May 14, 2018
Dr. Stephen Jones, a professor of Crop and Soil Science and the director of The Bread Lab at Washington State University is a wheat breeder who never dreamed he'd be producing wheat varieties bearing "hints of chocolate" or "spicy overtones." And yet, with his interest in flavor and commitment to championing farmers, it's really no surprise that he's found himself doing exactly that. Under Dr. Jones' direction, The Bread Lab at Washington State University is run in such a way that it "can put the farmer first and then figure out the best uses [for the wheat] later." Dr. Jones explains that farmers in the Pacific Northwest used to grow wheat (and that yields for wheat in that area are actually incredibly high) but most of these wheat farmers switched to more lucrative crops during the industrial agriculture boom when wheat became a commodity crop. Dr. Jones is on a mission to once again put wheat farmers first and support a thriving regional grain economy in his area. Listen in!