By Jiabin Liu
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer
GRAND LEDGE – Olson Farm renewed its leasing contract with City of Grand Ledge to rent tillable acreage at the Grand Ledge Abrams Municipal Airport.
The Abrams Municipal Airport is on the edge of the City and has tillable vacant airport land.
Olson Farms has rented this tillable acreage at the Grand Ledge airport for the past three years and the Council renewed the contract for three more years on 14 April 2014.
“The farmer has been working with us in the past, and it’s a continuation of the past agreement,” said City Administrator and Airport Advisory Commission manager, Jon Bayless.
This Farm promotes the development of the economy by paying rent for the City of Grand Ledge in the use of the farmland and generating incomes from selling the crops, said Bayless.
The rental fee under the lease agreement with Todd Olson/Olson Farm, whose address is 7303 W. Herbison Road, DeWitt, MI, calls for a payment of $4,830 per year by Olson Farm to the City of Grand Ledge from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017.
“It is common in Michigan for farmers to lease land from others for the purpose of crop farming,” Kalmin Smith said, mayor of City of Grand Ledge.
Todd Olson, the owner of Olson Farm, has been started farming in Grand Ledge area since 1989 by providing all the mowing at the airport.
Olson’s business started from owning 125 acres of land in 1989, up until now of having approximately 2,050 acres of land in several different locations across the area. In his farm, he has one full time employee and several part time workers.
When he first started his business as a farmer, he worried about the market and weather conditions as every other farmer has, said Olson.
Olson is the first generation in his family who started farming, and has been farming for the past 23 years.
“I started as a farmer in a young age, and it was just something that I always wanted to do,” Olson said. “So I built the farm up until I can farm whole time.”
“The difficulties we have are whether it gets rain or whether its dry on the ground,” Diane Olson said, wife of Todd Olson who is also working in the farm.
His farm usually starts planting around the third week of April, “but this year, the ground temperature is too cold to start planting, so we have to wait for the warm weather,” Olson said.
The crops they are producing in the farm are corns and soybeans. In the spring, they are planning on planting raspberry in their farm and raising cows and cattle in their farm.
Abrams Municipal Airport
City of Grand Ledge owns Abrams Municipal Airport for public usages. The Abrams Municipal Airport Advisory Commission governs the property of the land. It’s located at around two miles north of the central business district of Grand Ledge along M-100 and Eaton Hwy.
Abrams Airport’s tillable land location is for the purpose of crop farming including land cultivation and harvesting of crops. This tillable land located on the northern, southeastern, and southwestern sides of the airport.
Abrams Municipal Airport is one of the busiest general utility airports in Michigan, averagely running over thirty flights per day, which also serves the Michigan National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility located near to the airport.
Olson is not the first one to farm land at Abrams Municipal Airport. Before Olson has had the contract with the city, the land was previously farmed by David Morris for many years.
For questions, concerns or comments, contact reporter Jiabin Liu at firstname.lastname@example.org