The Whole Story

Today (November 15th) is International Whole Grain Day, and, in Australia, they’ve dedicated the whole week to whole grains! Oats are, of course, generally consumed as whole grain, and the most popular form is still porridge. Alan Meikle, from Hamlyn’s of Scotland, talks all about porridge in this podcast. Back in early October, the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships were held in Carrbridge, Scotland. The winners’ stories are here and here.

One person who was more in the habit of taking oats apart than using them whole was Cark Maunsell. I’m sad to report that Cark passed away recently. His obituary can be found here, in the ”Hall of Fame” section. Cark was the CEO of Oat Services and Oat Cosmetics, and held several patents for novel oat products and their production. I never had the opportunity to meet Cark in person, but I did enjoy our on-line interactions, and one of my favourite “Speaking of Oats…” webinar sessions featured Cark and his work. That session ended up continuing past when the next webinar was announced, so make sure you watch the video until the end, if you decide to take a look! With Cark being so ill, James Daybell was appointed as chief executive of Oat Cosmetics in August. Congratulations to James, even if the appointment was perhaps bittersweet.

In other job-related news, there are four positions of various types waiting to be filled right now:

In business and in science, working together as a team is of paramount importance. When you have a team, “Together Everyone Achieves More”. Aaron Beattie (who was interviewed recently by the Manitoba Crop Alliance) and his team have taken on the challenge of bringing people together for the American Oat Workers’ Conference in July, 2024. The conference website is now live! Registration will open soon, and everyone is welcome to attend. Hotels can be booked now, and abstracts submitted. If you’re anxious about making presentations, take a look at this thread on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter).

Events with the most relevance to the community are listed in the calendar at the bottom of the page, and other events are often included in the “Weekly Web Harvest”, which is posted most Mondays in the “Community News” section. One upcoming event is the 1st CROPDIVA International Symposium, to be held in Ghent, Belgium, from December 4th-6th. The CROPDIVA group has released a number of plain text articles recently, including these:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) recently put out a press release about the genomics work being done by Nick Tinker, Wubi Bekele, and Yong-Bi Fu. This was picked up by various magazines, including Top Crop Manager.

The project described in the AAFC press release included a large number of collaborators, including some from Australia. A new Australian project, called the Processed Oat Partnership, is described in this video. A press release was put out by AEGIC regarding the production of oat noodles and oat "rice". This was picked up by magazines such as Grain Central, and featured on 7NEWS.

Happy Whole Grain Week, and remember that what helps make *us* whole is a sense of purpose and a sense of community!