DENVER — In mid-December, Ardent Mills unveiled an organic initiative committed to helping U.S. wheat growers double organic wheat acres by 2019. Now, the Denver-based flour milling and ingredient company will look to build on that initiative by hosting a series of grower meetings in the west.
“We’re very eager to work with farmers as they transition to this growing market and to provide our customers with an assured supply in support of their new product and menu introductions,” said Mike Miller, vice-president of risk management. “We are certain that current demand will continue to increase well into the future. We’ve heard from farmers we work with, and we understand the barriers faced when shifting a portion or all of their crops to organic. Ardent Mills is addressing these challenges with our Organic Initiative 2019.”
Shrene White, director of specialty grains with risk management at Ardent Mills, said the company has experienced “a groundswell of interest” in the topic or organic wheat. As a result, she said Ardent has asked Oregon Tilth to share additional information about organic wheat certification. Oregon Tilth is a nonprofit certifier, educator and advocate for organic agriculture and products.
“As farmers join this effort, they will have direct support services, workshops and long-term contracts for transitional and organic wheat bushels,” Ms. White said.
Three meetings will be conducted this month on a first-come, first-served basis:
• In Fargo, N.D., on Jan. 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Candlewood Suites, 1831 NDSU Research Park Drive (with lunch provided). Attendance for the event is closed.
• In Fort Morgan, Colo., on Jan. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Country Steakout, 19592 E. 8th Ave. (with lunch provided). Attendance is still open for this event.
• In Pocatello, Idaho, on Jan. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 1555 Pocatello Creek Road (with lunch provided). Attendance is still open for this event.Attendance for the event in Fargo is closed, but to RSVP for either the Colorado or Idaho events, registration forms are available at ardentmills.com/tcap. Additionally, farmers interested in working with Ardent Mills on its Organic Initiative 2019 can contact Shrene White by e-mail at Organic.Initiative2019@ardentmills.com, or phone toll free (844) 421-2068.