In this episode, we consider what farmers grow—and whether that, too, can change. Producer Rachel Yang introduces us to Don Wyse, who leads a research program at the University of Minnesota that is developing 16 new or improved crops designed to thrive in a world with an unpredictable climate. Yang drills down into one of those crops, a grain called Kernza, a type of wheatgrass. Unlike corn and wheat, which are annual crops whose roots are in the ground only a short time, Kernza is a perennial. You plant it, harvest it, and next year it grows back. So Kernza develops super dense roots that can reach 10 feet into the earth, requiring less water, locking a lot of carbon into the soil, and slurping up twice as much fertilizer as annual wheat, thereby preventing runoff and nitrogen pollution. It is a climate-mitigating super plant. But for perennials like Kernza to replace annual grains, they need to be profitable for farmers to grow. Which means there needs to be a market for those grains. As Yang explains, the Land Institute in Kansas, mission control for Kernza development, received a $10 million grant from the USDA in 2020 to start scaling up Kernza from specialty crop to staple grain. That money has people building out a supply chain by experimenting with Kernza: farmers farming it, millers milling it, and bakers baking it for eaters to eat. Everyone along this supply chain is trying to figure out how to deal with the challenges of this new grain.