SALINA, Kan. — Throughout the summer, farmers and research partners are hosting in-person Kernza field days across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas.
Kernza, the first commercially available perennial grain in the United States, prevents erosion, encourages water retention and sequesters carbon on farms. Supply chain partners are cleaning and processing Kernza, and food companies across the country are turning Kernza into tasty products for consumers, including pasta, beer, bread and baked goods. The following schedule of field days covers a range of topics, including Kernza breeding, production, processing, economics, ecosystem services and market development.
You can find information on currently confirmed field days below. More field days will be confirmed throughout the summer; updates will be posted on www.kernza.org as they become available.
July 6 – Harmony, MN
Join the Land Stewardship Project for a tour of Niagara Cave. Local farmer and Vice President of the Minnesota Caving Club Martin Larsen will discuss the connection between agricultural practices, caves, and water quality; Will Varela from Mystery Cave will discuss geology and its impact on trout streams, and a Kernza presenter will speak about Kernza’s impact on water quality and soil health. Registration and more information available here.
July 7 – Madison, MN
A-Frame Farm is hosting a field tour for growers, processors, businesses, and policymakers to gain firsthand knowledge and connect with experienced Kernza stakeholders who will provide insight on best practices for harvesting, post-harvest handling, cleaning and marketing the nation’s first perennial grain. More information and registration available here.
July 21 – Castle Rock, MN
A field day hosted by Kurt Kimber and Clean River Partners will highlight Kernza interseeded with legumes, organic Kernza production, harvest method and timing, and a market update. More information available here.
August 4 – East Troy, WI
The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) is hosting a field day featuring the KernzaCAP experiments and production fields as well as pollinator strips. Contact MFAI for more information or visit their website here.
August 18 – Westport, MN
The Rosholt Research Farm is hosting a field day focused on Kernza and water quality. More information will be available later this summer.
August 23 – St. Joseph, MN
AURI is hosting a showcase event for growers, processors, and product developers at Milk + Honey Ciders in St. Joseph, MN. This showcase will focus on major product advancements in the past year. More information available here.
August 28 – Salina, KS (unconfirmed)
Sustain-a-Grain will host a Kernza field day for growers and researchers to highlight Kernza intercropping and management practices. More information will be available later this summer.
August – Arlington, WI (unconfirmed)
The University of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the Arlington Agricultural Research Station, will feature Kernza at their annual field day. More information will be available later this summer.
“Field Days are a unique opportunity for learning, exploring and connecting, especially for a new crop like Kernza,” says Dr. Nicole Tautges of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in Wisconsin, “Researchers, growers, millers, bakers, brewers, chefs, and processors are rapidly expanding their Kernza knowledge every year and these field days are a dynamic and immediate way to exchange that knowledge. We encourage anyone who is interested to come out and learn more about the economic, environmental and community benefits of Kernza.”
Al Kraus of Clean River Partners in Northfield, Minnesota, says, “I’ve been working with Kernza growers from across Southeast Minnesota for over five years. They are seeing the soil health and economic value that Kernza brings to their rotations. These field days are an excellent opportunity for growers to learn how Kernza adds farm profitability, while it also improves soil and protects water. This is extremely important where groundwater is at risk.”
We encourage the public to register for a Kernza field day this summer to see this new crop, try products featuring Kernza, and see what growers, industry, and researchers are doing to expand this new perennial grain on the landscape.
The KernzaⓇCAP project is supported by AFRI Sustainable Agricultural Systems Coordinated Agricultural Program (SAS-CAP) grant no. 2020-68012-31934 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The project supports over 80 researchers, students, business leaders, nonprofit professionals, and farmers across the country to demonstrate the viability of new perennial cropping systems. More information can be found at kernza.org/kernzacap.
— Kernza CAP