West Central Michigan Horticultural Center in the works
A group of farmers and processors are establishing a tree fruit research center in West Michigan.
Board member Caleb Coulter tells Brownfield their non-profit, West Central Michigan Horticultural, Inc., will build a 6,000-square-foot center on a 40-acre fruit farm that adjoins a Michigan State University Extension asparagus research farm.
“This one will be grower directed, based on growers’ immediate needs, and voted on by a board or the grower community.”
Coulter says the region’s unique micro-climate and soils differ from other research centers in the state and increasing pressures like spotted winged drosophila can be studied more effectively.
“This site did have plums on it, tart cherries, peaches, pears.”
He says they hope the center will also be a community place for any non-profit and invigorate local ag education.
The center is funded by private growers, processors, industry groups, Peterson Farms Inc., the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission and Greenstone Farm Credit Services.