem of sourcing equipment, including buying used equipment, modifying existing equipment to serve new functions, building your own equipment, buying new, low-cost equipment from local/regional small-scale manufacturing enterprises, and equipment sharing.Farmers participating in the training program will also get support for individual equipment projects, including one-on-one mentoring from experts provided by the project.