Mallory helps Maine's farmers turn Skowhegan into state's new bread basket
Four years ago, witnessing this rising interest in locally grown grains, it became clear to Ellen Mallory, a sustainable agriculture specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, that there was a need for more research on what it takes to grow grain in Maine and to produce educational resources for farmers interested in doing so.
As the milling infrastructure disappeared when farmers stopped growing grain, so did much of the knowledge necessary to grow those grains. To reclaim that knowledge, Mallory, along with partners in Vermont, in 2009 created the Northern New England Local Bread Wheat Project with a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
She’s now a board member of the Maine Grain Alliance and helps farmers such as Nordell grow grain.
“Skowhegan is starting to become more of an example of how to foster economic development based on agricultural-based industry,” Mallory said. “I think for Maine that holds a lot of potential.”