The Board recommended further negotiations with Bo Belanger, owner of South Shore Brewery in Ashland. Belanger has a small hops production on site at present. He proposed to increase existing production over 10 fold over five years together with the possibility of utilizing a small building to dry the hops. A second component of his proposal was to convert the old dairy barn to a barley malting facility.
The Executive Committee will be discussing this together with a proposal to prepare a masterplan and topographical survey of the site in addition to discussions on future lease options.
During the meeting UW Extension Agricultural Specialist Jason Fischbach reviewed the bio-mass research trials currently ongoing also at the Ag Station site. Trees were planted in 2009 with the project expected to conclude in 2019. The research is supported by Xcel Energy and the Wisconsin Energy Office and is designed to generate region specific recommendations for woody biomass crops.