Michigan Master Farmers reflect on farm legacies


Michigan Master Farmers reflect on farm legacies

Three Michigan farmers are being recognized virtually this year as Master Farmers in online stories and videos.

Due to the cancelation of the Great Lakes Crop Summit in 2021, an official awards presentation will take place during the next event, but the winners are no less deserving.

New Lothrop farmer Frank Vyskocil took over his family’s farm at the age of 14 after his father passed unexpectantly.  He tells Brownfield a promise to continue farming more than 60 years ago has led to a team mindset today growing corn, wheat, and soybeans. “My philosophy on the farm is it’s not how much you work, it’s how much you can make per acre, it’s return on investment that counts,” he says.

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Fourth generation farmer Jim Wilson of Yale left a job at Gerber after 12 years when the opportunity to join his brother Fred on the family’s corn, soybean, and wheat farm came up in the late ‘70s. Wilson says that off-farm experience along with overseas travels, and leadership involvements have been invaluable. “Caring for the soil so it can continue to produce for the coming years is a serious issue,” he says.

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Waldron Farms is currently operated by the fourth, fifth, and sixth generations in Staton and includes cash crops, beef cattle, and dry bean processing facility. Family matriarch Mary Waldron tells Brownfield, “Without the family out there, what would you be working for?”

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The Michigan Master Farmers were nominated by their peers and selected for their exceptional management, innovation, conservation, leadership and community involvement. 

The awards are presented by the Michigan Farmer Magazine 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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