One doesn’t need to travel far beyond Lansing or take a long trek down an unpaved road to find one of America’s most familiar icons: the grain elevator. Situated just minutes from the Ingham County Courthouse, the Mason Elevator Company (MECO) has reaped harvests for more than 100 years.
Michigan is the second-most agriculturally diverse state, after California. So it seems only natural that Michigan State University, originally called Agricultural College of the State of Michigan at its founding in 1855, is considered by some to be among the top agriculture institutions in the United States.
At The Shrimp Farm Market in Okemos, owner Russ Allen has developed an innovative way to grow shrimp indoors here in Michigan, successfully selling his products on location and at other local farmers’ markets.
We know what agriculture is, right? After all, we live in Michigan where only the auto industry is as big as farming. Agriculture is beets and broccoli, chickens and eggs, corn and soybeans. Yes, that’s true, but agriculture is evolving to include not only food for people and animals but also nonedible byproducts that have the capacity to change our world.
There are many uses for the term “small potatoes,” but after talking with Todd Forbush, engineer and co-owner of Techmark in Lansing, you’ll discover that none apply to his work. Formed in 1987, Techmark manufactures and distributes ventilation systems for agricultural businesses and deals with the growing of mushrooms and the storage of fruits and vegetables.
Most of us remember GM’s old advertising slogan: This is not your father’s Oldsmobile. Well, what D and G Equipment sells is definitely not your father’s John Deere. Agriculture has become an occupation that demands more than hard work and traditional wisdom.