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A diplomatic farmer running through his 40-by-40

Meet Chris Creguer, a territory manager for Pioneer Seeds, plus a corn, soybeans,
wheat and dry bean farmer, in Michigan’s thumb region. He shares about traveling by way of family
roadtrips, running, football and faith, plus how a debate about GMOs turned into a date, a wedding, five
years and two kids.

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We’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s pretty nice

Dani Dryer farms fulltime with her parents and sister to grow about 900 acres of crops including corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. The family also works on custom-tiling fields for other farmers. She shares about places she’s traveled and snowmobiled, technology on her family’s farm and more.

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A Dutch dairyman pounding the pavement & presidential gavel

Meet Dirk Okkema, a dairy and sheep farmer from west Michigan. He also works fulltime as a member representative of a dairy cooperative. He shares about regularly used smartphone apps, traveling around his region for farm inspections, welcoming baby lambs and visitors at his family’s farm and more!

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Growing like hops with open relationships

Meet Sean Trowbridge, who spoke with us on a snowy day in Goodrich (near Flint). He started a farm with his dad a little over 10 years ago with pigs, bees, turkeys, a big garden and hops. Since then they’ve narrowed their focus, and he shares with us about qualities that may change the flavor of products, equipment and labor needed for a successful harvest and more!

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Quality time, productivity and warmer temperatures

Sarah Mathe farms with her husband and their two young children on her family’s centennial farm in southeast Michigan. They raise corn, soybeans and wheat, plus cattle and sheep. Listen in as she talks about her dream day, new ventures she’s working on including a business and a fun, unique dress-up experience of her four-year-old.

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Learning from saying “never”

It’s time to meet Carrie Preston! Carrie shares with us about lessons learned on the farm and through teaching about agricultural science. Topics include secret cooking ingredients, travel destinations and more.

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If there’s anything we are, we’re unusual

Meet Brian Preston. He farms with his dad, uncle and cousin to raise 1,500 acres of crops, plus 10,000 pigs per year AND milk 800 dairy cows in south-central Michigan. In this episode, we hear about activities that fill up his family’s days, why a family business is special, a technical conversation about shrink and more.

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I’m the cornguy

Mick Kokx retired from Michigan State University. He raises locally-grown produce and meat goats in southwest Michigan. He shares about the difference between goats and other animals, stickershock of making a move from Baltimore to the Upper Peninsula and more.

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A dairy farmer who’s not seeking life mulligans

Meet Jennifer Lewis, a dairy farmer from Jonesville with a husband, three grown kids and three grandkids. Her family also raises corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and blueberries. She shares about her household grocery staples, a reason she’s happy to eat her youthful words, a hobby she hasn’t had time for in three years and more.

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A teacher-turned-technician

Jodi DeHate is a Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Technician based in Missaukee County. She grew up on a dairy farm, but now she and her husband raise fruits and vegetables and she milks cows every other Sunday. Listen as she talks about creative ways she’s built a business with used materials, hunting and fishing and what career changes led her to this point in her life.

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An apple-carrying frost man

Nick Schweitzer raises about 20 varieties of apples with his family in West Michigan. Learn more about him and why he’s the ultimate planner, how apples are stored for optimum fruit quality all year long, what he would serve dinner guests for dessert and more!

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A mom with questions, projects and new recipes

The Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant is celebrating 130 years of being in business! Amy Zehnder Grossi is a fourth-generation restaurateur and joins our podcast as a winner of the 2018 Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT restaurant award. Hear about what brought her back to her family’s business, partnerships and tours with farmers to supply the volume of food served in their local restaurant, their annual Michigan Dinner event and more.

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Farmer after five finds love in plane sight

Elaine Bristol works for the Michigan Ag Council during the day, but at night she transforms into a shepherd! Elaine, a fifth generation Michigan State Spartan, raises sheep with her family. Listen as she tells about how she ignored her instincts on a flight, the joy on people’s faces at Disney World, the beauty of a dead end sign and how many wool items of clothing she sports daily.

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A mat maid spreading truth about agriculture

Meet Annie Link, a multi-generational dairy farmer who milks about 2,000 cows and raises crops in West Michigan. Her family’s farm started in 1915 when Annie’s great-grandfather married the farmer’s daughter. She and longtime friend (and podcast host) Carla visit about cheese making, wrestling and running, a life-changing experience and what she’s learning around her laundry schedule.

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A classic tale of an aerospace engineer-turned-farmer

Ben Smith is a husband and father of four. He works with his father- and brother-in-law to grow wine and juice grapes, corn and soybeans in southwest Michigan. He also serves as the Executive Secretary for the Michigan State Horticultural Society. Get to know him and how his roots in asparagus and cherries led to being an aerospace engineer and back again.

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Lifetime learner returns to uncomfortable campus chairs

Meet Ben Tirrell, whose family has owned the same farm for more than 100 years. They raise sheep and beef cattle, plus corn, soybeans and wheat. He shares about a variety of topics including raising daughters on the farm, ways farmers are opening farm gates to conversations, a taxing farm sport, our shared future and one way he’s living by the best advice he’s been given.

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Abracadabra, it’s Christmas tree season!

Meet Tony Stefani, husband and father of four, who works with his dad to grow cut-your-own Michigan Christmas trees. He and Carla visit about a special kid quest, unique scents of the Christmas trees he grows, a distant cousin with a very different job and a meal he could eat every day.

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Fan of bacon (and turkey bacon) magazine cover model

Meet Zack Snider, a young farmer who raises pigs, turkeys, corn and soybeans with his family in West Michigan. He talks with us about things he’s most thankful for, family holiday traditions, people he might invite to dinner if given the chance and things that may surprise you about his turkeys.

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Responsible for managing friction and being best friends with bankers

Meet Brian Pridgeon, a seventh generation pig, corn, soybeans and wheat farmer. He shares lots of laughs with Carla about topics including songs he’s playing on the piano lately, jobs he’d rather not do and ones he enjoys, something he wishes Michigan had more of and a life-changing experience post-Thanksgiving three years ago.

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A rebound boot fitness instructor seeking sunshine-filled days

Meet Allyson Maxwell. She is a corn, sugarbeet, soybean, wheat and seasonal pumpkin farmer raising two boys and a farmdog. Whew! She makes a minute to chat about food decisions she makes at the store among overwhelming food labels, what she enjoys doing outside of working and things she’s looking forward in the future.

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A high-knee, bucket carrying, “GO”al-setting woman raising honest kids

Meet Carla Schultz, a livestock and crop farmer working alongside her husband, four kids and her parents in Michigan’s “thumb” region. Carla and Carla have a fast-paced discussion about the best places to travel in Michigan, coaching kids’ soccer, business goals for the upcoming year, what farmers do for fun and really GREAT life advice.

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Putting out figurative fires, flying by the seat of coverall pants and dreaming of organizing life

Meet Kristi Keilen, a fourth-generation dairy farmer, who milks 450 cows three times a day and raises crops like corn, soybeans and wheat, with her husband and their three-year-old son. Kristi and Carla have a fast-paced conversation about balancing technology and comfort, meal prep, Sunday traditions, working with a three-year-old on the farm and travel destinations in and outside of Michigan.

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A newlywed who’s really grateful for a GREAT family and days she doesn’t drive the skidsteer

Meet Amanda Carey Goodfellow, a farmer who works alongside her dad and grandfather on about 1,000 acres and who milks 180 cows using robot milking machines. She takes a break in the field with us and talks about her farm wedding and remodeling projects, how she convinced her dad she was dedicated to running their family’s business, salesman mistakes, being involved in her community and what it’s like to take care of her animals and land.

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Planting foods and flags for strong communities

Meet Julie Darnton, an MSU Extension educator who works in community food systems, helping people recognize the value of buying local products. Julie works with farmers markets, institutions and the public. She tempts your tastebuds and tantalizes your inner-travel bug in this interview.

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Extroverted introvert who just wants to watch her own channel

Meet Katie Eisenberger, a teacher and budding farmer who was raised on a dairy farm who’s now helping students and her own family discover the wide world of agricultural careers. She talks about the things she’s most thankful for; being a runner, teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister and farmer; and remodeling a barn into a modern-day home for her family.

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A technical-millennial veterinarian getting the job done

Meet Dr. Marissa Hake, a veterinarian who drives 4-6,000 miles each month to work with farmers and their animals, specifically veal calves, throughout a three-state region. She and her husband also farm just a few miles outside of Michigan. Her “tails” include sharing about fitness and financial goals, the books and music she listens to on the road, an image of her dream day and farmgirl fashion.

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Helping optimistic gamblers across the country

Meet Matt Schaller, leader for Ag Community Relief, an association helping communities struggling through natural disasters. Listen in as he talks with us about current efforts being put together for rebuilding after Hurricane Florence, the way farmers care for people, animals and businesses across our nation and wildfire leadership spreading through communities in times of need.

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Making time to wave to pets before bedtime

Meet Andrea Jorgensen, an artist who embraced farmlife when she met her husband. Andrea talks about a variety of topics including the method she uses to paint farm animals and how she got her start, traveling, being a parent and keeping things in perspective.

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Going the distance and the addiction of doing better

Meet Ashley Messing-Kennedy, a dairy farmer who is raising her family on the farm where she grew up, and using new technologies to do so! Ashley talks about a variety of topics including farming with family, strong-willed children, running, animal nutrition, making time for everything and being in business providing food for families.

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Goddess of grain looking for boogiemen

Meet Angie Setzer, who is responsible for buying and selling grain (corn, soybeans and wheat) from farmers. Angie talks about a variety of topics including family farms, what’s involved in buying and selling a farmer’s product, working an office job out of the office and being a mother and step-grandmother.

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Fighting off deer flies and kid wrestlers

Meet Jed Welder, a diversified Michigan farmer who grows corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. Jed talks about a variety of topics including transitioning from a career in the military to farming fulltime, raising kids on a farm, building relationships with people and being efficient in business.

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A Forrest Gump-style listing of ways one farmer likes her potatoes

Meet Rita Herford, a diversified Michigan farmer who grows soybeans, edible dry beans, wheat, corn & sugarbeets, with her family. Rita talks about a variety of topics including motherhood, work-life balance, marriage compromise and being recognized by The White House for leadership in our shared community.

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