University of Vermont

Grain Growers to Hear From Renowned Organic Dairy Producer

Jack Lazor - Butterworks Farm

Essex--Jack Lazor, co-owner of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the tenth annual Vermont Grain Growers Conference, March 13 in Essex.

Lazor's talk will focus on grain production in cold climates, based on his experiences with growing grains for human consumption and feed for his Jersey herd. The organic dairy farmer is a co-founder of the Northern Grain Growers Association (NGGA), which will sponsor the meeting at the Essex Resort and Spa in cooperation with University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, King Arthur Flour and several other sponsors.

Registrations are due by March 10. The fee, which includes lunch, is $45 per person and $40 for NGGA members. Conference details and online registration can be found at  The registration form and payment also may be mailed to Grain Growers Conference, UVM Extension, 278 South Main St., Ste 2, St. Albans, VT 05478. Please make checks payable to University of Vermont.

Anyone requiring a disability-related accommodation to attend, should contact Susan Brouillette at (802) 524-6501, ext. 432, or by March 1.

The conference will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and include four concurrent sessions with choice of talks relating to malting, dry beans and buckwheat.  Topics include nutrient quality breeding, small-scale dry bean production, equipment sourcing, small-scale malting and value-added grains, among others. The UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team will provide an update on its trials on heirloom grains, fertility, planting dates and other research.

Of special interest are hands-on baking classes on sweet and savory scones and cooking with buckwheat.  Tom Sabo and Mary Whalen, assisted by their students from Montpelier High School, will share how they use local grains in youth education.

Paula Gray will describe the Bake for Good Kids Program at King Arthur Flour and will teach participants how to knead, shape and bake bread. Loaves will be baked by the Essex Resort and donated to Tim's House in St. Albans.

The conference will conclude with a talk on evaluating bread made with local grains, followed by a social hour and networking session. The presentation, which includes bread tastings, will be led by Jeffrey Hamelman of King Arthur Flour, Norwich; Randy George of Red Hen Bakery, Middlesex and John Mellquist of Trukenbrod Mill and Bakery, Vershire.