Weaving a Regional Small Grains Value Chain, with Alyssa Hartman - Ep 03
Learn how the Artisan Grain Collaborative is working to promote a regenerative food system in the Upper Midwest, starting with small grains.
Episode 03 Summary
Welcome to our third interview in the Too Good to Waste series. This episode features Alyssa Hartman, Executive Director of the Artisan Grain Collaborative. Alyssa shares some great insights about the mission of AGC: to create a diverse regional grainshed built upon regenerative agriculture practices that steward the health of communities, local economies, and natural resources. We talk about why it is important to build a market for local grains, and what we can do as consumers to help support the mission of making it financially viable for farmers to grow these specialty grains for our consumption.
Artisan Grain Collaborative's Origin Story
This video shares the story of how the AGC got started.
If we want to see more people growing small grains we have to create stronger food-grade markets for those crops.
I myself am at best, a very novice home baker and I have been using all local grain and making great things that are delicious, so don't be scared to grab the bag of flour and start playing around with it.
If there is a viable income stream coming through using what would otherwise be a waste product, more of that money might be able to be used to purchase more local grain to be used in the brewing and distilling processes.
About our Guest
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. 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.
About the Artisan Grain Collaborative
The Artisan Grain Collaborative is a collective of farmers, millers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, brewers, distillers, nonprofits, agriculture researchers, school nutrition experts, and other individuals and organizations working to promote a regenerative food system by expanding awareness of and markets for small grains across the Upper Midwest.
How We Get There
AGC is a gathering place for individuals and organizations working across the Upper Midwest from farmer to consumer to support diverse regenerative food systems. We accomplish this through multi-stakeholder collaboration to build relationships with individuals, organizations, and communities, provide education, share scientific data, and promote initiatives that result in greater public awareness and support of agricultural systems that provide multiple societal benefits. AGC’s focus is on food grade small grains as a first best opportunity to begin an economically viable regenerative transition in a region currently dominated by monocultures of only a few crops.
Mentioned in the Episode
Here are links to companies and organizations that were mentioned, we invite you to visit them.