Quinoa was first sewn in North America during 1982 at 7,500 feet elevation among fields of potatoes and grain on the New family farm in Mosca, Colorado. Dr. David Cusack introduced the crop to Virginia and Ernie New and their son and his wife, Paul and Cindy after learning about their organic farm. He felt the toxin-free land in the San Luis Valley was ideal for Quinoa trials, which Dr. Steve Gorad made possible through the acquisition of a hand full of seeds. The first planting was harvested by hand, making way for years of trials that would test the adaptability of many Quinoa varieties and ecotypes from several South American regions, including Lipez, Bolivia and Cahuil, Chile.
In 1983, Cusack joined with Gorad and Don McKinley to form a corporation that would market imported Quinoa while working to grow crops in Colorado with Dr. Duane Johnson, the New Crops Agronomist at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. Alongside John McCamant, a former assistant professor of the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver, Quinoa research on the Mosca farm continued for the next several years. McCamant's hard work and devotion produced an edible seed despite challenges from the San Luis Valley's harsh growing environment.