The UMHDI Hazelnut Processing Accelerator is a private-public partnership that relies on the collaboration of many stakeholders. Have an interest in processing, want to lend a hand? Contact Jason Fischbach and let's discuss how you and your organization can get involved.
UW-Extension is a founding collaborator of the Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative and through its Educators and Specialists provides outreach education, organizational development assistance, and targeted research to support the emerging hazelnut industry in the Upper Midwest. Jason Fischbach provides coordination and leadership for the overall Accelerator and is responsible for the management, operation, and testing of the incubator processing line.
American Hazelnut Company, LLC (AHC)
The AHC was launched in 2014 and currently has 16 grower-members across four states. They currently purchase in-shell nuts from their members and process them into oil and meal with sales online, to its members, and to retailers in WI and MN. The AHC is the main user of the incubator processing facility in Ashland and conducts its value-added product manufacturing in the Kickapoo Culinary Center (KCC) in Gays Mills, WI.
Bayfield Regional Food Producers Cooperative (Bayfield Foods)
Bayfield Foods is an aggregation and marketing cooperative based near Ashland, WI serving its 19 grower-members. They operate a multi-farm CSA with sales throughout the Lake Superior region and also sell wholesale to retailers in northern Wisconsin. Bayfield Foods is a marketing partner with the AHC, helping bring products to markets.
Northland College Hulings Rice Food Center (HRFC)
The Hulings Rice Food Center includes a commercial incubator kitchen (Larson Food Lab) and commercial composting facility used to support Northland College’s sustainability curriculum and its goals to support and enable sustainable agricultural systems. The Larson Food Lab hosts the processing incubator. As an educational institution, the Accelerator provides experiential learning opportunities for students in engineering, food processing, and business development.
UW-Madison Biological Systems Engineering (BSE)
In addition to training students, faculty in the UW-Madison Department of Biological Systems Engineering conduct targeted research and development to support the farms and food businesses of Wisconsin. Scott Sanford, Dave Bohnhoff, and student research assistants from BSE collaborate with the Accelerator to develop appropriately-scaled harvest and post-harvest processing equipment for the emerging hazelnut industry and, specifically, the hedgerow hazelnut system envisioned for the Upper Midwest.
UMN Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP)
RSDP works with partners in rural communities to help develop supply chains for emerging new crops and markets. Connie Carlson (Associate Program Director) provides business development assistance to individual processing and value-added businesses and assists Accelerator partners in developing supply chains for the broader hazelnut industry.
Forest Agriculture Enterprises (Forest Ag)
Forest Ag has been a leader in developing the hazelnut industry for decades and is a supplier of hazelnut planting stock, consulting, and custom planting. Forest Ag has provided processing equipment to the Accelerator including the Terminutter impact cracker and a stainless roller-sizer designed and built by John Bashaw of Pendragon Fabrications.