Essex--Amber Lambke, founder and president of Maine Grains, Inc., will give the keynote talk at the annual Vermont Grain Growers Conference, March 24 in Essex.
Lambke, who is also a founding member of Maine Grains Alliance, will describe her success working with farmers, business leaders and community residents to bring cultivation and processing of grains back to Maine. Her talk is one of several at the day-long conference at The Essex Resort and Spa that will address the theme, "Revitalizing a Local Grains Community."
Registration, due by March 17, is $50 for Northern Grain Growers Association (NGGA) members, $75 for non-members, and includes lunch. For details or to register, go to go.uvm.edu/2020grainsconference. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Susan Brouillette at (802) 524-6501, ext. 432, by March 3.
The conference, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., includes a plenary session with Andrea Stanley, owner and maltster at Valley Malt in Hadley, Massachusetts, and a leader of Northeast Grainshed, a coalition of growers, brewers, distillers and others involved in her local grain economy. Concurrent sessions will cover a range of topics including seed production, managing soil health on grain farms, small-scale grain growing, rye and barley production and distilling, marketing opportunities for rye and one couple's journey from the Ukraine back to Vermont to reinvigorate a former cooperative bakery, among others.
Participants also will learn the preliminary results of the Vermont Grain Market Study, conducted by NGGA and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and may take part in sessions on baking sourdough bread and making the perfect pie crust. Panels will focus on grain farmers' personal experiences and local opportunities for growing grains.
The program, co-sponsored by NGGA and the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program, will conclude with a networking social hour and session to taste products made with locally grown Vermont grains. Growers are encouraged to bring seeds for the grain and legume seed swap, which will take place throughout the day.