Organic Wheat Conference

HPI’s Organic Wheat Conference
January 29-30. 2019
Hilton Garden Inn, Manhattan, KS


White Paper

Conference Attendees



About the Conference

Wheat is one of the most widely consumed grains at home and around the globe. It is vital to the U.S. agricultural economy and can play an important role in meeting ever-increasing global needs for food, feed, and fiber. Yet, there has been very little time, attention, and resources devoted to breeding wheat varieties that are well suited for these organically managed lands. Right now, there is a huge opportunity for wheat producers to fill a need in the vastly growing organic market while bolstering their economic bottom line. The long-term goal is to increase farmers’ access to regionally adapted wheat genetics to optimize success of organic agriculture. Therefore, HPI proposes to initiate, plan and host an industry-wide conference to identify the organic breeding research needs for Hard Winter Wheat in the Great Plains. This conference proposal addresses the Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production Program Area, Priority Code A1141.

The objectives of the conference are to 1) Bring together key regional supply chain stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities per industry segment; 2) Assess the feasibility of developing an independent breeding platform that delivers locally adapted organic varieties; 3) Develop a concise list of priority breeding targets and traits for organic wheat varieties; 4) Establish a strategy to build an organic breeding platform. The outcome of the conference will be an industry developed White Paper that will serve as the roadmap for building a successful organic breeding platform for the Great Plains region.

Attendees: Anyone in the wheat industry with an interest in producing, handling, marketing, and processing wheat for the organic market.


Heartland Plant Innovations'
Organic Wheat Conference Agenda
January 29-30, 2019
Hilton Garden Inn, Manhattan, KS
Big Basin Room
410 S. 3rd Street
Manhattan, KS  66502

Identifying Priorities and Opportunities to Developing Organic Wheat Breeding in the Great Plains

Day 1: Current trends in Organic wheat: Challenges/opportunities in individual market segments

7:30 a.m.       Check-in and Registration, Big Basin Room

8:30 a.m.       Welcome and Introductions, Dusti Gallagher, HPI

  • Introduction of Dave Green, Conference Facilitator


9:00 a.m.       Trends in Organic Foods: Anticipating the Future of Organic --Together, Fred Kirschenmann, Leopold Center at Iowa State University 

  • Q&A Session


10:00 a.m.       Break

10:15 a.m.       Industry Segment Panel Discussions

  • Panel 1: End-users: Market Opportunities and Demand Constraints
    Patrick Hart, Ardent Mills; Sean Finnie, Bay State Milling; Jeff Weltzin, Stafford County Flour Mills 
  • Q&A Session
  • Panel 2:  Producers: Organic Production Push/Pull
    Jack Geiger, Hiawatha, KS; Tim Baalman, Oakley KS; Bob Baker, Alva, OK; Dr. Justin Tuggle, TX organic crop consultant (via conference call), Dusti Gallagher, HPI, producer survey results
  • Q&A Session


12:15 p.m.       Lunch

1:00 p.m.       Industry Segment Panel Discussions (continued)


3:00 p.m.        Refreshment Break

3:15 p.m.


4:15 p.m.       Break

4:30 p.m.       Discussion wrap up & Day 2 prep, Dave Green

5:00 p.m.       Evening Announcements & Adjourn

6:00 p.m.       Evening reception (light hors d’oeuvres) and tours, Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, 1990 Kimball Avenue

Thank you to our reception sponsors: Kansas Wheat Commission, Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Oklahoma Genetics, Inc., South Dakota Wheat Commission, Bay State Milling, Heartland Mills, Stafford County Flour Mills




Day 2:  Development of an organic wheat breeding platform: A Strategic Approach

(seed production, producer education, production management, end-use, marketing and student/post-doc education challenges)

7:30 a.m.       Continental Breakfast Buffet

8:30 a.m.       Welcome, announcements & expectations, Dave Green

8:45 a.m.       Grand Challenges for Organic Breeding: Identify top 5 priorities for breeding varieties to optimize organic wheat production

  • Small Group Session 1: Green


9:45 a.m.       Small Group Session 1 Reports

10:30 a.m      Break

10:45 a.m.       Other Grand Challenges: Identify top 5 priorities to optimize impact of varieties developed for organic production

  • Small Group Session 2: Green


11:45 a.m.       Small Group Session 2 Reports

12:30 p.m.       Lunch

1:15 p.m.       Group discussion

2:00 p.m.         Identification of Small group themes & outcomes

  • Industry white paper process & writing, Steven Graham & Mary Lou Peter


3:00 p.m.        Closing remarks, Dusti Gallagher



For hotel accommodations and to RSVP, please call Julie Owens at 785-539-0255.

For questions, contact Dusti Gallagher at