2021 Grain Growers Conference - Out of the Box Webinar Series

This year, the Northern Grain Growers Association (NGGA) and the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program (NWCS) brought the Grain Growers Conference to you virtually with three programs being offered - The Culture of Corn, The Resonance of Rye, and The Splendor of Spelt. See below for the course information and how you can access the recorded presentations.

The Culture of Corn - March 23 - 26
A multi-day interactive virtual workshop exploring the cultural and agronomic significance of specialty corns in the Northeast.  This is a unique experience-based educational week in which you will sign up and receive a box of supplies in the mail to fully engage with the workshop events.  Over the course of four days, this virtual experience will include a combination of pre-recorded videos, live virtual presentations, and a box of ingredients and materials to make your very own hominy, corn soup, and arepas. 

All recordings for the Culture of Corn Workshop Series can be accessed on the Culture of Corn webpage housed on Extension Foundation. Below are instructions for how to access:

Resources Website Through Extension’s Online Campus, the Extension Foundation:
This is where participants can go to find everything they need for The Culture of Corn.  Each session is listed chronologically and has a separate module within the online course.  The modules list the topic, speaker(s), and supplemental resources.  After each session is finished, the recorded presentation video will be archived and made available on this site within 7 days of the live event.

  • Accessing the Site – The site (and webinar recordings) will be housed on Extension Foundation at: http://campus.extension.org.  If you have not yet been to this site, you will need to create an account. To do so, on the left bar under “Login,” click on “Create new account.” You will need to complete some basic information and confirm your account via email.
  • Once you have created an account, you may access The Culture of Corn’s webpage at any time by going to:  https://campus.extension.org/course/view.php?id=2034 Or, type in “The Culture of Corn” in the Search Courses box to find it easily!

The Resonance of Rye - March 30 and 31
Rye has great potential as a grain crop for the Northeast and we have only scratched the surface.  Many farmers know it and grow it as a cover crop.  But, it also yields well and has potential to make great tasting food and beverages.  Join this program to learn about growing cereal rye for human consumption, post-harvest handling, cleaning and storage and a sourdough baking  demonstration.

Video from March 30 session with Todd Hardie of Thornhill Farm and Heather Darby of UVM.

Video from March 31 session with master baker Jeffrey Hamelman on a sourdough rye baking workshop.

Recipes: Rye Crackers (PDF), Rye Miche (PDF), and Rye Power Bars (PDF).

The Splendor of Spelt - April 8 and 9
Spelt is an ancient relative of wheat that is making a splash in specialty and health-food markets.  Questions abound, such as where did it come from? If I’m a farmer, how do I grow, process and sell it?  If I’m a baker, what does it taste like and how do I bake with it?  This program will answer these questions and many more as it guides you through the stages of producing this emerging specialty grain from saving seed and restoring varieties, trialing plots on-farm, farmer-made dehulling and handling equipment, and finally baking with spelt flour.

Video from April 8 session with local grower Sylvia Davatz, Henry Blair from UVM, and Elizabeth Dyck of OGRIN in NY.

Video from April 9 session with master baker Jeffrey Hamelman and Sylvia Davatz.

Recipes: Developing a Firm Levain Culture (PDF), Spelt Butter Cookies (PDF), Spelt Pretzels (PDF), Spelt Sourdough Crackers (PDF), and Spelt Sourdough Loaves (PDF).

Please view the Grain Growers Conference brochure for conference details and speaker bios.

Conference Details

The Culture of Corn*
March 23: 12:30 - 2:00pm
March 24: 12:30 - 2:00pm
March 25: 12:30 - 2:00pm
March 26: 12:30 - 2:00pm
*Must register by 3/12 and limit of 50 registrants

The Resonance of Rye
March 30: 12:30 - 2:00pm
March 31: 12:30 - 2:00pm

The Splendor of Spelt
April 8: 12:30 - 2:00pm
April 9: 12:30 - 2:00pm

Attend all three for $75

Virtual experiences from the comfort of your own home!