Chattanooga, Tn. – Grain Craft, the largest independent flour miller in the nation, announced plans today to open a new Grain Craft Lab at the Kansas Wheat Commission’s Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kansas. In alignment with the company’s Core Value of Excellence, the new lab will strengthen its dedication in supporting and driving the long-term improvement of wheat quality, commitment to flour quality and consistency and ongoing exploration of innovation opportunities.
The Grain Craft lab will be housed in newly finished space in the existing Kansas Wheat Innovation Center located in Manhattan, Kansas, on the Kansas State University campus. This farmer-owned, wheat research facility was opened in 2012. It is the result of the Kansas Wheat Commission’s vision for advancing technology in new wheat variety development. The $15 million Center includes 15,000 square feet of research laboratories, 22,750 square feet of greenhouses and 10,000 square feet of office space. The Grain Craft Lab will feature analytical, milling, rheological and application capabilities, along with access to other facilities in the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, including a complete test kitchen.
“Our new lab takes our commitment to be a resource to our customers to a new level. It not only provides a space focused on quality and product performance, but it’s also a space in which we can grow, collaborate and learn together,” said Pete Frederick, Grain Craft President.
Grain Craft’s bake lab is currently located at the company’s Wichita, Kansas, flour mill. All corporate lab activities including application capabilities will be moved to the Manhattan, Kansas location, and the new lab will be staffed with a full time Grain Craft Lab manager. The company will work with the KSU department of Grain Science and Industry to enhance the education and development of milling and bakery science students, who are expected to be future leaders in the industry.
“Our goal as a leading flour miller is to set the stage for a strong future for our breeders, growers and customer partners,” said Nick Weigel, Grain Craft VP of Quality, Regulatory and Technical Services. “This investment uniquely positions Grain Craft to develop synergies that support our strategic wheat quality objectives. Through this work, we also hope to advance outcomes that contribute to the betterment of the industry overall.”
Grain Craft’s wheat quality focus and ongoing initiatives run parallel with the goals of the Kansas Wheat Commission. “While our entities will remain separate and focused on our individual business needs, this collaboration is a natural fit, and it makes sense to construct a space in which we can succinctly work together to achieve ongoing quality and yield improvement,” said Alan Koenig, Grain Craft Chief Supply Chain Officer.
Throughout the years Grain Craft has strongly supported the Kansas Wheat Commission’s wheat quality research efforts and has a longstanding relationship with both the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas State University. The company has worked with each through collaborative partnerships, special funding and ongoing data analysis assistance.
“This wheat quality lab will be the missing piece of the puzzle in this extraordinary research facility that farmers have invested in. We appreciate Grain Craft’s vision of working together to create value for farmers,” said Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin. “The Kansas Wheat Commission is excited to collaborate with Grain Craft in this venture.”
A grand opening for the Grain Craft Lab is scheduled for early 2021. The company will publish more grand opening details once they become available.
About Kansas Wheat Commission
The Kansas Wheat Commission is a grower-funded, grower-governed advocacy organization working to secure the future of Kansas wheat in the global market through international trade, research, export system studies and continually improved varieties of wheat.
Its mission is to increase wheat producer productivity and profitability through research, education and domestic and international market development. The KWC is funded by a voluntary, two cent check-off on each bushel of wheat produced in Kansas.
About Grain Craft
Grain Craft, the third largest flour miller in the United States, is a family-owned milling company offering premium bulk and bagged flours for the baking, food service, pizza and tortilla industries. With over 100 years of history, the company continues the tradition of working with American farmers to grow and harvest the best varieties of wheat to provide customers industry-leading flour. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, Grain Craft serves customers coast to coast through 13 milling locations. People are the core of the company, driving excellent and safe products and bettering communities.