The emerging small grain economy will connect farmers with local food producers at the upcoming Illinois-Missouri Baker, Brewer and Distiller Summit.
A day full of roundtable discussions, networking and inspiration is planned from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Old Bakery Beer Co., 400 Landmarks Blvd. in Alton.
“So many good things are happening in Missouri and Illinois with small grains, artisan grains and new varieties,” said Food Works Executive Director Kathleen Logan Smith. “It is time we get everyone in the same room to catch up and make connections as we strive to strengthen this key part of our food system.”
Topics will include baking breads from specialty grains and local grains; growing new grains such as kernza, an intermediate wheatgrass developed by The Land Institute in Kansas; producing grains for distilling; and the challenges of getting local barley into local beers and spirits.
Agricultural economist John Ikerd will open the summit. Ikerd is a University of Missouri professor emeritus and author of numerous books, including Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense, Small Farms are Real Farms: Sustaining People Through Agriculture and The Essentials of Economic Sustainability.
The event includes lunch. Cost is $25 for farmers, bakers, brewers and distillers; $35 for the general public. Register at tinyurl.com/FBB-Grain-Summit or 618-370-3287, ext. 101.
Organizers are Food Works, a Southern Illinois local food system, and Regenerate Illinois, a statewide sustainable food network.
Partners include the Missouri Grain Project, Slow Food St. Louis, Fresh Taste, Old Bakery Beer Co., Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Artisan Grain Collaborative, Prairie Rivers Network, Hewn Bakery, Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery, the Missouri Farmers Union and the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance.
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