Pasture Walk Tours
Grahams Organics Rosebush, MI
Graham’s Organics is the culmination of four generations spanning over 100 years of agricultural and livestock production. Understanding the need to give back to the land and having the insight to implement the process, Graham’s Organics achieved organic certification in 1995 with OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association, Inc.). The farm consists of 1200 certified acres on which we grow corn, soybeans, barley, oats, spelt, alfalfa and pastures consisting of clovers and grasses. On these pastures, with rotational grazing, we raise our chickens, turkeys and Black Angus beef. The purebred Angus Beef herd represents 40 years of selective breeding. With the increasing demand for organic feeds and since we were already making feeds for our own livestock, our feed mill was established. In 2005 we saw the need for a place to process our livestock and still maintain the organic status, thus Graham’s Organic Meats and Processing was established. This is a USDA, custom and certified organic slaughterhouse. This enables us and other local livestock producers to get our products into the wholesale and retail markets.
Ebels General Store, Falmouth, MISuccessive generations have operated Ebels General Store for 5 generations. Chris Ebels began the endeavor in 1920. He started by delivering goods with a horse drawn cart around the Falmouth area. In 1927 Chris moved his store building to the store’s current location with a full basement under the main floor. Chris added groceries to the hardware and implement lines during the depression. After Chris died, his son John took over the store and joined the Spartan Food Company in 1939. John’s son Harold worked for his father for many years, and in 1960 he purchased a half interest in the store. Harold became complete owner in 1965. In the fall of 1971, Harold completed an addition of the store that doubled its size. Harold also did another addition in 1978 that doubled the size of the store once again. In the early 1980’s several national retailers moved into the area, and with them came more competition at the grocery retail level for local stores. This led Mark & Dawn to begin to diversify their services. They started to offer butchering and meat processing services. This led to processing deer and making smoked meats for customers. Mark’s smoked meats became well known around the area, and eventually demand for them led Mark & Dawn to start Little Town Jerky in 1994. In 2002, Mark’s processing had grown to the point where it needed a major expansion to maintain operations. A new butchering facility was constructed and completed in 2004. The new facility is approved and inspected daily by the United States Department of Agriculture. Ebels General Store also is well known for their retail meat selection. The Ebels family strives to offer great quality meats at very competitive prices. On a busy Saturday there are often 10-15 people at the service meat counter to purchase their meats. Ebels Meat Department works to provide excellent customer service – be it slicing a slab of bacon from sister company Little Town Jerky, or cutting a whole New York strip loin. Besides a great meat department, the store also offers a full line of groceries, produce, frozen foods, and dairy; provided by Nash Finch Company since 2012. Nash Finch, a grocery supplier since 1904, provides Ebels with the quality private label, Our Family Brand. Today, Mark & Dawn enjoy working alongside three of their children and their spouses. Mark and Dawn would like to thank the great team of associates they have been blessed with in all areas of the businesses. Many have been with the company for multiple years and through all the transitions along the way.
Lake City Research Center, Michigan State University, Lake City, MI
The Lake City Research Center includes 810 acres of managed land and 150 Red Angus beef cows in a geographic area suitable for forage-based livestock enterprises, potato production and bioenergy crop production. It supports research on forage and beef production systems that are holistic, sustainable and profitable. The center’s mission is to bring about practical, common-sense solutions to agricultural sustainability obstacles using research- and knowledge-based problem solving with the assistance of industry partners and the community. Currently there are multiple federal research projects investigating the influence of forage type on grass finishing of beef cattle, management impact on greenhouse gas flux, and developing more streamlined local beef value chains.
Pre-registration is required, register here. The buses will depart at 7:30 am and return around 6:30 pm. It is $45 per person to ride the provided bus ride and lunch. Short presentations will occur during the bus ride.
If you do not want to ride the bus but would still like to participate in the tours, that is fine as well. The tours and lunch will be $20. Contact us for any other questions.