Michigan Master Farmers honored at crop summit

Conservation, leadership, and innovation have led three Michigan farmers to be recognized by their peers as master farmers.

Dennis Gardner farms about 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans, sugarbeets, and wheat in Yale with his family.  He’s proud to be part of a community that supports each other and that has inspired his daughters to stay in agriculture.

“One thing about the farming community is they rally around other farmers when they need some help and it’s been neat to be part of that,” he says.  “I’m happy my kids want to go into agriculture, it’s one of those things you always hope for.”

Bill Hunt of Davison rented his first 250 acres at 16 and has expanded to more than 11,000 today along with operating a grain drying facility.  Hunt tells Brownfield he’s always valued learning from others.

“I was told a long time ago surround yourself with a lot of good people and it makes you look even better, and I’ve been very fortunate I’ve had a lot of people that have believed in our sense of direction,” he says. 

Fourth-generation farmer Greg McCarthy of Edmore grows nearly 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and potatoes, and is a partner in the potato storage company Spud Pak.  He says even as a child he never doubted the calling to farm.

“I care about the soil, I care about the environment, I try to do my best to protect it,” he says.

The awards are presented by the Michigan Farmer Magazine at the Great Lakes Crop Summit 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. 

Read more about their stories in the Michigan Farmer Magazine.

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