The Oceana County Farm Bureau partnered with the Oceana Conservation District for its ninth annual farm tour Aug. 9, organized by Oceana County Farm Bureau Promotion & Education co-chair and MAEAP Technician Lynda Herremans.
"Our goals for this event are to both showcase Oceana's diverse agricultural products and to highlight environmental stewardship practiced by our farmers,” Herremans said.
This year's event was hosted by American Apple in New Era, owned and operated by Caleb Coulter.
The nearly 80 attendees rode a pair of Hart school buses to an American Apple orchard to see how apples are grown there on trellis with drip irrigation. A variety of conservation practices were on display, both in the orchard and on the farmstead, with information provided by Coulter and presenters from Michigan State University, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Oceana Conservation District.
One highlight was seeing — and hearing! — a mid-orchard frost fan Coulter demonstrated.
Back at the farm’s headquarters, everyone enjoyed a meal catered by Silver Lake Chicken Shack in American Apple's large new break room. Participants then toured the facility — much of it newly completed — including an asparagus hydrocooler, controlled-atmosphere apple storage and state-of-the-art asparagus and apple grading and packing lines.
"American Apple graciously provided us with an incredible educational opportunity to get a close-up look at a working farm where produce is planted, grown, harvested, stored and shipped,” Herremans said.
Oceana County Farm Bureau expressed gratitude for Herremans’ time and effort coordinating the day.