Farmers Speak: Giving Voice to Organic Oats
A spotlight on farmer Brian Krumm and organic oats
How we craft our food matters. It impacts the health of people and the health of our natural resources like soil and water. At Clif Bar, we strive to be a catalyst for change in creating a healthy food system. For us, that effort begins with organic. That’s why we’ve launched our new series, Farmers Speak, which gives voice to the stories of organic ingredients and the farmers who grow them.
Farmers Speak debuts with a spotlight on organic oats, a primary ingredient in many of our bars today, including CLIF BAR®, LUNA®, CLIF Builder’s®, CLIF Kid Zbar® and CLIF CRUNCH®.
Oats are an ancient grain that originated in an area called the Fertile Crescent — what is today the Middle East and South Asia. As farmers discovered oats were a strong, hearty crop with a high yield, oats were brought to other parts of the world, including Europe, where they quickly adapted to cooler climates and shorter seasons.
In the mid-1900s, farmers began the widespread use of conventional methods for growing oats, including the use of high toxicity pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to mitigate pests and weeds. While these chemical treatments often resulted in higher yields and fewer pests, some began to question their environmental and public health impacts. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, large-scale farmers started to reconsider those practices and some began converting their farms to organic methods. Converting a farm from conventional to organic typically is a three-year process and requires a major investment of time and resources.
"There seems to be a huge push for people to eat healthier, and I’ve noticed oats are starting to take the spotlight. That makes me quite proud."
- Brian Krumm, Clif Bar Oat Farmer
In our Farmers Speak video on oats, you’ll meet one such farmer, Brian Krumm, who made the switch from conventional to organic oats farming. We’re pleased that Brian grows organic oats for our oats supplier. By doing so, and avoiding toxic chemicals and GMOs, he supports the health of his farming community, helps local ecosystems thrive and makes enjoying our food, well, more enjoyable.