Century Farm program honors dedicated farm families

2019-06-14T14:06:42-05:00June 14, 2019|Grower, Grower Midwest|

by Gail March Yerke
It was the New York Agricultural Society that became one of the first organizations to recognize Century Farms in our country back in 1937. Today the USDA identifies the vast majority of farms and ranches in the United States as family owned and operated. The Century Farm program honors generations of families that have dedicated their lives to farming. (more…)

A growing success: K&W Greenery Garden Center

2019-06-14T13:59:18-05:00June 14, 2019|Grower, Grower Midwest|

It’s a family affair: Brother and sister Chris Williams and Jordan Graffin at the family’s retail garden center in Janesville, WI.
Photo by Gail March Yerke

by Gail March Yerke

It’s early spring 1972 and the lumbering rural school bus gradually comes to a stop at the edge of town in Janesville, WI. When the door opens a young boy scampers toward the old farmhouse recently converted into a retail garden shop. After homework he goes out to the one small hoop house, helping his dad transplant flowers as only a 10-year-old can. (more…)

The savoir-faire of selling to Millennials

2019-06-14T13:38:13-05:00June 14, 2019|Grower, Grower East, Grower Midwest, Grower West|

by Courtney Llewellyn

The Millennial: what a debated figure in the current economic climate. They have been accused of killing everything from the diamond industry to blowing their meager disposable income on frivolities such as avocado toast. They do make money (often at more than one job), and they do spend it. But how does a business lure them in? (more…)

Kopke’s Greenhouse: A happy landing

2019-06-13T16:48:45-05:00June 13, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Sally Colby

Josh Smith didn’t intend to become an owner in a thriving greenhouse business, but a series of life events landed him there. Josh’s stepfather, Gordy Kopke, started Kopke’s Greenhouse in Oregon, WI, after successfully selling field grown vegetables at a farmers market in the early 1980s. (more…)

Heading north to manifest destiny

2019-06-13T15:53:13-05:00June 13, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Enrico Villamaino

“Go West, young man!” is a phrase often credited to the 19th century American author and newspaper editor Horace Greeley. According to an oft-told anecdote, he was giving advice on where a young man might go to seek his fortune and prosper. But for Brian Bates, the message was “Go North!” (more…)

Pinpoint soils data leads to successful tree planting for Iowa apple orchard

2019-06-13T15:05:10-05:00May 20, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Jason Johnson, NRCS

Iowa’s Apple Trails Family Orchard is prospering after soils information provided by USDA helped two beginning orchardists start off on the right track.

Darren and Becky Housberg moved to Osceola, Iowa, in 1995. They began making plans for their orchard in 2010. Becky researched apple varieties, and the couple set aside 40 acres of land for their planned orchard. (more…)

Testing agricultural water

2019-04-08T18:03:46-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Sally Colby

As growers become more familiar with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Produce Safety Rule (PSR), it’s important they understand the meaning of and regulations pertaining to testing agricultural water used for irrigation and other areas of production. (more…)

Today’s Marketing Objective: When All Good News Is Not Good News

2019-04-08T18:39:21-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower Midwest, Grower West|

When All Good News Is Not Good News

The clerk handed me the receipt and pointed to instructions at the bottom. “Please fill out our customer survey,” she said, “but only if you have good things to say about our store. We don’t want to hear any negative comments,” she quipped, and then quickly added, “Remember – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” (more…)