Bill and Lee-Ann are passionate, self-proclaimed grain geeks who started the Rocky Mountain Heritage Grain Trials Program in 2016 at Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance after meeting at Grain School at Native Seed/SEARCH in 2012, where Bill and his wife, Belle, were co-Directors. After six focused years of trialing an expansive array of grain varieties, and connecting an enthusiastic network of grain growers through the Rocky Mountain Heritage Grain Trials, they are still and all the more “believers” in the importance of revitalizing heritage grains for the health of local food systems, as well as for the health of our soils, watersheds, and bellies.
Lee-Ann is a former Executive Director and Program Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA; 2016 through 2021), where she delighted in sharing the magic of seeds and grains with both new and seasoned seed stewards. She holds a MA in Sustainability from Prescott College where she studied cultural ecology with a focus on bioregional food system security. After working on regenerative and traditional farms in Northern New Mexico and Costa Rica, Lee-Ann started a market farm called Laughing Wolf Farm in southwest Colorado where she ran a CSA (community supported agriculture) program for eight years, was a founding member of the Southwest Colorado Farm Fresh Coop, and integrates seed adaptation, water conservation, and landscape regeneration into her ongoing farm practices which are now focused on staple crops. At RMSA, Lee-Ann ran the educational programs including Seed Schools, Seed School Teacher Trainings, and Grain Schools. She produced the Mountain West Seed Summit, oversaw the Seed Stewards and Heritage Grain Trials programs. She is currently farming in Northern New Mexico and still growing grains, beans, and seeds to share at her farm in Colorado.
Seed saver, writer, and educator based in Cornville, Arizona. In his nearly 30 years of seed experience, he has co-founded a number of nonprofit projects and seed companies including the Down Home Project, Garden City Seeds, Seeds Trust, High Altitude Gardens, the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, Seed School, and the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. He is author of the book Basic Seed Saving. Bill and his wife Belle Starr were formerly directors of Native Seeds/SEARCH. Bill and Belle will always be connected to seeds; find them at Cornville Seeds.
Hourani Durum Wheat – 2,000 years-old