In Idaho, Snacktivist Foods is trying to build regenerative supply chains of ancient grains like teff, millet, and sorghum for its to baking mixes. Co-founder and CEO Joni Kindwall-Moore is working with Martin Goter, an organic and biodynamic farmer in North Dakota, to source millet. Goter’s farm checks all the certification boxes: organic, biodynamic, Real Organic Project, and Regenerative Organic.
“We like Martin for a lot of reasons,” Kindwall-Moore says. “He has a good story because he is also a younger farmer who’s gone back to the farm and is stewarding farming into the next generation, which is so important.”
Building a supply chain for food-grade millet is a challenge that Kindwall-Moore compares to “building a parachute on the way down” because there’s limited supply and “there’s a lot more farmers wanting to do this than there are farmers already doing it.”
“The challenges are formidable,” she says. “We aren’t using tried and true methods and are building things from scratch.”
For example, there is no infrastructure to process millet for food in her region. Millet is grown in the Pacific Northwest but mainly for birdseed.
“We want a robust millet program in the Northwest,” she says “We’re still trying to get value-added processing in place, so we could dehull and mill it.
Goter says he is happy to work with Kindwall-Moore to supply millet. “She and I are of one mind when discussing farming methods and nutrition. If there’s another crop that she wants to test in the marketplace, I’m all for growing it.”
This is the first year he has grown millet but says it fits well into his crop rotation.
“If I can help in bringing more biodynamic foods into the market and get another crop in my rotation it’s a win-win,” he says.
Kindwall-Moore sees several benefits working directly with farmers like Martin Goter, including repairing what she sees as the disconnect in the U.S. food system, which manifests itself in the social disconnect and polarization seen in the U.S.
“Repairing that connection in our food system would help mend so many of the things that are ailing our nation,” she says.
She also wants to see more farmers transition to regenerative agriculture.
“We are very passionate about working with farmers that are transitioning to regenerative practices,” she says.
Organic & Non-GMO Insights October 2022