Jeremiah Mostrom lived in Richmond, Texas when he found a job in West Michigan with the human resource services firm Axios HR. Originally from Minnesota, he was attracted to the idea of the opportunity to buy land, have space, and form a family connection to a piece of the country.
Jeremiah, his wife Carrie, and their daughter Sadie closed on a house on five aces in Alto, Michigan. There were 30 acres adjacent to the land, but the owners weren’t quite ready to sell.
However, the day the Mostroms closed on the house, the owners put it up for sale. It was a chaotic time for them; they were in the middle of a move, still owned a house in Texas, and weren’t expecting the opportunity.
“Our realtor said – get ahold of Cameron Bongard right now. I did, and we closed the loan in 19 days. It was seamless,” Jeremiah said. ”Cameron was fast, easy to work with, and just like that – we had the land we had dreamed of owning.”
Jeremiah enjoyed dealing with Cameron, who is a financial services officer for GreenStone, in part because of his communication skills.
“He did a great job of understanding what we needed,” Jeremiah said. “His communication was great, and I was never left wondering what was going on. No hidden fees, very straightforward process, and with the co-op you even get money back from the Patronage Program.”
Not only did they have a good working relationship, but they also had a good personal one.
“Cameron knew it was a super cool opportunity for us to purchase this land, and he really, truly wanted to see it happen, and he made it happen,” Jeremiah said. “He also is a hunter, and he lives in my area, and all of it made it easy to work with him.”
Cameron also enjoyed the process with the Mostrom family.
“Jeremiah was so great to work with, because whenever I needed anything, he had it within the hour… and he was still in Texas,” said Cameron. “We also connected on a personal note, because recreational or vacant land loans are my favorite things to do as a lender. It’s the perfect scenario to walk out your door and have your own acres, and I’m happy we could help make that happen.”
Increasing the beauty
The Mostroms immediately began beautifying their recently-purchased land.
Their road is part of the State of Michigan’s Natural Beauty Roads program, which preserves roads in an undisturbed condition. As part of their plan, Carrie enrolled in MSU Extension master gardener class, they planted a few gardens on their property, and Jeremiah bought a tractor.
“I was riding along in my tractor, and I was pinching myself, like – am I alive?” Jeremiah said. “This has been our dream, and here I am brush cutting trails on my land. This is exactly what I wanted.”
The property has grapevines and apple trees, as well as an 1850 barn they’re restoring. For this big project, they’re currently working with the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.
“Our intention is to keep the land how it is, and pass it down,” he said.
Sadie’s Sunset Farm
One of the most exciting opportunities for the Mostroms was the chance for their daughter, Sadie, to start her own business. Out of her own garden, she grows fresh produce, like sweet corn, carrots, zucchini, beans, tomatoes, chili peppers, and herbs, and then she sells them from a roadside stand on their property. She plans on expanding her offerings to pastured meats and more products, and her parents are helping her along the way.
“We love that our daughter is learning to be an entrepreneur, the importance of agriculture in our communities, and that we’re able to do that here,” Jeremiah said.
Enjoying the land
Not only do they have a small business, but they also love having the land for recreational purposes. Jeremiah particularly enjoys hunting on his land, as he’s been a hunter his whole life.
“There are really a lot of beautiful deer out here, and I’ve planted a whitetail habitat with food plots and bedding areas to help supplement the already-healthy herd,” he said. “It’s such a big blessing to be able to walk outside your door to go hunt, instead of driving six hours to get to land you lease in Texas…and worry about poisonous snakes and spiders.”
Not only has he hunted with his family members, but he also likes the camaraderie of hunting with friends.
“My neighbors and I are planning on getting the kids together, setting up some old campers away from the houses, and having a deer camp during the youth hunt,” he said. “We just want to do something special in honor of that time of year.”
The Mostroms definitely feel they have the connection to the land they were originally seeking.
“We want to keep the land beautiful the way it already is, hike, hunt, grow food, and just enjoy West Michigan,” he said. “We’re so excited to have this place for all of us to connect with the land.”
To view the article in the online 2021 Fall Partners Magazine, click here.