Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back to the farm

The Wall Street Journal dedicated an entire section of the paper yesterday to agricultural issues.  One article called The Ultimate Growth Business started like this:

"Every year, hosts of Americans are trading the corporate world for greener pastures. Literally.

They're gathering up their savings and severance packages or cashing in their retirement plans and plowing the money into small farms—raising a few acres' worth of crops or livestock to sell.

The motives of these start-up farmers run the gamut. Some just want to escape the workaday world, others are fueled by environmental idealism, and still others see it as a straightforward entrepreneurial opportunity. Most of them, though, are betting that the public's current hunger for fresh, local food will keep them afloat."

We're practically trendy - haha! 

Other topics included growing crops in high rises, how to create better tasting tomatoes, and robot harvesters.  Pretty interesting ... and surprising to see in my Monday Far-from-Wall-Street Journal. 


Even though it's not as busy in the fields now, Kris is very busy with meetings.  Yesterday he went straight from a three-hour bank meeting to a two-hour Michigan Department of Agriculture meeting.  Today he's taking four calves to sell at an auction.  There's nothing wrong with them - they were just born later than the others and we like the herd to be on the same schedule.  He's also checking out another barn that a builder built in a distant town. 

He was looking at going on a pasture walk tomorrow - which is a tour that MSU Extension organizes and shows farmers different types of grazing operations - but it's three hours away.  I think he'd have a tough time finding an extra six hours in the day to do the drive, let alone the tour.


I'm really excited about what I'm doing on Thursday.  I'm going to be the dairy spokesperson on a Pure Michigan Agriculture farm tour.  It's a tour for food writers, bloggers, and journalists.  We're touring a dairy farm, a plant, and even having a milk tasting event.  I'll tell you all about it here!  If you want updates as it happens, you can follow me on twitter - @carlashelley.

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