Emily Slayton
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Recipient Emily Slayton
Scholarship Recipients


North Dakota State University Barley Field School Scholarship Recipient Announced

The Pink Boots Society is proud to announce that Emily Slayton is the recipient of the North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences Barley Field School Scholarship. Emily is co-founder of Skeleton Key Brewery, an education-focused brewery-in-planning in Illinois.

The PBS Scholarship Selection Committee (SSC) is made up of five very experienced women beer professionals who hold positions as brewers, educators and writers. The committee chose Emily to receive this scholarship due to her, “very well-written, very thought-out essay [that] was enjoyable to read” and clearly conveyed her passion.

Emily grew up in suburban Chicago, obtained a journalism degree in Missouri and during a visit to local microbrewery, Flat Branch, while talking with their brewer she connected her emerging interest in craft beer with a long-standing interest in farming. From there she began homebrewing, ditching extract brewing after her first batch and moving to all-grain. Since then she has continued to nurture her agricultural interest by purchasing hop rhizomes and exploring the ability to grow barley in her 1,000 square foot suburban backyard.

Along with her husband and partners, Emily is currently helping to get Skeleton Key Brewery off the ground. They hope to “become a community hub for craft beer enthusiasts, offering a wide range of classes on everything from extract brewing and sensory training to growing your own hops and barley.” She feels this scholarship will be her, “chance to not just learn about growing and malting barley, but to…share it with others.”

NDSU’s Barley Field School is a three-day onsite course that will take place in Fargo, ND at their state-of-the-art Agricultural Experimentation Station Research Greenhouse Complex. During classroom sessions, participants will learn how to grow high quality barley for malting, prevent diseases and pests in fields, and learn the best practices for managing risk when growing and marketing malting barley. Attendees will also have hands-on sessions on crossing techniques used in barley breeding research, utilizing barley and malt quality testing equipment, and grain marketing and take tours of experimental barley plots, pathology nurseries, an industrial grain facility and a private barley farm.

In addition to attending the course, Emily will receive a pair of pink steel-toe rubber boots when she fulfills the Pay It Forward requirement associated with the scholarship.