Molly Breslin - Breslin Farms

Joe Kaplan - Perennial Pantry

Our Mission

To create a diverse regional grainshed built upon regenerative agriculture practices that steward the health of communities, local economies, and natural resources.

Our Vision

A thriving and equitable Midwest staple crops economy that stewards our landscapes and ecosystems, strengthens connections between rural and urban communities, and ensures regional food security.

Luke Peterson - A-Frame Farm

Racial Equity Commitment

Our network seeks to advance an anti-racist regional agriculture where all people have opportunities to engage in a food system that cares deeply for the land and everyone who relies on it. Building a just and equitable grainshed is a process of growth and development; we acknowledge that people move at different rates along different pathways in this work. We will continue to hold one another accountable for naming and unlearning racist ideas and habits, collectively healing from their harms, and radically reimagining a new regional food system.

Core Values

Knowledge Sharing

We foster education exchange within the food system and across the grain value chain through peer learning, public education, original research, and communications strategies. Knowledge is power and we want to cultivate and spread it.

Collaboration & Deep Relationships

We believe in the power of trust-based relationships and seek to create a home for the collective intelligence of all participants in our regional food system. We look to natural systems to guide the ways we work together to create agricultural models that care deeply for both people and the earth.

Environmental & Economic Stewardship

Diverse regenerative agriculture systems improve the health of the soil, water quality, human nutrition, and the viability of both urban and rural communities.

Access and Equity

Good food, and especially staple crops, must be available and accessible to all people in all communities.

John Lee - Hewn

How We Got Here

In 2016, Chicago bakers interested in using local flour connected with a group of environmentalists concerned about the environmental impacts of farming. Together, they realized that local production of small grains could improve Midwestern landscapes and expand the flavor and variety of fresh whole grains available to the region. Since their first meetings, the group—what we now know as AGC—has grown in breadth and geography to create a network of stakeholders jointly bolstering our regional grain economy.

Laine’s Bake Shop

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee keeps our work in alignment with our mission and vision.

Sam Koentopp, Big Green (chair)
Ben Penner, Ben Penner Farms
Rachel Bernier-Green, ‘Laine’s Bake Shop
Wesley Rieth, Granor Farm

ilana natasha photography - State Line Distillery

Coordinating Committee

The Coordinating Committee puts our mission and vision into action through five member-led Working Groups.

Education & Outreach Working Group
Amy Halloran, Author & Flour Ambassador

Research & Variety Testing Working Group
Brian Jacobson, University of Illinois Food Science Pilot Processing Plant

Farmer Collaboration Working Group
Halee Wepking, Meadowlark Organics & Meadowlark Community Mill

Brewing & Distilling Working Group
Elena Byrne, Renewing the Countryside

Institutional Procurement Working Group
Brianna Fiene, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

Contact Us

Alyssa Hartman (she/her)

Executive Director

Favorite sandwich: BLT with extra bacon, extra lettuce, extra tomato, and a light smear of mayo sandwiched between two seedy pan loaf slices.

Elena Gutierrez Byrne (she/her)

Communications Manager, Brewing & Distilling Working Group Coordinator

Favorite sandwich: open-faced basil pesto with tomato on a slice of local, whole-grain artisan bread.

Amy Halloran (she/her)

Education & Outreach Working Group Coordinator, Neighbor Loaves Regional Coordinator

Favorite sandwich: open-faced almond butter and ginger peach jam on a slice of Adrian Hale’s fresh communal bread.

Fresh Roberson (she/her, they/them)

Neighbor Loaves Chicago Coordinator

Favorite sandwich: smoked turkey with swiss, arugula, mayo, and yellow mustard with some chips on top for extra crunch.

Bri Fiene (she/her)

Institutional Procurement Working Group Coordinator

Favorite sandwich: open-faced fried egg with pickled fennel, cabbage, and carrots on a thick slice of dark rye bread

Brian Jacobson (he/him)

Research & Variety Testing Working Group Coordinator

Favorite sandwich: Italian beef with the bread quickly, but fully, submerged in au jus just before adding the beef

Halee Wepking (she/her)

Farmer Collaboration Working Group Coordinator

Favorite sandwich: fried egg on homemade bread — not just for breakfast!

Sarah J. Elliott (she/her)

Network Engagement Manager

Favorite sandwich: open-faced fried egg sandwich with spinach, aged cheddar, and a heap of kimchi on ORIGIN Breads' spry sandwich loaf

Our Funders and Supporters

Great Lakes Protection Fund