Rediscovering Grains

Farmers, bakers, and eaters together can fuel a more diverse, flavorful whole grain supply chain.

 
 
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Stephen Jones

Director of the The Bread Lab

Stephen Jones is a wheat breeder and the Director of the The WSU Bread Lab in Skagit Valley Washington. Stephen has a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and teaches graduate courses in advanced classical genetics and in the history and ethics of genetics. His first wheat crop was on five acres at Chico State University’s student farm in 1977. Together with his graduate students and staff he breeds non-commodity wheat and other grains for local uses to be grown on small diverse farms in the coastal West (from Alaska to Los Angeles), the upper Northeast and other non-wheat regions of the country. The Bread Lab is a combination think tank and baking laboratory where scientists, community members, bakers, chefs, farmers, maltsters, brewers, distillers and millers experiment with improved flavor, nutrition and functionality of regional and obscure wheats, barley, buckwheat and other small grains and beans.

 

 
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Mai Nguyen 

Farmer at Sonoma Grain Collaborative and

Director at California Grain Campaign

Mai centers people in food and economic systems. Nguyen uses regenerative farming and fair labor practices to grow heritage grains and Southeast Asian crops for food and seed in Sonoma and San Diego counties. They co-founded the California Grain Campaign in 2016 to popularize and normalize California-grown, whole grains. As the National Young Farmers Coalition's first California Organizer, Nguyen mobilizes farmers to create policy change for a farming future. Nguyen also develops worker cooperative farms and serves on the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. They were chosen as a 2018 Grist 50 Fixers and 2018 BALLE Fellow for their work on passing the 2017 Farmer Equity Act, founding the Asian American Farmers Alliance, and building democratically-owned economies. Prior to farming, Nguyen was a climate researcher at UC Berkeley and in Alaska, refugee camp water sanitation specialist in Thailand, catalyst for the EBT Market Match program, and co-founder of a farm-to-table cooperative restaurant in Toronto. Nguyen completed their undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and graduate degree at the University of Toronto.