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Flour PowerNW wheat growers find success with eco-marketing strategy 12 January/February 2010 / Rural Cooperatives By Stephen Thompson, Assistant Editor stephenAthompson@wdc.usda.gov small group of farmers in the Spokane, Wash., area has developed a local niche market for sustainably grown wheat products that is adding to their incomes, helping stabilize their prices and encouraging environmentally friendly farming. The value-added marketing business they formed, Columbia Plateau Producers LLC, today has 32 member-farmers and sells high-quality flour under the Shepherd’s Grain brand to bakeries from Seattle to Northern California. It’s a member of the Food Alliance, which certifies food producers for sustainable practices and rang up $4 million in sales last year. The venture began in 1999 when wheat farmers Fred Fleming and Karl Kupers decided to try growing hard red spring wheat in an area where soft white wheat was the norm
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