Milling in McPherson: Eric Wall Continues Family Tradition of Involvement in Home Baking Association

Posted April 27, 2023

For Eric Wall, director of sales at Grain Craft, milling in McPherson is a family tradition — as is active involvement in the Home Baking Association, a non-profit organization that promotes increased home baking.

“Any company that has a presence in the baking aisle should be a part of the HBA because the vision is to grow the practice of home baking, whether you sell flour, sugar, yeast, any kind of ingredient, even baking utensils, pans or baking mats,” Wall said, who is currently serving his second term as HBA president. “It makes sense for a company like Grain Craft to be a member because we want to have the association continue to teach and educate and keep people baking at home. So that’s why we’ve stayed involved for all these years.”

While Wall’s family were not charter members of the HBA, their membership dates to the 1960s, originally through their family-owned Wall-Rogalsky Milling Co, in McPherson. Wall joined the family business after he graduated from Kansas State University in 1982 with a degree in agricultural economics. The company was sold to Cereal Food Processors in 2000, a company that was acquired by Milner/Pendleton in 2014. The acquisition resulted in the creation of a new company — Grain Craft — now the largest independent flour miller in the nation.

Grain Craft’s network of mills supplies bagged and bulk flour to customers from coast to coast, including food service, pizza and tortilla industries and grocery stores. McPherson, where Wall continues to work, is Grain Craft’s primary small packaging mill, supplying two to 50-pound sacks, primarily for retail.

This strong connection to retail sales makes the HBA an ideal organization for Grain Craft since the HBA provides resources to anyone who teaches or fosters home baking skills and promotes the benefits of baking. In 2022, the HBA reached 7.2 million educators and consumers.

The HBA recently sponsored a three-day event with the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), a national career and technical student organization for young people in family and consumer sciences in public and private schools. The 2023 Baking and Milling Industry Immersion brought students and teachers to Manhattan, Kansas, to tour local bakeries, flour mills and the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center. The KWIC is also home to the Grain Craft Innovation Lab, a space focused on quality and product performance analysis.

“FCCLA is trying to build these kids to be the next generation of leaders, and FCCLA has been a longtime partner with the HBA,” Wall said. “We wanted to do something like this to get their students and teachers to understand that there are some really nice opportunities in the baking and milling industries.”

Wall credited Charlene Patton, HBA executive director, and Sharon Davis, longtime HBA family and consumer sciences educator, as integral reasons why the HBA continues to succeed in their mission of promoting home baking through activities like the recent FCCLA event.

He also wants wheat farmers to know the connection between families who purchased baking ingredients, retailers and milling companies like Grain Craft flows directly back to Kansas farms.

“We want people to bake at home. They’ll buy flour, which is made from the farmers’ wheat,” Wall said. “Within a 100-mile radius, we source and grind a lot of wheat each year. So, if people continue to bake at home, that only helps provide the farmer with a good market for their wheat.”

Learn more about the Home Baking Association at


Written by Julia Debes for Kansas Wheat