Michigan Master Farmers, servant leaders
Three Michigan farmers have made serving others and their land a priority.
Fourth-generation farmer Joe Bryant grows 1,100 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat in Shepard. Bryant tells Brownfield he enjoys sharing the farm with others and relies on conservation and precision technology to ensure it for the future.
“I would just assume to have the soil here from my grandkids to farm as productive or more so than what I have.”
Dave Milligan farms 4,500 acres of corn soybeans, wheat, and dry beans in Tuscola County and has served on local and state ag boards for most of his career. Milligan sees the past 10 years on the National Association of Wheat Growers Board as a major highlight.
“You’re doing something that’s very important,” he shares. “People kind of take food for granted and we’re doing it on a low margin, we’re not getting real profitable doing this getting 20 percent on our investment—it’s just what we do.”
Louis Wierenga raises nearly 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans, and alfalfa in Hastings where for the past 25 years he’s planted a variety of test plots for seed companies. The farm also utilizes solar panels and is known for creating out-of-the-box solutions.
“The best piece of advice was probably from my father and was that if it doesn’t work, don’t quit trying, do it differently,” he remembers.
The three were named Michigan Master Farmer award winners, presented by the Michigan Farmer Magazine and sponsored by Brownfield Ag News, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Michigan Agricultural Commodities, the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, Michigan Soybean Committee, Michigan Wheat Program, and Wilbur-Ellis during the recent Great Lakes Crop Summit.