Locally Sourced Grains: Product Spotlight [Webinar Recording]

Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs

Webinar: Regionally Sourced Grains

How to Increase Regionally Sourced Grains at Institutions

Webinar Recorded November 19, 2019 | Download the slides (PDF)

Host Organization: Farm to Institution New England (FINE)

Is your institution looking to expand your local menu items? When it comes to reaching your institution’s sustainable food goals, grains are an important piece of the puzzle. Join FINE and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) for a one-hour webinar to learn more about regional grain production and how it can be a cost effective choice for your institution. Across the state of Maine, allies are working to transform the grain economy by increasing production and reducing procurement bottlenecks while serving and educating customers. 

Learn more about grain resources, research, and success stories from the farm to institution world. Amber Lambke of Maine Grains discusses the scale and land required to produce grains regionally. She also shares leading examples of food service operations that are preparing local grains deliciously and economically.  Amber is joined by two other speakers, who are all seeding ideas to grow the New England grain economy. Tristan Noyes of the Maine Grain Alliance shares educational and procurement resources for institutions. He discusses the Alliance's work to restore grain varieties while also increasing the supply of unique and heritage seeds to commercial viability on farms. He speaks to some of the industry’s challenges and solutions, including exciting grain infrastructure enhancements that are alleviating procurement bottlenecks. Maeve McInnis, Sodexo’s Maine Course Director offers an institutional perspective on using regionally grown grains in university dining halls and their efforts to engage and educate students and staff in their support of this regional supply chain.


  • Amber Lambke, CEO, Maine Grains, Inc.
  • Tristan Noyes, Executive Director, Maine Grain Alliance
  • Maeve Mcinnis, Maine Course Director, Sodexo

Amber Lambke is founder and CEO of Maine Grains, Inc., carried by specialty food stores and used by bakeries, breweries and chefs throughout the Northeast. She is also the founding director of the non-profit Maine Grain Alliance whose flagship event, the Kneading Conference, now draws hundreds of attendees from around the world each year and has spawned countless similar conferences. A driving force behind Maine’s sustainable foods movement, Amber has worked with local business leaders and community members to successfully bring the cultivation and processing of grains back to the northeast. Her efforts have generated a broader understanding and appreciation of the flavor, nutrition and economic value of freshly milled, organic grains. 

Tristan Noyes is the executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance (MGA), an organization fostering the revitalization of local and regional grain economies. Tristan and his brother Jon also co-founded and lead GROMAINE, an organic farm in Aroostook County that specializes in producing leafy greens, potatoes and ancient grains. Prior to starting Gromaine, Tristan served as Director at EF Education, a company specializing in breaking down the barriers of language, culture, and geography. Most recently Tristan has helped spearhead Taste Maine’s Future, an initiative focused on creating new sales channels for Maine food producers through education, storytelling and celebratory events. Tristan is a graduate of Bowdoin College.  

Maeve McInnis is the Maine Course Director with Sodexo. In this position, she oversees the local food purchasing all of the company’s accounts in the state of Maine, including the University of Maine. McInnis, originally from Cape Neddick, ME and a current resident of Portland, earned a master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management with a specialization in Food & the Environment from The New School in New York.  She sits on the board of the Portland Food Council and the Maine Grain Alliance. Her passion for social justice, local food systems, and the environment makes her the perfect person to lead this effort to serve more local food at a variety of sites throughout Maine.

FINE’s Farm & Sea to Campus webinar series creates peer-to-peer learning opportunities for dining program directors, chefs, foodservice operators, supply chain businesses, and other community partners who are engaged in procuring and promoting New England food. This webinar is the second in a series focusing on specific product categories and how to improve local sourcing. See our other webinars to date on seafood and meat.

Want to get connected and support farm to institution efforts?