KANSAS CITY — The rapidly changing and increasingly important markets for ancient grains, heirloom grains, organic ingredients and other specialty crops will be addressed in a panel discussion June 4 at the 2018 Purchasing Seminar sponsored by Sosland Publishing Company.

A first for the seminar, the panel will take place during Monday's lunch. The seminar will be held June 3-5 at the Sheraton at Crown Center in Kansas City.

“Specialty crops have grown steadily in importance in recent years as ingredients in grain-based and other processed food products,” said Josh Sosland, president of Sosland Publishing Co. “Many challenges are associated with procuring these ingredients. Our panel will discuss how these markets have grown and matured, challenges associated with sourcing them and purchasing strategies for the year ahead.”

At the 2017 Purchasing Seminar, a breakout session on organic grain markets was presented for the first time and was well attended. An organic markets session will be held again in 2018, and the lunch panel will look at the broader range of specialty crops, including ancient grains, sustainably grown crops, heirloom grains, organic fruits and other specialty ingredients.

Panelists will include Elizabeth M.G. Haucke, president, Plovgh, Viroqua, Wis.; Kellee James, founder and chief executive officer of Mercaris, Silver Spring, Md.; Shonda Warner, managing partner, Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners, L.L.C., Kansas City; and Shrene White, general manager, The Annex by Ardent Mills, Denver.

Moderating the panel will be Ron Sterk, senior editor, markets, Milling & Baking News.

Because of the late addition to the seminar program, early-bird sign-up for the 2018 Purchasing Seminar has been extended to May 4 from May 1. To sign up or for additional information, go to www.purchasingseminar.com, or call Christina Sullivan at (816) 756-1000.