CanDo! Celebrates Agriculture In July

Each month, Charlotte Networking for Development and Opportunity (CanDo!) explores one of the 7 Elements of a Healthy Community.  CanDo will focus on the environment for its July 24 gathering.  A panel of community speakers will focus on what local agriculture contributes to the local economy of our community.

The July program with include presenter Diane Thompson. Diane coordinated Thornapple CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for eight years. The CSA grew veggies on Jane Bush’s ( AppleSchram Orchard) farm. Diane and her husband have belonged to a CSA for 19 years in Indiana and here in Michigan.

Diane has also assisted in starting a school garden program at her neighborhood school in Lansing. The program has a school garden with a hoop house, in-class nutrition lessons and food sampling, and an after school garden club.

For many years, Diane was involved with farmers markets in Lansing. Currently, Diane manages her family’s 600-acre centennial farm in South Georgia.

Joining Diane will be presenter Duane Smuts. Duane is a grain producing farmer from Charlotte. He is the Owner of S F Grain Inc. and Smuts Farms LLC. The farm produces corn, soybeans and wheat on owned and rented farmland throughout Eaton County.  The grains produced are sold for use in food, animal feed, and fuel among other uses.

In addition, Jane Bush will be presenting at the meeting. Jane came to farming in the classic tradition of the family farm – her aunt and uncle’s apple orchard in Charlotte, Michigan – where she worked and played as a child. When the farm came up for sale, Jane bought it and expanded her passion to include free-range eggs and farm raised pork. Now working with over 20 local farms, Jane and her team have grown Grazing Fields into a local market leader, delivering to customers within a 100-mile radius.

Also, presenting will be Angie Setzer who has been in the grain industry for over 14 years. After beginning her career as a cash grain broker, she transitioned into a position as Vice President of Grain for Citizens Elevator in Charlotte, MI. At Citizens, she manages five elevator locations as well as a state of the art on-farm program bringing the company’s overall yearly handling to over 12 mbu. In addition to her “Cash is King” column with Pro Farmer, she has been seen on AgDay, U.S. Farm Report, Market to Market and the Weather Channel, as well as regular appearances on Market Rally Radio, Benzinga’s Pre-Market Prep show, and The Bubba Show with Todd Horwitz and Agritalk.

“We are excited to hear from this panel of speakers and hope this program will give residents an understanding of local agriculture and how agriculture contributes to the local economy.” Ridge said.

The July 24, 2019 CanDo! session will be held at the Charlotte Community Library, 226 S Bostwick Street, beginning at 7:00 a.m. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.  Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided free of charge.