By Katie Horling
You may have already seen the Dieleman family on television, or maybe in a magazine or newspaper article. Their family operation, Pure Mitten Hops, has gained quite a bit of exposure over the past five years of its existence—a nice perk owner Mary Dieleman credits to her Farm Bureau membership.
Hops are now a family venture for the Dielemans: Mary and her husband Morrie, plus their son Justin and his wife Mandy and family. Mary and Morrie started growing hops in 2014 because their son and daughter-in-law were interested in getting involved in agriculture.
Since then that interest has become a business selling hops directly to brewers all over Michigan. Verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), Pure Mitten Hops is a member of the Hop Growers of Michigan and over the past year has altered course somewhat to focus more on Michigan-specific hop varieties.
The Dielemans joined the Ottawa County Farm Bureau when they started the farm five years ago, in part due to a positive endorsement from Mary’s father, a longtime member himself. The membership helped promote the business from the get-go, Mary said—an early boost for which they’re still grateful.
The Farm Bureau network soon led to the farm hosting meetings and attracting media attention in print, broadcast and online outlets.
Working closely with MFB’s policy-development process and the Hop Growers organization, the Dielemans are championing tax-break incentives for brewers using Michigan-grown hops.
Katie Horling was part of Michigan Farm Bureau’s inaugural Rotational Intern program this summer. The Coopersville native is in her senior year at Kansas State University, studying animal science and agribusiness.