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Food & Drink

Initiative Connects Pennsylvania's Grain Processors And Producers

Revolutionary Whiskey grains agriculture brewery distillery
Keith Srakocic
In this photo made on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, Mark Meyer empties a sack of rye grain into the grist mill for the first step in the distillation of a batch of rye whiskey being made at Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on Pennsylvania’s food systems, including grain processors and producers. To help connect the struggling industry, Chatham University launched the Commonwealth Grain Community, or CGC.. The free program will connect local millers, bakers, and brewers to training opportunities, and marketing and branding webinars.

CGC’s program manager Cassandra Malis said Pennsylvania’s’s grain economy is challenged by the competition from cheap, out-of-state grain.

“One really obvious thing to point out is you go to a farmers market, and you see local produce and local meat and local cheese and local milk, but you're hard-pressed to find a bag of locally milled and grown flour,” Malis said.

She added that many Pennsylvania grain processors and producers operate smaller facilities, which can drive up their prices.

The CGC currently has 10 members. More information can be found here.