AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Organic Association and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Value Added Agriculture Program invite farmers to tour Grain Millers Inc., a small-grain processing facility located in St. Ansgar, Iowa, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m Friday, Feb. 7. The event includes a complimentary meal and educational program on oats and small grains.
As demand for organic food continues to increase and food processors serving the organic market are challenged to find enough organic commodities, the Iowa Organic Association is working to provide support for both Iowa organic farmers and food processors. Tours of organic food processing plants is one way the association is bringing farmers and food processors together.
Grain Millers Inc. is a major manufacturer of organic whole grain ingredients supplied to markets around the world. The company has processing facilities located in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Mexico, Oregon and Saskatchewan. Barley, oats, rye, wheat and other organic grains are purchased as ingredients. Grain Millers is excited to be selected for this inaugural event, and is sponsoring the meal.
“Many farmers don’t know what is involved in turning their load of oats into the many food products that appear on grocery store shelves across the country,” said Amber Anderson-Mba, executive director of IOA. “The tour of the milling facility will help farmers understand what happens to their grain after it leaves the farm. High-quality food begins with what happens on the farm, so an increased understanding of processors’ needs will help farmers produce organic grains that meet the stringent specifications required for organic processing.”
Following the tour, an informational session will discuss the latest market news related to small grains, agronomic tips for producing high yields and high quality, and the latest research related to oats and other small grains. There is no cost for attendance; however, space is limited and reservations are required.
Farmers can register by e-mailing Anderson-Mba at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 515-708-1813. The Iowa Organic Association is a nonprofit group of individuals, organizations, companies and associations dedicated to the advancement of Iowa's organic production and industry. The IOA has come together to serve as an umbrella association whose goal is to represent all facets and concerns of Iowa's organic farmers, wholesalers, retailers, processors, handlers, educators, researchers, consumers and advocates. More information about this event or the IOA can be found at www.iowaorganic.org.