Bay State buys millet company CleanDirt Farm

by Jeff Gelski
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CleanDirt Farm
CleanDirt Farm is an organic and conventional millet sourcing and processing operation.

QUINCY, MASS. — Bay State Milling has acquired CleanDirt Farm, an organic and conventional millet sourcing and processing operation in Sterling, Colo. CleanDirt Farm has been part of Bay State Milling’s supply chain for more than 10 years.

CleanDirt Farm, a multi-generational, family-owned enterprise, was built on the homestead of Rob Knowles and Meryl Stern. They began the business to promote millet as a nutritious and sustainable ancient grain and to raise the level of industry processing standards. Bay State Milling will work with Mr. Knowles and Ms. Stern to integrate the local team and transition the business into Bay State’s array of specialty plant-based supply chains.

Quincy-based Bay State Milling offers hulled white proso, whole white proso and whole red proso millets in both conventional and organic varieties as well as non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. and gluten-free flour. Whole millet, whole millet flour, sprouted whole millet and sprouted whole millet flour will be available at Bay State Milling locations in Bolingbrook, Ill., and Woodland, Calif.

Rob Knowles and Meryl Stern, CleanDirt Farm
Meryl Stern and Rob Knowles began CleanDirt Farm to promote millet as a nutritious and sustainable ancient grain.

Millet has a mild flavor profile and balanced nutrition, according to Bay State Milling. It predominantly is used as a whole seed topping or inclusion, but the research and development team at Bay State Milling is evaluating additional functional properties, which could extend millet’s use into a wider array of plant-based foods.

The combination of Bay State’s flour mill in Platteville, Colo., and the CleanDirt business will provide an opportunity to further partner with existing millet growers as well as new growers on their full crop rotations.

“Meryl and I are confident that Bay State Milling will continue to support the professional and personal relationships that we have worked hard to establish with both our customers on the one hand and our supplier/farmers on the other,” Mr. Knowles said. “We have always placed a high value on these relationships and believe that our success is a direct result of all the friends we have made along the way.

“For the next six months we will continue working in the office as key players in the ownership transition from CleanDirt Farm to Bay State Milling. We intend to make this transition as seamless as possible for all involved.”
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