The relationship between farmers and non-farmers in Clinton County has changed, but the importance of farmers in the county has not. Farms are a vital source of income for towns in Michigan, said Paul Thompson the Kellogg Chair in agricultural, food and community ethics at Michigan State University. “Farming really is the single, economically most important industry in most of these rural communities, particularly here in the southern half of the state,” Thompson said. According to Scott Swinton, a professor at MSU’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, because farmers earn money for their crops and then spend that money, they help out the communities. “When one person in a region earns money, as farmers do from selling their crops and livestock, they spend that money other places in the community, it’s what economists call a multiplier effect,” Swinton said.
By KELLY VANFRANKENHUYZEN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Poultry farmers increasingly raise chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese in environmentally greener and healthier habitats, according to the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association. “The concept is to provide good pastured poultry practices,” said Roy Ballard, a Purdue University Extension educator. Pastured poultry is raised in open fields rather than indoors. Corinne Carpenter, a small poultry farmer in Webberville, said, “As birds are raised outside, they are stronger and have less need to be medicated than birds indoors, which can be overcrowded and stressed.”
Carpenter, owner of Break O’Day Farm, raises both pastured and free range poultry. With pastured poultry, hens roam without fences, she said.
The Holt Farmers’ Market has extended its hours and is now open every Saturday all year round due to increasing sales from vendors. Marcy Bishop Kates, executive director and cofounder of Holt Community Connect — a nonprofit organization to help the community thrive — said that market sales have broke a record of over $5,000 this past year. The market is located at 2150 Cedar Street, which is the former fire department building. Market Manager Chuck Grinnell says the increase in sales is due to the growing amount of customers as well as vendors. “Our customer base has grown such that it can support a year round market, we have vendors that rely on year round sales income, and making the best use of an indoor facility, ” says Grinnell.
With interviews, taste samples, photos, video, newscasts and more, I will bring the Meridian Township Farmer’s Market experience to interested viewers and readers this upcoming week,
I would highly recommend families, senior citizens, single or married people of all ages check out the Meridian Township Farmer’s Market at least once this summer. After all, until October there are two days a week, one can attend this market. Wednesday’s and Saturday’s from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. There are numerous vendor’s one could check out. There is good and healthy food for every man, women and child. Vendors must follow 29 rules in a four-page document; these rules are clearly stated so violations should be minimal.