Small Grains: The Best Opportunity to Integrate Regenerative Farming Practices on the Landscape
Alyssa Hartman is the first executive director of the Artisan Grain Collaborative, a network of farmers, millers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, brewers, distillers, agricultural researchers, and affiliated individuals and organizations working collectively to build and sustain a regenerative grainshed in the Upper Midwest.
Alyssa is originally from a small town in Ohio where she grew up surrounded by fields of corn and soybeans and was always at the front of the line at the weekly farmers market held in a parking lot next to the county fairgrounds throughout the summer. Alyssa earned a Masters degree in Food and Agriculture Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and has spent the past ten years working in various aspects of local and regional foods systems including on a variety of sustainable farms, in improving the quality of and access to meals in schools, and in institutional procurement of local food.
We're talking about catalyzing a farm to food system vision for regenerating community health, wealth, resilience and well-being.
In this interview, I talk with Alyssa Hartman, Executive Director of the Artisan Grain Collaborative, which is a a network of farmers, millers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, brewers, distillers, agricultural researchers, and affiliated individuals and organizations working collectively to build and sustain a regenerative grainshed in the Upper Midwest.
Alyssa talks about why she believes small grains like wheat, rye, oats, spelt and others are the best opportunity we have to see regenerative farming systems adopted by farmers in the grain belt.
Small grade food markets are booming across the Midwest. Alyssa believes now is the time to create systems and opportunities to support farmers to profitably integrate small grains into their rotations.
Alyssa explains what types of investments will be needed to encourage farmers to grow these grains and how consumers figure into the picture.
Alyssa asks us to dig deep in our communities and buy from local farms who are stewarding the environment and are a benefit to all of us.
Alyssa created the Neighbor Loaves program as a way for consumers to support those in need of food as well as small bakeries and the flour mills that supply them. Buying a loaf for a neighbor supports a whole supply chain. Please support these bakeries buy purchasing a loaf for a neighbor through their online ordering platforms. You can also ask your local bakery to participate the program.
Please enjoy my conversation with Alyssa to learn how we can catalyze and support a regenerative farming and food system that works for everyone.
Don't forget, I’ve created a special Our Food Is Our Future Facebook Group where you can join the conversation and share your reflections, questions and ideas about creating a healthier farming and food system.
Here's to a healthier farming and food system for us all,