Workshop helps farmers explore new crop: dent corn

MIDDLEBURY — The ACORN Network is sponsoring a farmer-to-farmer workshop on growing certified organic dent corn in the Champlain Valley. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 13, at the UVM Extension Office at 23 Pond Lane in Middlebury from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The cost is $15.
“The founders of the Vermont Tortilla Company were presenters at our annual Producer Buyer Forum in November at Middlebury College,” said Jonathan Corcoran of ACORN. “They shared the remarkable story of their start-up and its rapid expansion into new markets in the Northeast region.” The company is now looking for more Champlain Valley farmers to supply them with corn and are offering $700 per ton cleaned and delivered to their facility.
The Growing Organic Corn workshop will be presented by the Wrisley family of Adirondack Hay and Grains from Essex, N.Y., who currently grow 100 acres of corn for Vermont Tortilla on their 650-acre farm. Along with the corn, the Wrisleys grow organic wheat, hay and soybeans in their rotation.
Vermont Tortilla Company will give a brief overview of their business and discuss why they want to support more local farms and local food production. Co-founder/owner April Moulaert says, “It is part of our company’s mission to produce a value-added product to help support local organic farmers. Once we expand, we will need additional sources of organic corn to supplement the Wrisley’s corn. We hope to meet local farmers that have an interest in growing organic dent corn to help meet our production needs.”
Organic corn offers farmers a new market opportunity to significantly boost their profit per acre. “In today’s tough farming environment, it’s great to have an opportunity to collaborate with a local food creator like Vermont Tortilla Company,” says Clayton Wrisley. “Being able to trace and track grain grown by us and see it turned into a food product that is available locally and growing regionally is a great story and great source of pride.”
Organic dairy, grain, bean and hemp producers are encouraged to attend. Farms considering transitioning to organic who are seeking higher-value rotational crops are also invited to join this conversation.
Space is limited so ACORN requires that attendees register in advance to reserve a seat at tinyurl.com/y48fywqb. Otherwise, they can call Jonathan at 802-989-2583 to reserve a place and mail a check for $15 before March 8 to ACORN Network, PO Box 65, Middlebury, VT 05753.

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