If you want to learn the latest, cutting-edge information about growing organic wheat as a value-added crop, here's a seminar you'll be interested in attending. "We are inviting educators, nutritionists, health professionals, farmers and the public to join us on June 11 to learn more about wheat, and in particular organic wheat production and marketing," says Sara Carlson, research and policy director for Practical Farmers of Iowa, headquartered in Ames.
A seminar on "Breeding and Growing Organic Wheat for Bread Quality and Health" will be held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agricultural Research and Development Center. It's located within a 40 minute drive of Lincoln or Omaha and you can find the directions at http://ardc.unl.edu/direct.shtml. The research center is in Saunders County near Mead, Nebraska.
Those who attend will be taken on a "field to table tour," says Carlson. This event runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Purpose is to provide an opportunity for farmers and others to learn more about wheat—from breeding and variety selection to production and the potential for establishing your own "farm to bakery" program.
Hear the latest information about value-added wheat production
"In the morning we will start with a visit to the University of Nebraska organic research fields to learn how wheat is bred and how new varieties are developed," she says. "We'll also learn how wheat works in an organic farming crop rotation, how cover crops are used with wheat and learn about promising experimental varieties or lines for organic production."
Lunch will feature local artisan breads. Lunch will be followed by a panel of local bakers who will discuss available wheat products and characteristics needed in flour for making artisan bread. Shelly Asplin, a registered dietician, and Mary Schlukebier, executive director of the Celiac Sprue Association, will discuss the topic of a gluten-free diet, sources of gluten, and the challenges for those people who have to live gluten-free. They'll also discuss challenges and opportunities for grain growers who are trying to grow for the gluten-free market. UNL specialists will share research results on antioxidant studies and wheat quality studies.
A number of interesting topics & speakers at this field day
Here's the schedule: 10 a.m. Welcome and conference overview and introductory presentation; 10:40 a.m. Long-term Organic Plot Cover Crops and Rotations (John Lindquist); 11 a.m. Inter-seeded Legumes in Wheat (Katja Koehler-Cole); 11:20 a.m. Promising Experimental Wheat Lines for Organic Production (Richard Little); 12 p.m. Lunch, followed by presentation by panel of bakers; 1:30 p.m. Gluten Related Disorders—Challenges & Opportunities (Celiac Sprue Association); 2:30 p.m. UNL Anti-oxidant and Wheat Quality Test Results (Richard Little); and 3 p.m. closing remarks.
For Lunch reservation call Pat at 402-584-3837. For information about the conference call Liz at 402-309-0944 or [email protected]. Conference fee is $15 per person to cover cost of lunch.
For Iowans a van will be leaving Ames 6:30 a.m. Monday June 11 and head south on Interstate 35 and west on Interstate 80. If you'd like to reserve a ride in the van please email [email protected]. PFI will take farmers who reserve a spot in the van to the Nebraska wheat event and field day.