This program offers insight into small scale organic hops production to meet the growing demand by micro-breweries in the midwest and the potential to help diversify Michigan's organic production. This program covers: start up do’s and don’ts, up-front and ongoing costs, and market potential.
Rob Sirrine is a Community Food Systems educator for Michigan State University Extension in Leelenau County, located in the northwest lower peninsula of Michigan. Rob Areas of Emphasis include: Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture, Community Food Systems, Entrepreneurial Agriculture, Value-added Production, Sustainable Hops Production, and Organic Agriculture. In addition to work in Community Food Systems, Rob serves as the statewide lead for Michigan Hops Production. With increasing interest from Michigan micro-brewers and home-brewers, Rob has organized a series of educational sessions and on-farm field days for growers interested in hops production over the last three years. Moreover, he has been involved in several statewide and multi-state grant initiatives investigating the potential for sustainable hop production in the Great Lakes Region. In addition to offering educational programs on hop production Rob provides a leadership role with the Food Systems working group of the state MSUE team.
Brian Tennis and his wife Amy operate New Mission Organics, a farm located in Leelanau County, MI. They have been farming organically for the past 6 years. In addition to 5 acres of hops, they also grow organic sweet cherries as well. Brian and Amy are members of the Michigan Hop Alliance-a group of 5 organic hop growers in northwest Michigan that work together to pick, process, and package their hops for sale to micro and home-brewers.
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This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.