Locally grown grains are on the rise! Bakers are seeking local and often organic wheat. Microbreweries are seeking local barley and hops. Distillers are seeking rye and a number of other grains.
The small grain production landscape, however, is not set up to support the new, expanding local small grains supply chain. Industrial, commodity crop growers bring their product to grain elevators and receive a set price based on the market. Independent small grains growers have none of this established infrastructure – they need to invest in or find access to post-harvest, value added capabilities, storage, distribution and sales and marketing. Farmers new to small grains typically need mentorship and support on production, and access to suppliers for seeds and other inputs.
New Venture Advisors helps clients – such as communities, farmers, and buyers seeking more grains – develop new ventures that are needed to better integrate their local grain supply chain.
Shagbark Seed & Mill Growth Plan
Shagbark Seed & Mill is a social enterprise launched by the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative in 2010 to purchase, aggregate, store, process, value-add, market, and distribute certified organic Ohio-grown bean and grain products. They currently sell to stores, restaurants, and institutions across the mid-Atlantic region. At 10 years in business, Shagbark Seed & Mill is contemplating growth strategies that will enable the company to double its product sales over the next 3-4 years and support more Ohio and Appalachian family farms. The company worked with New Venture Advisors to conduct a business review, recommend operational, financial and market strategies, and create a roadmap that will guide the company through its next phase of growth. (2021)
Northeast Market Assessment for Vermont Grain
Northern Grain Growers Association, UVM Extension, Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program and Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund/Farm to Plate are wisely exploring agricultural options for Vermont dairy producers whose farming operations are facing an economic crisis that threatens the loss of their land and livelihoods. This group of collaborators is developing a hypothesis that investments in grain industry infrastructure could catalyze production transition and expansion among regional producers. New Venture Advisors conducted a market study of the Northeast for Vermont’s grain industry and developed recommendations aligned with Vermont’s grain production strengths. (2020)
Livingston County Grain Center Study
Livingston County, NY
New Venture Advisors assisted the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency in assessing the feasibility of establishing a grain center that would support grain producers in the region and respond to increasing demand for New York-grown grains for microbrewing, distilling and baking. The center will launch in 2019 as a clearinghouse and storage facility for malting barley and as a soybean extruder to produce soymeal for dairy feed and oil for resellers. It is expected to serve as a catalyst for the development of an industrial grain cluster in the greater Rochester region. (2017)