Sunday, December 29, 2013

History of Oats in United States

Oats were first grown as weeds in barley and wheat fields in Mesopotamia in about 10,500 BC.

Oats were brought to North America from two parts of Europe. They were introduced by the Spain into the southern part of North America, and into the northern part of the continent (in cultivation form) by the English and North European.

The Scottish also brought oats to North America, but cultivated them for human consumption.

According to records of the earliest settlements, oats were first planted on Cuttyhunk, an island off the Massachusetts coast in 1602.

The location of major oats production shifted from east of the Mississippi prior to 1850 to the upper Mississippi Valley, with Illinois as the major producer. Oats are chiefly a European and North American crop.

These areas have the cool, moist climate to which oats are best adapted. Russia, Canada, the United States, Finland, and Poland are the leading oat producing countries.

Ferdinand Schumacher, a pioneer miller of Akron, Ohio, began hand-grinding oats in a rear room of his grocery store in 1854. Demand for his product was high, and he organized the German Mills American Oatmeal Factory in 1856.

An influx of German and Irish immigrants in the 1870s, and 1880s, who were accustomed to oats as a staple food, created increased market demand for oatmeal.

Most oats grown in North America today descend from Russia, Swedish and Greek ancestors.
History of Oats in United States
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