Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Tuesday, February 9, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Local
10/2/2013 10:43:00 AM
Farmer goes 'Rogue'
Catholic Sentinel photos by Jon DeBellis
Juan Luis Cano smiles as he helps a co-worker hang hops on conveyor hooks to be picked and processed.
Catholic Sentinel photos by Jon DeBellis
Juan Luis Cano smiles as he helps a co-worker hang hops on conveyor hooks to be picked and processed.
John Coleman inspects fresh hops from the field.
John Coleman inspects fresh hops from the field.
+ view more photos
Free-range turkeys roam the hop farm.
The evolution of ‘picking’
It used to be when you’d pick hops, farmers would lower the cables where the vines grow, so workers could pick them from the ground.

Now a tractor that looks like a tall fork lift clips the vines and drops them into a truck. The vines are then put onto a hanging conveyer where they are separated, moved to dryers to roast and then wrapped into 200 pound bales.

The machinery that processes and dries the hops hasn’t changed much since the 1940s, but who picks the hops definitely has, says John Coleman, general manager of Coleman Family Farms.

Coleman’s hop workers used to be migrant workers, who came almost entirely from Jalisco, Mexico.

His family still owns a labor camp that is no longer in use.

“We used to have families that would stay on our property all summer long,” said Coleman. “They would come in the spring to plant hops, then pick berries, then pick the hops, and then move on to Washington State to pick apples.”

Coleman fondly recalls going to Mexico in the off season to visit many of the families that worked for them.

“Some of our workers were like family,” he says.

Most of the folks who work for the Colemans now live in Salem, Independence or other cities nearby — children and grandchildren of former migrant workers born here in Oregon. He remembers the immigration raids of the 1960s as a child working on the family farm.

The search for workers keeps getting tougher, says Coleman, since most who used to pick have moved on to other jobs or gone to school.

The politics of labor have been a part of farming history, but says Coleman, his family has tried to treat every worker with respect.

“We understand that everyone is trying to make a living here,” said Coleman. “We also believe that taking care of your workers is important.”

And the workers give a testimony to that care.

“I like working here,” said José Velázquez, who is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico and who now lives in Independence. “The boss is nice and it is a good place to have a job.”

Velázquez said he learned of the job through a friend. He earns $8.95 per hour — the Oregon minimum wage.

Velázquez waters, cuts, cleans and plants the hops and he enjoys every activity he does.

“I’m grateful for the Coleman family to give me this opportunity,” said Velazquez. “I’m a single father and need to provide for my son.”

Noemó Toribio from Oaxaca, Mexico, heard about the job from her mother, who already was working there. Toribio sweeps the floors of debris as the plants are processed. That debris is made into mulch for the hop acreage.

Rubén Victoria of Salem drives the trucks from the field to be processed. Even though he claims the job is fairly easy, he has to be careful when he drives the truck to keep it in line while it is filled it and be carefull with the columns that are every where.

“In my 16 years in Oregon, I worked in construction, farming, nurseries, and building houses and this one is pretty good,” said Victoria.

Coleman says currently there are engineers and farmers working on machinery that would eliminate even more human jobs from the hop picking process, but he hopes that the human element will never be wholly dismissed from farming.

“Technology could be the savior of a lot of things,” says Coleman. “But farming will always need human spirit.”

Jon DeBellis
Of the Catholic Sentinel

INDEPENDENCE — When pickup trucks filled with hops drive in from the field to be processed at Rogue Ales’ Hopyard here, tendrils of the perennial plant hang off the side view mirrors.

Originally used as a preservative in beer and ales, hops are a valued ingredient in the craft beer industry that is making Oregon famous. The use of the plant’s flower (which resembles a soft, greenish pinecone) has led to distinctive flavors and aromas in an industry built on building tasty brews.

To visitors, the Hopyard appears to be owned and operated by Rogue Brewery for the production of its own product. The farm is actually the result of a partnership between Rogue and Coleman Family Farms; the sixth generation of a family of Willamette Valley Dutch Catholic farmers.

A lot has changed in the world of agriculture since John Coleman’s great-great-great grandfather bought a farm in St. Paul, Ore., back in the mid 1800s. What crops are planted; how they are picked; who picks them; how they are processed are all changed.

Adaptation has been part of his family’s legacy of farming, says John, general manager of Coleman Family Farms, but it is also the wisdom passed down six generations that has keep him strong, diversified and faithful.

The Rogue Ales Hopyard is an example of such adaptation.

Since the mid-1980s, the Coleman Family was growing 800-900 acres of hops for Anheuser-Busch; one of the largest brewers in the world.

Then, in 2008, Anheuser-Busch was sold to InBev, a Belgian brewer that slowed down and eventually stopped its order. They grew small orders for InBev until 2011, early 2012.

“I believe InBev was searching for savings, in the old Anheuser-Busch, and realized they had more hops than they needed,” said Coleman, a member of St. Paul Parish in St. Paul and cousin to Father Jim Coleman, pastor at St. Luke Parish in Woodburn.

This was a huge financial hit to the farm.

Soon after, a phone call came from Jack Joyce, chief wisdom officer of Rogue Brewery.

The year 2008 was also a hop shortage year, and he was looking to work with local farmers to create a network of locally grown hops that he could rely on.

“We literally let our fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages looking for hop farmers,” said Brett Joyce. “John was the first to be willing to work with us.”

The conversation was a fruitful one. Rogue agreed to grow hops with Coleman Family Farms, 40 acres of which would be used to craft their beer. Ideas kept coming.

The property, in addition to being a working hop farm, isnow a destination for recreation. Rogue has added to the farm’s appeal by opening the farm’s house and buildings to hospitality, making it a weekend spot for cyclists, beer lovers and farm lovers. In addition to hops, Rogue also uses the property to farm bees, pumpkins, roses, peppers, chickens and turkeys.

“John’s a great guy, a great business man, and a great farmer and was really open to making the farm an experience for folks,” said Joyce.

Coleman also grows his own hops for sale on the property. He processes all the hops for both Rogue and his farm, selling the non-Rogue hops to brokers who distribute the product to craft breweries around the country.

Coleman’s farm has also been designated a certified Salmon-Safe farm. Founded by the Pacific Rivers Council, Salmon-Safe is a non-profit that helps farms transform land management practices so Pacific salmon can thrive in West Coast watersheds.

Coleman Family Farms also owns several other farms where they grow hazelnuts, grass seed, wheat, garlic, and seed garlic (later planted in California). The farms also grow bush beans, sweet corn and table beets for NorPac, a local frozen foods manufacturer.

“We’re farmers and we hope to be farmers for awhile,” said Coleman. “We have to take care of the land we have.”

Coleman says he’s proud that his family has been able to continue for so long doing something that helps feed communities around him.

“I grew up in farming — you can make a good honest living,” said Coleman, “but it fluctuates.”






Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved