By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff, Dec. 22, 1998
While he’s been having a tough time getting a decent price, Rolla farmer Garnet Berge recently won a prestigious award for the six-row malting barley he grew in his fields this year. Berge’s entry was chosen as the best among those sent in to the Barley Development Council by farmers in Alberta and B.C.
Adding to the achievement is the fact that it’s usually quite difficult to grow a quality malt barley in this area. When Berge realized the quality of what was sprouting out of his fields, he thought he’d see how it faired against what is grown in the rest of the country.
“It was good quality and the competition was there, so I thought I would enter,” he said.
For his efforts, Berge was presented with a scenic picture of a farm site — made mostly out of barley stocks. He also had a chance to go to Regina to pick up the award, but he already had something else planned before he was told he was a winner. But he will get a chance to go to Winnipeg at the end of February for three or four days. He and the other winners will get a tour of a malting plant and a grain exchange as part of the visit.
Malting barley is used mostly to make beer, and the award was sponsored by Labatt’s and the Canadian Wheat Board.
Even though the price for barley has taken a dive, Berge said he’s still glad to see such quality being grown in the Peace. “It’s a lot better than feed barley,” he said.