Barley is like Oregon. We value Oregon for its diversity. Here, we’ve got different people… different environments… different foods, wines, beers. Barley is just as diverse. You can eat it; you can drink it; you can feed it to animals. We have barleys adapted to different climatic zones across the state. It’s adaptable to climate change. It helps make people healthy… and it helps make people happy.
My challenge is to make barley profitable for growers by increasing its yield and expanding its value-added properties. We want to have high-yielding, disease-resistant barley. We want the best barley for making Oregon’s craft brews. And we want food barleys that are sought after for their aromas, flavors, and textures.
We’re working with the Food Innovation Center in Portland, with craft breweries and maltsters, and with mainstream brewers and maltsters. The Oregon brand is starting to resonate.
As the barley breeder of Oregon, I contribute to the fundamental knowledge about what makes barley tick: its genetics. And, I get to produce barley varieties for a diversity of excellent Oregon products.