Ryan and Andrea Romeyn are part of a growing trend in some parts of the country of new, younger farmers choosing to work on smaller-scale farms and cultivate local markets. In business for 15 years, the Romeyns farm 20 acres of diverse vegetables in Antrim County north of Traverse City and employ 30 people, mostly part-time and seasonally.Read more
Nick Oomen of Hart, in Oceana County, is 27 years old. He is a fourth-generation farmer, and the family business, Oomen Brothers Inc., grows diverse vegetables and some fruit on approximately 1,800 acres. He serves on his county Farm Bureau board, is part of a Farm Bureau leadership training program, and serves on the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board and Michigan Asparagus Research Committee.Read more
Mark Coe, a former farm manager in Manistee County, concluded that farms would benefit if sales of their products could be extended into the winter months. In late 2013, he teamed up with Brandon Seng, director of food programs at Goodwill Industries Northern Michigan, to develop Farm to Freezer in Traverse City, which freezes Michigan-grown produce into a branded product while training workers in job skills.Read more
Heather Ratliff develops a different side of the supply chain—school customers. Ratliff works at Cherry Capital Foods, a Michigan-food distribution company with 50 employees located in Traverse City and Okemos which routes a fleet of 10 trucks throughout much of the state. It started in 2007, serving just northwest lower Michigan.