OMAHA (KPTM)- It may seem strange to link craft beer and farmers, but they've had a relationship for years. It isn't always about drinking craft beer.Farmers can grab leftover grain from breweries to feed their cattle. Brewers and farmers said it's a great relationship, where nothing goes to waste- until recently.The FDA proposed a rule where breweries would have to dry the grain, package it, and keep track of all the transactions."We have a great relationship with the farmers, in that we don't have to pay somebody to truck away the grain and they get to feed their cattle for free," said Jason Payne, owner of Lucky Bucket Brewing Company.Payne said ever since he started brewing beer, he had a farmer come and pick up the "spent grain."During the brewing process, barley sits in hot water and the sugars are extracted. Payne said they take the liquid, and the barley is left behind which is called 'spent grain.' He said he goes through around 10 to 12,000 pounds of barely a week."We're just a small company-and that's just not feasible financially. In that instance if that were to happen-we'd end up sending that grain to the landfill, which doesn't do anybody any good," said Payne.The FDA asked for public opinions on the rule, but that time has passed. The comment section has been closed. Depending on the government's final decision, it could go into effect by the end of the year.
THE F-D-A ASKED THE PUBLIC FOR OPINIONS ON THE RULE. BUT THAT TIME HAS PASSED AND NOW THE COMMENT SECTION HAS BEEN CLOSED.DEPENDING ON THE GOVERNMENT'S FINAL DECISION IT COULD GO INTO EFFECT BY THE END OF THE YEAR.