Patient, selfless, nurturers. The American farmer intrinsically understands these three words 365 days a year without complaint, without dedicated health benefits, and without guaranteed vacations, writes Rebecca Carlson in this feature on the Skeba family, part of her ongoing series on Leelanau farming families and their impacts on the County. The Skeba family farm began in 1877 which translates to 147 years of continuous, single-family management with lots of backbreaking, hard work, but ultimately resulting in a rewarding vocation and livelihood.

As part of her 12-part Leelanau Farming Family Series, Rebecca Carlson interviewed Jeff and Jaunita ‘Nita’ Send, whose ancestors bought the current family farmstead in 1918, 105 years ago. Longevity is one more point of communal connectivity among the farming families of Leelanau County.

Part four of Rebecca Carlson’s Leelanau Farming Family Series features the Popp family. In the early 1980s, Richard Popp and family enter our Orchard Log Books. Like clockwork, late July or early August, the Popp family would appear at our orchard to harvest our tart cherries. The Popp family members would arrive early in the morning driving trucks, tractors, and the shaker to the orchard. My dad and aunt would get excited with all the activity beginning the tart cherry harvest.

The Michigan legislature is considering whether to continue, or expand, a new state pilot project that is increasing business from schools for a significant number of farms and related food companies throughout the state and in Leelanau County.