Cigi welcomed 89 producers from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to its three Combine to Customer programs held during January, February and March. During each two-and-one-half-day program, farmers had a firsthand look at how customers use their grain during technical sessions with Cigi staff and heard from a number of representatives from the Canadian industry. It’s a unique forum for learning, asking lots of questions and discussing current issues, and many participants took to Twitter to share their #combinetocustomer experiences.
In response to growing interest, Cigi plans to hold four Combine to Customer programs next year. Interested producers should contact their provincial wheat commissions this fall to find out more. To quote a farmer in a tweet about his time at the program in February, “It’s a great learning experience. Every farmer should know what Cigi does for our industry.”
Here’s a look at this year’s ‘C to C’ programs in pictures.
Let’s get started! A full house of participants are welcomed to the program.
Participants pass around a gluten sample in Cigi’s Analytical Services lab where they learned about the many tests used to assess wheat quality, including gluten strength.
In the pilot bakery, Cigi’s Yvonne Supeene and Yulia Borsuk discuss how different markets use Canadian wheat in a wide array of baked products.
Participants learn about the different stages of dough development and feel the dough at various mixing intervals to gain an understanding of what’s important to bakers in terms of baking performance.
Combine to Customer programs include presentations from different segments of the value chain, including a session on grain grading with the Canadian Grain Commission.
In the Cigi mill with Juan Carlos Arriola, learning about the milling quality of Canadian wheat.
Flour milled from western Canadian wheat is highly regarded by customers around the globe for its quality and versatility.
During a session on pulses, participants hear about research into incorporating pulse flours into different end products, like pasta.
Having fun with dough in the Cigi pasta lab. Canada Western Amber Durum wheat is recognized for producing pasta of the highest quality.
Da (Anne) An explains the process involved in sheeting dough to produce Asian noodles, a staple product in Asian countries.
Taste test! Participants sample Asian noodles processed with Canadian wheat.