News & Events

Zach visits Hartwick College in New York

In the past year, LCS has had an opportunity to begin building a relationship with the North American Craft Maltsters Guild (CMG) as an associate member of their organization. The CMG was created to promote and educate the general public about the tradition of craft malting in North America – while providing valuable resources to the emerging industry. It’s hard to believe, but just ten years ago, it was not possible to drink an “all local” pint of beer in the US. Today, there are beers on tap that have traveled less than five miles, from where the barley was planted in a field to where the beer is being served. Amazing!

Each year, the CMG hosts an event in collaboration with the Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage, called the ‘Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend.’ I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 FBWW this February in Oneonta, NY. For two full days, more than 100 people in the industry, including farmers, maltsters, brewers, university educators, Brewers Association staff and seed company representatives discussed every aspect of these emerging craft supply chains. The craft brewing industry has always been characterized by a passion for quality and unselfish desire to see all succeed, and this spirit is very much alive, all the way down to the farm level - in large part because of the work the CMG is doing to connect and educate people.

The most exciting part of the FBWW was to see how this group has integrated regionally to create value and solve problems together. The idea that brewing companies are invested in learning more about the impact of barley field agronomics, or that farmers are learning how their crop management practices affect the amount of beer than can be made from their barley, is pretty exciting stuff. Events like the FBWW showcase why the words ‘Craft’ and ‘Quality’ are starting to become synonymous is this industry. And on a side note, there was never more than a four hour period that passed between samplings of grain to a glass of beer. You can’t really top that! I am pretty excited to continue being involved with the CMG and their Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend events in future years.

Cheers -
Zach Gaines, Technical & Marketing Manager

Meet our new Staff Members

RUSSELL OBERG, JENNIFER SWEENEY, and ALEXANDRA VELLETAZ

We are very pleased to announce the arrival of three new members in the LCS commercial team for 2017:

Russell Oberg has joined us as Regional Sales Manager for the Northern Plains region. Russell has a great deal of seed sales experience in the region, in both retail and business to business roles. As our portfolio of varieties continues to grow and our distribution base expands, Russell will be able to offer much needed technical and commercial support to LCS distributors in Minnesota, Montana and the Dakotas. He will operate from his home in Dilworth, near Fargo.

Jennifer Sweeny joins our finance and administration team in Fort Collins, where she will assist Tami Agin in the accounts department as well as performing the valuable function of sales and logistics administration. Jennifer is a graduate of Colorado State University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Equine Science. Since graduation, Jennifer has worked in dispatching as well as the agriculture and accounting industries.

Alexandra Velletaz has arrived in Fort Collins as part of the “VIE” (Volunteer for International Experience) International Internship Program between France and the United States. Alexandra is a qualified food engineer with a degree in Biochemistry and Food Technology. Her role will be to design and implement a quality management system for LCS to support the marketing of wheat quality traits with enhanced nutritional properties.

Global Collaborations -

London's King Cross Train Station

For two weeks in January I left Wichita, KS to travel to France and England for meetings. I would be attending the Limagrain Worldwide Marker Meetings in Clermont-Ferrand, France and the Limagrain Wheat Breeder’s meeting the following week in Docking, England.

My journey would start in Wichita trying to escape a predicted apocalyptic ice storm the day I was originally scheduled to depart. The airline actually called me to reschedule my flights and was able to get me out of Wichita a day earlier and escape the ice storm that ironically never really happened. Oh well, it afforded me one more day in France. Three flights and one taxi ride later, I woke up in Clermont-Ferrand, France, the wonderful home of Limagrain. I spent the next week meeting and exchanging ideas with Brazilian corn breeders, French Sunflower breeders, German oilseed rape breeders, molecular biologists and biostatisticians. Breeding is a process and it takes teams of people all doing their best work to produce a breakthrough. Within Limagrain, the goal is always to improve crop varieties for farmers, from earth to life. I can’t share specifically what we talked about, but in general terms, we talk about methods, approaches to problems, processes, successes and yes, failures.

The next week I traveled from France to England. Two more flights, countless London Underground metro train switches, and a two hour train ride into the countryside and I found myself checking into the Duke’s Head Inn in foggy King’s Lynn, England. It’s a seaport city in the east about 100 miles north of London. From here over the next week, I would travel to the UK Wheat Breeding station in Docking, England for the annual Limagrain Wheat Breeder’s meeting.

Over the next few days specific problems in wheat breeding would be discussed and shared from breeders all over the world. Canada, USA, Argentina, France, England, Germany, Israel, Spain, and the Czech Republic all represented in a collective worldwide wheat breeding force.

Until next time -

Dr. Marla Barnett

HRW Wheat Breeder