Open your mind to the possibilities of retailing Khorasan wheatgrass at $10 per 16-ounce bag or maybe organic corn and soybeans for feed at $9 and $21 a bushel, respectively. The markets are already there.
How you can tap them is the big question.
Some of the answers will be shared at the upcoming New York Certified Organic’s upcoming meeting at Geneva, N.Y., on March 8. You don’t have to be a member to attend.
New and changing global markets for organic grain and dairy producers, flax grain production and uses, and a session entitled What Do You Want to Make Per Acre on Your Farm are all on the agenda. It’s a free meeting begins at 10 a.m. in Jordan Hall, 630 West North Street, at the N.Y. State Ag Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.
* Bob Quinn of Big Sandy, Montana, will share his expertise about developing new organic grain markets. He considered several options before settling on the ancient grain of kamut as a good fit for his 2,400-acre organic farm in an area that can receive only 13 inches of rain in a season. He’ll talk about the importance of research, dedication to establishing a strong market, and what farmers can do to develop their own niche.
* Mary-Howell Martens, who operates Lakeview Organic Grain and co-owns an organic grain farm with her husband Klaas Martens in Penn Yan, N.Y., will cover changes in the world grain market. The Martens are highly respected innovators who willingly share their knowledge to encourage other farmers to be successful. N.Y. Organic Certified started in their farmhouse kitchen 21 years ago.
* Luke Gianforte of Gianforte Farm, Cazenovia, N.Y., will help audience members answer the question of how much each wants to make per acre with their farming enterprise. He’ll share how he tracks costs and returns for 500 acres of up to 10 different organic grains and row crops that he and his dad grow. The Gianfortes also operate their own small mill and package whole and milled grains in bulk and for restaurant, retail and farmers’ market sale, largely serving the central New York and Mohawk Valley regions.
* Ed Schefler of Groton, N.Y., will be among the growers on the after-lunch panel discussing alternative grains production. Schefler will show slides about growing flax and pressing the seed for oil and cake, that he feeds to his cows.
* And, there’ll be a brief description of how crop insurance can benefit organic farmers. The New York Crop Insurance Education Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension provides support for NYCO meetings.
You don’t have to be a N.Y. Certified Organic member to attend, and there’s no cost – except for bringing a dish to pass at the potluck lunch. Contact Fay Benson at 607.745.3807 or email [email protected] to let him know you’re coming or for more information.