Flax Institute of the United States
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68th Flax Institute Date: TBA



The 67th Flax Institute of the United States

The aim of the Flax Institute is to bring together national and international researchers with an interest in flax to share and learn about flax research. This 2-day research conference will feature research presentations on current findings and advancements in flax food and nutrition research, updates on flax agronomic research, and more!


Conference Speakers


Sheri Coleman BSN, RN

Sheri grew up on a farm and livestock operation in southwestern North Dakota and is currently the Executive Director of AmeriFlax. In this capacity, she is responsible for educating consumers as well as all levels of healthcare providers, culinarians, dietics, chefs and nutritionists. She also manages the flax marketing done on both the domestic and international levels, educating on the health and use benefits of flaxseed. Sheri is a healthcare professional by trade (Registered Nurse) and has acquired extensive experience in healthcare prior to her work with AmeriFlax in the areas of public health, management, policy and direct patient care. Sheri, who currently lives in Bismarck, ND, considers herself to be a "foodie', is a runner, traveler, Gramma and outdoors enthusiast.

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Blaine G. Schatz

Blaine Schatz is the Director of the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center. As director he is responsible for a department with diverse research programs involving
agronomy, soil science, plant pathology, precision agriculture and beef nutrition. The Carrington Center also includes a Foundation Seedstock program, a Fruit and Berry program and hosts a number of Extension Specialists. In addition to his administrative and leadership responsibilities he continues to be actively involved with a diverse research program as a Research Agronomist. His current research focus is on evaluation
of crop production inputs, crop management factors, crop cultivar evaluation and cereal disease control. Blaine joined the staff of the NDSU CREC in 1978 and served in technical positions first within the seedstocks and then agronomy research programs. In1985 he assumed the position of Research Agronomist and in 1996 was appointed Director of the CREC. He has an A.A.S. degree in Soil, Water, and Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota Crookston. He received his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees in agronomy from North Dakota State University.


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Hans Kandel

Dr. Hans Kandel is a NDSU Extension Agronomist based at the main Fargo, ND campus. He received his MSc from the University of Reading and his PhD from NDSU. Kandel has developed innovative Extension programs for producers in Northwest Minnesota and ND that blend agronomy, crop, soil science, and economics. Kandel's Extension programs address the needs of traditional crops (flax, soybeans, canola, sunflower etc.), organic production systems, water management as well as alternative cropping systems such as cover crops. He also conducts applied research with various broadleaf crops. Kandel brings extensive international experience to his position from his work with farmers and farming communities in developing countries as well as Europe.

Kalidas Shetty

Dr. Kalidas Shetty is currently the Associate Vice President for International Partnerships & Collaborations and Founding Director of Global Institute of Food Security and International Agriculture-GIFSIA & Professor of Plant Science at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. From 1993-2012 he was a faculty as Professor to Assistant Professor of Food Science and Biotechnology in the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He received his BS from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India majoring in Applied Microbiology and MS/PhD. from the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA in Microbiology. He then pursued postdoctoral studies in Plant Biotechnology in Japan (National Institute of Agro-Biological Sciences, Tsukuba Science City) and Canada (University of Guelph) prior to joining the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1993 as Assistant Professor of Food Biotechnology. In January 2013 he joined North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota.

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Jane Alcorn

Dr. Jane Alcorn is Professor and Associate Dean Research and Graduate Affairs of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacokinetics) from the University of Kentucky. She is a member of the Drug Discovery and Development Research Group and the Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan Research Cluster at the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to providing expertise in preclinical and clinical drug discovery and pharmacokinetics in a number of collaborative research projects, one of her primary research areas encompasses the health benefits of flaxseed bioactives. More recently Dr. Alcorn has focused on the molecular mechanisms of flax lignan action in cardiovascular disease and cancer.  

Mukhlesur Rahman

Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo USA. He has been working as canola breeder and geneticists in the department since 2008. Recently, he has taken the responsibility of NDSU flax breeding program from July 2017. Dr. Rahman has received his Ph.D. degree in plant breeding and genomics from the University of Manitoba, Canada in 2007. He received his M.S. degree in biotechnology from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in 2003, and M.Sc.Ag. degree in genetics and plant breeding from Bangladesh Agricultural University in 1995. He served as a faculty member (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding of Bangladesh Agricultural University from 1996 to 2007. He also served as Scientific Officer (Oilseed breeding) at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute from 1993 to 1996. Dr. Rahman’s expertise is in the area of plant breeding, genetics study, and genomics analysis for oilseed crops especially rapeseed/canola and flax. He has been utilizing double haploid and molecular marker technology in the breeding program. Dr. Rahman has received a licensing agreement with INRA, France for Ogura-INRA-CMS and restorer system to utilize in canola hybrid breeding program. He has established a joint-hybrid research program with Monsanto and DL Seeds Inc. He also established an off-season (winter) breeding nursery in Chile to expedite the breeding cycle. Dr. Rahman has released two canola cultivars (roundup ready and conventional) and one flax cultivar in North Dakota from his program.


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Chad Ulven

Dr. Ulven received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University (2001) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2003 & 2005). He has been a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department at North Dakota State University since August of 2005. He has been involved in the research of polymer matrix composites (PMCs) for various commercial and defense applications for the past 17 years. He has co-authored 6 book chapters, 65 journal articles, and over 95 conference papers related to PMCs. He has been a co-author of 5 patent applications which have led to 2 spin-out companies (c2renew inc. and c2sensor corp.). He was recently recognized with the Walter F. and Verna Gehrts Presidential Professorship at NDSU.

Clifford Hall III

Clifford Hall completed his bachelor (1988) at University of Wisconsin - River Falls, masters (1991) and doctoral (1996) degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the area of Food Science and Technology. Dr. Hall is currently a professor in the in the Cereal and Food Sciences programs in the Plant Sciences Department at North Dakota State University (NDSU). He oversees research on pulse quality and utilization of pulses in food systems and oversees the annual U.S. Pulse Quality Survey. He is currently the Food Science Coordinator for the Institute of Food Technologist approved Food Science program at NDSU. In 2013, he completed the LEAD 21 leadership program.

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Amanda Long

Amanda Long is an animal science master's student at North Dakota State University under Dr. Christopher Schauer and Dr. Travis Hoffman. Her research is a dual-project focusing on the effect of flaxseed supplementation on both conception in ewes and semen quality in rams at the Hettinger Research Extension Center in Hettinger, ND. Amanda is from Brodhead, WI and runs a small herd of registered Saanen dairy goats in Hettinger.


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Shawna DuCharme

Shawna DuCharme is a Principal Engineer with the Biomaterials team at the Composites Innovation Innovation Centre (CIC) in Winnipeg, Canada. She obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace, from the University of Manitoba. Her previous experience working in the aerospace industry has included various roles encompassing design, mechanical and thermal analysis, materials and process engineering, and project management related to the use of composite materials in both aircraft and spacecraft structures. In 2015, she transitioned to her present position at the CIC and shifted her career focus to technology development for bio-based composites and natural fibres. She is currently responsible for oversight of a portfolio of CIC projects aimed at developing and commercializing applications of biomaterials, and through this role, provides support to industry clients across various sectors including transportation, building products, and consumer goods.

Brian Jenks

Weed Scientist, North Dakota State University, Minot, ND. (1997-present)

Ph.D. in Weed Science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1996

Research focus: Find safe weed control solutions in crops grown in western ND

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Conference Sponsor

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AmeriFlax is the trade organization that represents North Dakota flax producers. The organization is funded by flax check-off dollars from the North Dakota Oilseed Council. 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.

Gold Level Sponsor

Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission

The Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission represents more than 5,600 flax producers in the province of Saskatchewan. We invest in research, communication and market facilitation activities to further develop the flax industry. The Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission also works to promote production and value-added processing of flax in the province.  We partner with the flax industry and other agricultural organizations to ensure quality flax and flax products worldwide.

Social Event Sponsor


We work with farmers, producers, manufacturers, retailers, governments, and others to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Together, we create innovations and bring together people, ideas, and resources to help the world thrive.

Across many different markets and industries, we work every day to help the world thrive. Call us optimistic. We believe the world eats better when we eat together. Starting from a single grain warehouse in Iowa, our passion has always been to bring producers and consumers of food closer to one another.

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