Public Hop Research Update

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The Brewers Association (BA) recently learned that USDA-ARS has begun the process of hiring a third full-time permanent scientist to conduct public hop research. This exciting development is important for brewers and paves the way for future hop variety innovation.

The additional breeder position comes about as a result of sustained federal affairs outreach by brewing and hop industry stakeholder groups, including the Brewers Association, Hop Research Council, grower groups from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, as well as hop dealers and brewers. Congress appropriated funds for public hop research in general, and for the addition of the third scientist in particular, in the fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019 federal budgets.

The new breeder will be located in Prosser, Washington, and will join a coordinated team of researchers located in Corvallis, Oregon, including plant pathologist Dr. David Gent and breeder geneticist Dr. John Henning. The addition of the third scientist represents a significant increase in research capacity for the public hop research program, nearly doubling from 1.7 full-time equivalents in 2017 to three full-time equivalents once the new position is filled.

The new permanent breeder will coordinate with a post-doc level scientist funded by the Brewers Association. Hiring for this post-doc position is also currently underway.

The public hop research team is focused on developing disease resistant, high yielding hop cultivars that meet brewer sensory requirements. The team will specialize in hop genomics, hop breeding, plant pathology, and abiotic stress tolerance to meet the needs of hop growers, dealers, and brewers in years and decades to come.

The full text job listing can be found at the USAJobs site.

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