NWGA owns and operates a 24-foot trailer with a complete kitchen inside. The Mobile Baking Lab is used by NWGA as a tool to educate consumers on where their food comes from and to connect producers and consumers through fresh-baked wheat foods. Though the oven, mixer and an induction cook top allow NWGA to make and serve a variety of foods, cinnamon rolls, bread, cookies and pasta are the foods most commonly served from the Mobile Baking Lab.
The Mobile Baking Lab operates with support from the Nebraska Wheat Board, Ardent Mills, and FCSA, and bakes all wheat foods with Ultragrain® flour
The Mobile Baking Lab has participated at many large trade shows across the country including state fairs in Nebraska and Iowa and urban wheat fields in Manhattan, New York and Washington DC.
The Mobile Baking Lab is often run by NWB and NWGA staff, board members and volunteers. Many of the volunteers are farmers or come from farming families. Volunteers helping with events are compensated with mileage and a per diem according to federal rates, and lodging when appropriate. Those wishing to help with the Mobile Baking Lab can contact the office to be added to a list of volunteers.
Requesting the Mobile Baking Lab
NWGA believes the Mobile Baking Lab is a great tool, and we are willing to take it to events upon request. Attendance of the Mobile Baking Lab at a requested event is influenced by several factors including availability and educational opportunity. Those interested in having the Mobile Baking Lab at an event may contact the office to enquire about availability. The following are some of the questions you may be asked:
- Date, time and location of event
- Space – the trailer is 24’ long, but requires space to be maneuvered into place. Should the generators be needed, additional space will be required. The trailer and truck to haul it measure 40’ total.
- Availability of volunteers – will you be able to provide volunteers or will NWGA be responsible for sourcing volunteers? It costs us more to provide all the volunteers and some seasons are harder than others, e.g. not as many volunteers are available during wheat harvest.
- Funding – will you be able to help NWGA reimburse volunteers? NWGA has a limited budget of funds allocated toward the Mobile Baking Lab from dues and a contract with the Nebraska Wheat Board. Assistance of funding is not required for the Mobile Baking Lab to attend your event. However, greater priority will be given to those events where funding is available, or the educational opportunity is greater.
- Electricity – NWGA has generators capable of running the trailer. However, they are somewhat noisy and electricity makes things easier. The lab runs on 220 power, and depending on the food of choice, may require one or two outlets capable of pulling 60 and 50 amps.
- Food of choice – Cinnamon rolls, bread, cookies and pasta are the most common foods served but we are willing to consider others. The food of choice affects the number of volunteers needed (it takes more for bread and rolls than cookies or pasta) and the electricity required.