This is what teff looks like before it’s cleaned.
Desert Oasis Teff & Grain, a Nevada food and agriculture business located in Churchill County, has been selected as a 2022 Good Food Award winner.
According to the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the Good Food Awards are presented annually by the Good Food Foundation to highlight those that make quality food with social and environmental excellence in mind.
“Being a life-long Nevada resident, this award is both humbling and validating,” said Desert Oasis Teff & Grain owner John Getto. “It validates farmers like myself trying new crops and using new farming practices to produce the best quality brown teff available. Teff is not known as a U.S. grown crop and this puts the U.S. and Nevada on the map as a top teff producer. I am beyond proud to be a 2022 Good Food Award winner.”
The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension said teff is one of the smallest grain seeds in the world that requires one-half to two-third the water other grains need. Nealy 20 years ago, Cooperative Extension contacted three dozen farmers from around the area to listen to a teff producer who wanted farmers to grow about 500 acres of the grain. Since that presentation, more and more farmers began to grow teff, and now Nevada and Idaho are among the top producers of the grain.
Fallon farmers and longtime friends Getto and Dave Eckert began growing teff as an experiment more than a decade ago, but then they decided to build a seed cleaning operation and grow more types of gluten-free grains.
Desert Oasis Teff & Grain has been working with the NDA to expand their business and economic impact. They were nominated for their innovative agricultural practices, dedication to a unique product and community engagement.
“We are so proud to see Desert Oasis recognized with a Good Food Award,” said NDA Director Jennifer Ott. “The diversity of food and beverage products produced and manufactured in Nevada are being recognized among the top products in the nation, which continues to expand the economic impact and bring awareness to Nevada’s food, agriculture and beverage industries.”
The 2022 winners will be honored at the Good Food Awards Ceremony on March 4 in San Francisco. This year’s Good Food Award Winners hail from 39 states and Washington, D.C., and were chosen in a blind tasting from thousands of entries before passing a further sustainability and social responsibility vetting process.
The NDA said about half of the winners are first-time awardees, and the majority are small companies, with more than 80% having an annual budget of $250,000. Previous Nevada recipients have included Hall’s Honey and Magpie Coffee Roasters.