Who We Are
AmeriFlax is the trade organization that represents North Dakota flax producers. These producers pay or “checkoff” a small fraction of their flax crop proceeds to the North Dakota Oilseed Council (NDOC), which in turn funds AmeriFlax. Our purpose is to increase the use and sale of U.S.-grown flax and by-products in domestic and foreign markets. AmeriFlax guides programs on public relations, advertising, nutrition research, market research and consumer and industrial education.
United States flax acreage reached 340,000 harvested acres and a total production of 5.7 million bushels in 2008. Over ninety five percent of the flax was grown in North Dakota with 323,000 acres harvested. Production in North Dakota totaled 5.5 million bushels and the yield per acre was 17 bushels.
Most of the flaxseed produced in the U.S. is grown in North Dakota and is processed to linseed oil and linseed oil meal for use in paints and coatings, etc. The industrial processors pursue and fund their programs of research and development and marketing strategies for these products. AmeriFlax, in contrast, concentrates on the use of whole or ground flaxseed for human food and feed for companion animals, poultry, swine and cattle. Many of these markets have emerged in the last 10-15 years and have grown rapidly as a significant use for flaxseed produced in North Dakota.
Long-term it will be very important to promote the functional foods story of flaxseed. Ongoing projects include the development of new promotion and health information, website operation and development, recipe development, national advertising campaigns and exhibitions at national trade shows such as the Institute of Food Technology Expo, etc.
AmeriFlax also focuses on promoting flaxseed to the livestock industry relying on recent research that demonstrates the unique and important benefits of flaxseed in dairy and beef rations. Based on promising preliminary research in the U.S. and Canada, a large, multi-state research project is underway to document the reproductive and milk component effect of flaxseed in dairy rations.
We are also promoting flaxseed’s dietary role in improving the health of stressed feeder cattle. Preliminary research indicates that products high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as flaxseed can reduce stress-related disease problems in calves making the transition from cow/calf pastures to finishing feedyards. A Kansas State University research project titled "Flaxseed Products for Stressed Feeder Cattle” will document this important role. This research and the dairy project are supported in part by flax check-off funds from the NDOC.