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About Us

The OHGA is a not-for-profit association of hop growers, families and enthusiasts who are interested in supporting the growth of the hop industry in Ontario.

Our mission is to support the development of the hop industry in this province by:
  • Acting as a central voice for hop growers in Ontario;
  • Be an advocacy group for commercial growers in the province to to both brewing and government interests;
  • Promote hop-growing fundamentals through education, research and development;
  • Support the promotion and marketing of high quality eastern hops

2017-18 Board of Directors

President: Albert Witteveen    
   
Albert Witteveen

Albert Witteveen

Albert brings a lot of agricultural leadership to his new role as president of the Ontario Hop Growers' Association. Albert is the former vice president of the association and former Executive Committee Director of the West Niagara Agricultural Society (2 years) where he has also served as director. Albert has a long history of community involvement in the agriculture sector having served as chairman of the Niagara North Fed of Agriculture for the past 20 yrs, been involved in committees such as tree bylaw, waste management, Agriculture task force, Niagara Conservation, Ag sub committee, Chairman of the citizen liason committee for the regional road 12 landfill for 25 yrs,  Poultryfest committee (for 11 yrs) as director on the executive, and former chairman of the WNAS entertainment committee, and helped as a volunteer at the fair. In additional Albert has served as a municipal councillor from 2000-2006, chaired planning committee, is a former poultry farmer (1988-2009), was employed as a purchaser for a feedmill for three years where he is present a Merchandiser for Furst McNess. Upper Twenty Creek Farm 2853 South Grimsby Road 7 Smithville, Ontario, L0R 2A0 Canada Tel: 289-253-7739 Email: president@ohga.ca
   
Vice President: Stephen Kitras
   
Stephen Kitras has been growing hops for 5 years with 7 acres and 20+ varieties. He started hop growing with no experience in farming. He started organic for 3 years and failed and moved to standard farming methods. He still struggles with the pest and fungal disease control and this has resulted in low yields to date.
Stephen joined the Ontario Hop Growers' Association 2 years ago and has received tremendous encouragement and knowledge of the challenges of hop growing. He is very impressed by the great success some growers have been able to achieve when knowledge and good practices are utilized in experienced farmers.
The Hoppy Farmer 6367 Weisenberg Road, RR#1 West Montrose, Ontario, N0B 2V0 Canada Tel: (519) 843-2480 Email: vice.president@ohga.ca
   
Secretary: Rob Rombouts
   
Rob-RomboutsRob Rombouts is a partner in Hopkona Farms, located outside Arkona in Lambton County.
Hopkona Farms is in its second season with plans to expand.
Rob brings experience in community organizations, and marketing.
He has an avid interest in supporting local agriculture and locally-sourced food, and was previously on the    board of directors of the Mustard See Co-operative Grocery Store in Hamilton, Ontario.
Rob has nearly a decade of experience in marketing and communication, and has worked with non-profits and universities in this capacity.
Hopkona Farms 8741 Townsend Line Arkona, Ontario, N0M 1B0 Work Phone: (289) 775-5826 / (289) 242-1010 Email: secretary@ohga.ca
   
Treasurer: Ian Chester Just Rite Hops Farm 1925 Balkwill Line Coldwater, Ontario, L0k 1E0 Canada E-mail: treasurer@ohga.ca
   
Past President: Hugh Brown
   
Hugh Brown
Hugh is co-owner of Heritage Hill Hop Yard and nursery, located in Central Ontario, and a founding member of the Ontario Hop Growers' Association.
He has been growing hops naturally for 13 years and commercially for nine and has a passion for the commercial revival of his crop in Ontario. Hugh has held many positions with the OHGA since its inception in 2012 including president, vice-president, director and secretary and is currently the immediate past president.
Hugh is a graduate of the broadcast journalism program at Fanshawe College, ON and has many years experience in the media industry as a broadcaster, jourrnalist, editor and digital project manager - currently with digital operations at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto.
1933 Line 2 N
Oro-Medonte, Ontario,
L0L 2L0
Canada
 
 
Directors;
   
  Dean Workman
   
Dean Workman Dean Workman is the managing partner of CanAussie Farms Inc. and Irvine River Hops. “We decided to branch out of the normal crop rotation and set aside a small plot to “experiment” with growing hops back in 2011.” Because Dean has been an avid home brewer since his mid 20’s it seemed like an obvious match. “It was more of a labour of love back then but we have expanded several times and are currently at 3.6 acres with a further expansion of 8.4 acres penciled out,” (awaiting the approval from the minister of finance, AKA the Mrs). The farm now has a Wolf 170 hop picker and a Wolf dryer as part of it’s hop specific equipment. “Growing hops has its challenges and its learning curves, I’m glad I started small so I could iron out the bugs, (literally) before going all in”. Dean, a Locksmith by trade, also has a successful small business in the Elora/Fergus area.
CanAussie Farms Inc.
6822 Beatty Line N
Fergus, Ontario, N1M 2W3
Canada
 
   
Edgar Ramirez/Catherine Crawford Pleasant Valley Hops 18683 Loyalist Parkway Hillier Prince Edward County, Ontario, K0K 2J0 Canada E-mail: eramirez@ohga.ca/ccrawford@ohga.ca
   
Kathy Dingwell Rydal Ridge Hops, RR#5, 457066 Embro, Ontario, N0J 1J0 Canada E-mail: kdingwell@ohga.ca
   
Dean McConkey
   
Dean McConkey Dean McConkey is a 6th generation farmer in the town of St. George in Brant County. He has good knowledge of how to attend to crops that require high maintenance such as hops, being born and raised on a vegetable farm. Coming into his 4th year of growing hops in a 3 acre section of the 97 acre farm. He has also contributed to the area by being a second generation volunteer fire fighter in the community for 14 years.  He looks forward to helping others in the industry with good fertility knowledge creating healthy hops for generations to come. Dean McConkey Farms, 197 Howell Road St.George, Ontario, N0E 1N0 Canada Email: dmcconkey@ohga.ca
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