meet the farmers
West Acres Farm
Gary West farms 600 acres with his son, Alex, representing 2 generations of a 6 generation Michigan farming legacy. Together, they grow a variety of crops, including non-GMO corn, wheat, rye, sugar beets, and barley for domestic markets, as well as soybean seed for Pioneer. The farm is located in the "thumb" of Michigan, 8 miles from the shores of Lake Huron. Gary pays acute attention to his soil health and is always striving to improve the farm operation through new and innovative approaches.
MAEAP Certified Farm
T3 Farm is owned and operated by Bill and Kay Terbrack on 141 acres of family land in Ruth, Michigan. They specialize in hops, barley, and legumes. This unique operation offers brewers the ability to create a single source beer featuring grains and hops all grown from the same farm.
MAEAP Certified Farm
Zilke Vegetable Farm
Tom and Vicki Zilke are second career farmers, growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers on 30 acres in Milan, Michigan . In order to maintain soil health and structure, they’ve always included small grains, mostly rye and oats, in their crop rotation. These grains now have a market with Macon Creek Malt House. While most of these grains are malted and sold to the beverage industry, some are cleaned, roasted, and returned to the Zilkes. They then fresh mill these grains for sale at their roadside farm stand, farmers markets, and small grocery stores. The oat crop is part of a research trial with Organic Valley and Michigan State University.
MAEAP Certified Farm | GAP Certified Farm | www.zilkevegetablefarm.com
Plymouth Orchards & Cider Mill is a certified organic orchard and farm. Located in Southeast Michigan, Plymouth Orchards has been in operation since 1977. They farm about 100 acres and operate a highly successful agritourism business. In their current organic farming systems plan, small grains are an important part of the crop rotation program to maintain the integrity of the land they are stewards of. Mary Emmett and Michael Adsit currently grow oats, rye, and barley for Macon Creek Malt House. The oat crop is part of a research trial with Organic Valley and Michigan State University.
MAEAP Certified Farm | Organic Certified Farm | www.plymouthorchards.com
The Luckhardts, a 4th generation farming family, grow 400 acres of corn, soybeans, and hay and raise steers, sheep, and beef cows in Saline, Michigan. In the fall of 2017, in partnership with New Growth Associates, Macon Creek Malt House, and Michigan State University, highschooler and the 5th generation farmer, Ryan Luckhardt, will plant a 6 variety, winter malting barley trial for his senior FFA project. The whole family is active in 4H, FFA, Farm Bureau, and local government.
Hitch Point Farm
Ivy Pagliari is a first generation female farmer specializing in growing small quantities of heirloom grains using horse, ox, and human power. She grows dry beans, cut flowers, and sorghum for molasses as well. After 10 years of working with and learning from many amazing farmers in Vermont, she returned to her native Midwest to cultivate a farm that is sustainable for the land, the animals, and the farmer. She also works for Tillers International assisting farmers in sub-Saharan Africa with developing draft animal innovations. She expects to be certified organic in 2019.
Rodney Kiger Farm
Rodney Kiger grows soybeans, corn, hard red spring wheat, rye, clover seed, oats, and sweet corn on 185 acres of certified organic land. He promises to retired every year. Until that actually happens, he grows the hulless oats featured in Macon Creek’s fresh milled oatmeals and cereals.
Macon Creek Farm
Janie’s FarM ORGANICS
From the first 33-acre field that Harold Wilken farmed organically, Janie’s Farm Organics has grown to include over 2,400 acres of USDA Certified Organic grains. “One of the things I’m proud of on my farm is that we’re feeding people,” says Harold. “My goal is that everything we raise feeds people.” At last count, Janie’s Farm Organics was growing wheat, oats, rye, emmer, einkorn, buckwheat, corn, soybeans (for soy milk and tofu), black turtle beans, alfalfa, popcorn, and seed corn. Harold is also growing Kernza, a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute. Janie’s Farm Organics provides organic grains to Macon Creek when Michigan grown organic grains are not available.