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Dave Christensen

Dave Christensen and open pollinated corn

On the home page the corn breeder Dave Christensen from Big Timber, Montana told his story about the black/purple corn. The even bigger story of him breeding open pollinated is told on the website the official site for Dave Christensen’s Painted Mountain flour corn. We are going to give you a little appetizer of this official site.

His Painted Mountain Corn is that you see in the seed catalogs and are often described as one of the most genetically diverse corn available today. It is also described to contain every shade of color know to corn.
Dave Christensen talks about his Painted Mountain corn.  
It is descended from over 70 Native corns rescued from Indians and homesteaders who lived in the harshest climates of the Northern Rockies and Great Plains regions of the US and Canada. Some of the ancestors of Painted Mountain are now extinct, and live on only in this gene pool. This genetic diversity is readily seen in the amazing range of colors in the plants and kernels. It also means that Painted Mountain can be adapted to new areas and further selected for better performance.”

Dave explains: “Painted Mountain grows fast even in cold climates where other corns struggle to stay alive in early spring. I have gotten good production reports from every part of the USA, and many parts of the world from Siberia to South Africa. Painted Mountain will grow food where many varieties will fail. In 2012 it has found homes in every continent of the world, where it is grown for grain.”

In 2003 and 2004 Dave Christensen was asked to bring his corn to North Korea where it has spread across the cold Northern provinces. There it has increased grain production 260%, helping greatly with starvation. Dave says, "I got to show the wonderful North Korean people that America and the free world wants to help them, not destroy them."

Each year after the harvest season is over, Dave starts preparing seed for the next season. As with the Painted Mountain corn and the Montana Morado Maize a selection of ears have been chosen out of the seed stock acres each year. Now Dave spends months looking on each individual ear, picking out specific kernels that have the right color spectrum, and other traits that he is looking for. He continues working on selecting, evaluation, crossing and testing the corn to unveiled more of its sacred secrets.

Dave Christensen have been working all his life, following his powerful dream about the black colored corn, and it is only in the last years that parts of the puzzle is coming to light and the higher purpose is starting to open up. 
“I have spent most of my adult life creating this important gene pool of corn that is one of the most productive crops for stressed regions of the world. This primitive corn is capable of helping many more people overseas, and farmers in the western USA, but it needs continued breeding to improve it. I have developed many lines for many purposes, but I am only inching along compared to what could be done with more resources. I am a corn breeder and I would appreciate help in improving this corn to help feed more people.”

Read more about the amazing work at the website


His story has also been told in an excellent article written by Scott McMillion in the Montana Quarterly Winter Issue 2012.
Another great article is in the D. Landreth Seed Company’s newsletter of March 2006.






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