As the first commercially available perennial grain crop in the US, Kernza® perennial grain has the potential to change agriculture landscapes by providing valuable ecosystem services and new economic opportunities. Carmen Fernholz of A-Frame Farm, has been growing Kernza since 2011. A-Frame Farm manager, Luke Peterson, started growing and marketing Kernza in 2018, and now manages 30+ acres of the University of Minnesota (UMN) variety, MN-Clearwater.
This field tour is an opportunity for growers, processors, businesses, and others to learn more about Kernza® and its environmental benefits and economic opportunities.
In 2020, Carmen, Luke, and Kernza growers across Minnesota formed a co-op called Perennial Promise Growers Co-op (PPGC). Carmen, Luke, and others from PPGC will share the vision for the co-op and how they are working with industry and researchers to grow, market, and champion Kernza.
The Field Day tour will also include water erosion demonstrations from the Lac qui Parle Soil and Water Conservation District and a soil pit that will showcase the impressive Kernza root system. Food companies and culinary professionals will share how they are using Kernza and UMN researchers will be on-hand to answer questions about breeding, agronomics and economics.
We recommend wearing durable shoes or boots to walk through the field. This is a rain or shine event, so please dress accordingly.
Light refreshments that include Kernza will be served. A social hour will follow the tour, plan to stay for conversation and connection!
This event is free but registration is required.
About UMN Forever Green Initiative (FGI) and The Land Institute: University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative has been engaged in research and development of this ground-breaking crop for several years in partnership with The Land Institute (Kansas), where the grain was first developed. The UMN and Land Institute research team includes ecologists, breeders, agronomists and food scientists working on everything from increasing seed size and yields to field trials and commercial opportunities.