Sept. 16 – Farmer Ground Flour’s Thor Oeschner
12:20 p.m. at 101 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building on the Penn State Campus *Discussion session to follow the seminar in 118 ASI Building *
Thor Oeschner, grandson of a German baker, was born and raised in the Hudson Valley, and to hear him tell it, he was born a grain farmer. When he was a small child he would visit his uncle’s dairy farm, where he watched, and studied with a child’s rapt attention, the smallest details of the farming process. By the time he was a teenager, he had persuaded his family to let him tear up their suburban yard—to plant corn. Thor now farms 600 certified organic acres in Newfield, NY, where he grows a wide variety of grains including hard red spring and winter wheats, milling rye, corn, triticale, oats, spelt, emmer, and buckwheat.
In partnership with another farmer and a miller, Thor started the milling company Farmer Ground Flour in Trumansburg, NY. The company mills a number of different specialty flours and sells directly to consumers, restaurants, and bakeries. Products from the mill are envisioned and refined through close collaboration with bakers and pasta makers to create flours that perform beautifully, and that you just can’t get anywhere else. The company developed a corn grits, for example, through back-and-forth trials with restaurant chefs, and the light wheat flour offers bakers the performance of roller-milled white flour, but with all the flavor and nutrition of stone-milled. At Farmer Ground Flour, grains are selected for flavor and performance, and every year we plant trial plots of heirloom wheats, such as Warthog and Glen. The mill also works with various farming organizations to identify and promote superior heritage wheat varieties and to develop relationships among farmers, bakers, and millers. Additional information about the company is available at their website.
Seminar hosted by the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. Sponsored by the Northeast SARE Pennsylvania State Program. The Sustainable Agriculture Seminar Series is organized by the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group in the College of Agricultural Sciences. For more information, contact Charlie White at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-863-9922, or visit us online.