You Can Make a Difference
Loss of biodiversity, nutrient loading in surface and groundwater, reliance on fossil fuels, and soil erosion are well documented problems of our current agricultural system. One solution to these problems is developing new perennial crops and growing them in biologically diverse systems. Will you join us in our efforts?
Our current agricultural system has a fly wheel problem. Because a few major crops are so dominant and with so much inertia, our ag education system, our public and private research programs, our Extension and consultant networks, our markets, and our insurance programs are all targeted to those crops. Shifting even a portion of those resources and attention toward new crops is a major challenge, which is why we need your help.
The Hazelnut Development Fund is an opportunity to support a new crop and leave the legacy of an improved agricultural system and, more importantly, a revitalized approach to agriculture.
Our Shared Vision
Our vision is for a more biologically diverse and resilient working landscape in the Upper Midwest. Our approach is to explore the biological diversity in our own backyard to develop new crops. Cranberries and blueberries are great examples of crops that originated in wild plants native to our region, but why stop there?
The Potential of Hazelnuts
Our focus is on American hazelnut. It is a shrub species native to the oak savannah transition zone between forest and prairie. It produces an oil-rich nut that has fed wildlife for millennia. We believe it can become a staple of the human diet as well. The nuts are delicious raw or roasted and the oil is nearly 80% oleic acid, the same heart-healthy oil as in olive oil. The shrubs are grown in hedgerows in agroforestry plantings that are a mix of grasses, forbs, trees, and livestock, the kind of mixed-species communities that existed before the moldboard plow and the kind of plantings that protect soil and water.
Join Our Efforts By Contributing to the Hazelnut Development Fund
Contributions to the Hazelnut Development Fund are used to advance the work of the UMHDI Research Team as outlined in the 2018 Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Strategic Plan. Our work is holistic in nature as we are developing all aspects of this new crop at the same time. While we work with early-adopters to develop improved germplasm we are testing a novel hedgerow production system while also designing and building harvesting and post-harvest processing equipment. At the same time, we are also working to support grower-owned processing and marketing capacity to ensure growers have a stake in the value-chain. It's an exciting, but long-term project, and your financial gift will go a long way in making hazelnuts a reality in the Upper Midwest.
Support the UMHDI Today
Your tax deductive gift will support a new crop and new kind of agriculture. Click on the link below to lend your support.
Upon clicking on an icon above, you'll be directed to the UW-Foundation website to make your gift. If you'd like to specify how your gift is used, please contact Jason Fischbach at email@example.com or 715-209-2715
The Hazelnut Development Fund is co-managed by UW-Extension, UW-Steven's Point, and University of Minnesota. Donations made through this website are deposited with the University of Wisconsin Foundation as the fiscal agent for our project. Funds are used by the UMHDI according to the UMHDI Hazelnut Development Fund Charter Agreement between UW-Extension, UW-Steven's Point, and University of Minnesota. All donors will receive an annual report highlighting the use of donor funds. Questions about the fund should be direct to Jason Fischbach at 715-209-2715 or firstname.lastname@example.org.