Washington State University
Washington State University’s Bread Lab in Mount Vernon has received a $1.5 million endowment from Clif Bar & Company, King Arthur Flour Co. and 11 other donors to fund research on growing organic grains.
The endowment will generate at least $60,000 a year, the lab’s director, Stephen Jones, said.
“We already have organic research. This helps support that,” he said. “This allows us to have a stable funding source. After I’m gone, the money is still there.”
The Bread Lab conducts research on breeding wheat, barley, buckwheat and other small grains for baking and malting. The lab includes the King Arthur Flour Baking School.
Clif Bar contributed $850,000 and King Arthur Flour contributed $500,000 to the endowment. Nine individuals and two organizations contributed $150,000.
“The Bread Lab serves as a model for other regions of rural America to replicate,” said Matthew Dillon, Clif Bar senior director of agricultural policy and programs, in a written statement.
Jones said the money will help the lab assist farmers interested in growing organic grains.
“In general, there is not enough organic wheat to fill the demand in the country,” Jones said.
Western Washington is well positioned to supply organic grains, he said. Grains grow well in the moist soil and can be planted in rotation with other crops, he said.