Millet producers urged to vote yes

I urge my fellow Colorado millet producers to vote yes for a Colorado Millet Marketing Order in a referendum being conducted by the Commissioner of Agriculture August 13-31, 2018. We can grow it – we must promote it!

We need to look out for our own industry since we can’t rely on public funding for vital market development and research. The millet market is highly volatile since the major use is bird feed and seed, so we must invest in key marketing, education and research programs to:

expand domestic and international/export markets where millet is already used as human food and alcoholic beverages since it is high in nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals;

develop new healthy and highly nutritious end-use millet varieties for human food (e.g. gluten-free baked products, multi-grain bars, alcoholic beverages such as gluten-free beer and distilled alcohol) and pet food;

identify/develop new millet varieties with improved grain quality for bird feed and seed and human food; and

develop improved millet varieties and agronomic traits (e.g. lodging and shattering tolerance enabling direct harvest).

Together, we can expand domestic and international/export markets, increase consumption and demand and improve millet grain quality and varieties. Please join me in voting yes for a Colorado Millet Marketing Order to self-fund marketing, education and research programs to increase the consumption and utilization of millet through a fully refundable assessment not to exceed five cents per hundredweight on millet sold for grain. It’s our crop! Our future!

—Chris Stum is president of High Plains Millet Association, Towner, Colorado