Willet Hop & Grain

Willet Hop and Grain is a central New York hop and grain farm. We are committed to researching, trialing and growing the best possible hops available.  Willet Hop & Grain is focused on delivering the highest quality ingredients to our valued customers.

The Owners

Chuck Rhoades - Owner

In 1979, I graduated from Penn State University as a Civil Engineer and immediately entered the construction business.  In 1992, with business partner Rod Parker, we founded Chenango Contracting, Inc. in Johnson City, NY.  This business provides lining systems for the environmental market and has now installed over 500 million square feet of geosynthetic liners.  In 2005, I led Chenango into the artificial turf business and Chenango is now the distributor/installer for FieldTurf in upstate NY.  I have been very fortunate to be involved in several other business ventures as well.     

Some of Chenango Contracting’s accomplishments include turf installations at Cornell, Colgate, and West Point Military Academy.  In 2014, Chenango installed 4 artificial turf fields at Notre Dame University including the highly acclaimed stadium field.   Chenango also installed the football field at the University of Minnesota which will be the home of the Minnesota Vikings for the next two years.

An avid cyclist, I began racing at the age of 50 (a few short years ago) and enjoy getting out as much as possible.

Back in the early 90’s, a couple of good friends and I were brewing beer as a hobby, which was always a good time.  We talked about opening a brew pub then, but it was before we had either the means or the time.  Always very interested in farming and agriculture, and thinking it would make a good retirement job, I thought a farm would be a good idea.  I became very intrigued by New York’s dominance in the hops industry over a century ago, and would like to join the many others who are working diligently to return this state to a prominent position in that business. 

I have been blessed to be surrounded by great, hard-working people and a fantastic family!  My wife Judy (also known as Mrs. Douglas to you Green Acres fans) is handling our facebook account and, on occasion, has even been known to put on her barn boots.  My daughter Kylie Rhoades Harder, her husband Brendan Harder, and my son Christopher Rhoades  are pretty excited about this business also and can be seen at the farm on occasion.    

We will work hard to provide you with the best quality NY State produced hops and grains! 

Lee Rutan - Farm Manager

Lee was driving a tractor shortly after he learned to walk.  As a next door neighbor to the farm, he can drive it to work now!  Born into the family of another lifelong farmer, Lee learned the value of hard work at a very young age.  He has been known to keep the neighbors up plowing past dark.  The entire Rutan clan including wife Melissa, two sons and a daughter have been in the fields planting hops.  Lee is very excited about the hop business and eager to make Willet Hop and Grain a force in this business.