New farm manager named at MSU Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center

MSU alumnus Dan Bacheler has been tabbed as farm manager at the Traverse City-based research station.

Dan Bacheler
Dan Bacheler

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Daniel Bacheler, a Michigan State University alumnus, has been hired as the new farm manager at the MSU Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center (NWMHRC) in Traverse City. The center is part of a network of 15 MSU AgBioResearch centers around the state.

Bacheler, a Michigan native, is joining the NWMHRC team in July but will officially begin his on-site duties Aug. 1. As farm manager, he is responsible for providing a high-quality research environment for MSU scientists, and building and maintaining relationships with growers and agriculture industries throughout the region.

The NWMHRC was established in 1979 and primarily serves fruit industries — particularly cherries and wine grapes — through research on integrated pest management, horticultural best practices, and delivering information to growers and the community via MSU Extension. The region is the most prominent tart cherry-growing area in the U.S., with roughly 75% of the nation’s production occurring in a five-county area of the northwest Lower Peninsula.

Bacheler brings more than two decades of experience in horticulture and landscape services, including teaching horticulture and irrigation at the college level. He is eager for the opportunity to work in Michigan’s horticulture industry and focus on research.

“The team at the NWMHRC led by Nikki Rothwell (the center coordinator) is fantastic,” Bacheler said. “The cherry industry professionals I was able to meet during my interviews were so friendly and involved in the research. I am very excited to work with such a motivated and dedicated group.”

His first priority is to get to know the staff at the center, as well as growers and industry professionals in the area.

“As a former teacher, I thrive on making personal connections to those around me,” Bacheler said. “I’ll be working to gain a full understanding of the farm’s operations and what we can do to deliver the most relevant research and outreach.”

Prior to joining MSU, Bacheler spent 16 years teaching at Fort Range Community College in Colorado. His classes covered a broad range of topics such as horticulture, irrigation, tree and conifer identification, nursery management, landscape construction, and soil science, among others.

Before teaching, Bacheler managed commercial and residential landscape construction and installation in Colorado and Michigan for seven years.

“Dan’s knowledge of horticultural practices and his experience in teaching and commercial landscaping are great fits for the center,” Rothwell said. “We’re thrilled to have him help continue our great partnerships with growers, industries and the community in northwest Michigan.”

Bacheler graduated from MSU with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and landscape design. He is a certified landscape technician and private pesticide applicator in Colorado, and a certified nurseryman in Michigan.

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