Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative
In 2021, US farmers sold more than $10 billion worth of tree nuts. Only $90,000 of that or 0.00001% went to Wisconsin farmers. Wisconsin doesn’t yet have a nut industry and our Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative (UMHDI) is working to change that. We are working to create a hazelnut industry in Wisconsin based on a native plant that grows wild throughout Wisconsin, American hazelnut (Corylus americana). If we’re successful not only do farmers get a valuable new crop, but consumers get a locally-produced nut, our state’s wildlife get new habitat, carbon gets fixed in the underground roots, and our water quality improves. All that from a plant native to Wisconsin.
After more than a decade of traditional plant breeding we have plant material that can support commercial production. Now we need your help to complete the next step and that is to establish a network of Go-First Hazelnut Farms. These farms will help us expand our ongoing R&D, create local opportunities for farmers to learn about this exciting new crop, and catalyze local supply chains to accelerate the industry. Your gift will help us purchase the plants and supplies we need and conduct the planting and maintenance. Donations of any level are welcomed. $10,000 will establish an entire farm, $1,000 will establish an entire row, and $10 will plant and maintain 1 plant.