Loza Farms – Meet the Maker

Loza Farms - Yakima Valley Hop Farmer

Loza Farms – Meet the Maker

December 19, 2023

Leon Loza arrived in the Yakima Valley from Mexico in 1976 to begin working in the valley’s hop fields. That was just the beginning of a long, and often challenging, journey leading to the purchase of his first 56-acre hop farm in 2006. That journey eventually became a thriving family affair as Loza Farms grew to become a leading Yakima Valley hop producer and the only Mexican-American owned hop farm in the U.S. Today, Leon “Junior” Loza is the farm manager, and the hop operation remains a family passion as he leads it forward in the top hop producing region in the U.S. and beyond.

Leon Loza Jr. – Loza Farms

How has your father’s story and family journey influenced your hop farm operation as it has grown over the years? What do you see for the future?

My father’s journey from Mexico and our family’s journey have been the driving force behind the success of our hop farm. The values of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice instilled by my parents have become the foundation of our operation. As the farm has grown over the years, these principles have guided our decisions, ensuring that every step forward comes from the same work ethic that brought us here. Looking to the future, we envision the continuation of this legacy, with a commitment to sustainable and responsible farming practices, as well as a focus on family unity.

From the first 56-acre hop farm to what Loza Farms is today, what does it mean to you to be part of the Yakima Valley hop community and industry?

From the initial 56-acre hop farm to the thriving entity that is Loza Farms today, being part of the Yakima Valley hop community holds deep significance for us. It means being connected to a rich history of hop cultivation. We take pride in our role.

People might not realize how much hands-on, manual work there is in growing hops. What’s behind your dedication to growing hops?

The hands-on, manual work involved in growing hops, from training emerging bines to harvest, is a labor of love for us. This dedication comes from a respect of hop farming and a commitment to producing the highest quality of hops. 

What do you enjoy about working with brewers and seeing/tasting your hops in the beers they craft?

Witnessing our hops being transformed into unique and flavorful beers is a source of pride. Growing hops is tough work, but getting to taste the fruits of our labor in a great beer surrounded by good company? Now that’s the best part of the job!

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