Healthy Solutions for Food Barley Course Recap

Last month, the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) hosted an online Healthy Solutions for Food Barley Uses course from February 1st through the 10th. The online course was offered to participants from around the world, and included pre-recorded lectures, tours, and presentations. Live Q&A sessions were hosted throughout the course for participants to discuss questions and comments with the speakers. 

There were 61 total participants for this course and included individuals from Bangkok, Cambodia, Seoul, and Manila, as well as participants from various universities in the United States. Participants came from a variety of backgrounds including bakeries, milling, breweries, dairies, food and snack companies, and more. The goal of this course was to provide participants with information and resources for barley, so in turn, they would be informed and feel comfortable with using food barley as an option. 

Health Solutions for Food Barley Uses provided participants with the complete picture of the food barley industry. The course started with breeding varieties, held discussions on health aspects, showed demonstrations of recipes with barley, shared the processing and product of barley, and explained what people needed to know to get barley sourced and shipped to their countries. The objective is to grow demand for food barley by providing an overview of the industry.

Speakers for the course included; Dr. Richard Horsley, Dr. Jamie Sherman, Dr. Kalidas Shetty, Dr. Dipayan Sarkar, Dr. Chris Fastnaught, Dr. Greg Fox, Tom Jorgens, Sam Schmidt, Robert C. Meyer, Jr., Dr. Neil Doty, Steve Edwardson, Jade Kessel, Dr. Thomas Baldwin, Bob Sinner, and Bruce Abbe. These speakers come from backgrounds as professors at universities, genetic and technology companies, milling managers, business managers, and more. 

Nick Sinner, Program Manager at NCI enjoyed Dr. Chris Fastnaught, Breeding and Quality Consultant at Phoenix Seed, Inc., and Dr. Greg Fox’s, 21st Century Genetics Corp., presentations which discussed the healthy aspects of barley from an immunological perspective. Sinner enjoyed their views on the healthy aspects of food barley as this is the “basis for this push” to get people to start using it. He hopes this conversation showed participants proof of barley’s health benefits, and how they can start to incorporate barley into their products. Sinner commented how he uses barley himself as a healthy option and wants more people to understand how important of an ingredient it can be. 

Dr. Neil Doty, Business Development Manager at NCI, also provided an interesting presentation during the course where he discussed national and international food barley trends. He shared with participants where food barley is being used as an ingredient around the globe. The expansion for barley is trending, and courses such as this one, offer information to individuals on how to keep up with these trends.

The Northern Crops Institute hopes to continue building an interest in barley as an ingredient and to develop a market for users, both current and new.

For more information about NCI’s courses, please visit