Entrepreneurial farm families share success stories Sept. 11-12 in Traverse City, Mich.

A lot can be learned from farm families who have an entrepreneurial spirit and a successful value added venture. Many share common traits that enable them to be successful, yet each has their own unique story.

Many farm families have dreams of value added enterprises that might be feasible to launch as part of their farm operation. A few step out and turn their dreams into reality. If you are considering taking that step, it is wise to listen to others who have successfully started new value added enterprises. It is also important to analyze your resources, abilities, passion, time and knowledge.

There are numerous unique stories of how farm families had to solve a problem or saw an opportunity and took action. That action led them on exciting entrepreneurial journeys that they usually are willing to share. Take some time to visit with successful value added farm operators. Find out their motivation, the barriers they had to overcome, the amount of time and effort it took, the marketing opportunities and challenges they encountered and how it has affected their overall operation and family.

If you don’t know any farmers involved in value added ventures, or even if you do and want to learn more, you have an opportunity to visit successful practitioners and hear their stories on a two-day entrepreneurial farm tour to northwest Michigan near Traverse City, Mich. The tour will take place September 11-12 and will highlight farms with hoophouses, CSAs, farm markets, dairy processing, agri-entertainment, fruit processing, food hubs, vineyards, off-the-grid homestead, pastured beef, a fiber mill and much more. Space is limited, so contact Dan Rossman at the Gratiot County MSU Extension office at 989-875-5233 to find out the cost and more details about this tour, as well as register for the tour.

Do you have an idea currently that you want to explore to add more profit to your farm operation? Whether you want to add value or a new enterprise, take note that the MSU Product Center has innovation counselors that are trained and available to assist you to get started. To start the process, go to the MSU Product Center website and fill out an application for assistance or call any of the staff or counselors that are listed there. You can call the MSU Product Center directly at 517-432-8750.

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