This past spring, GreenStone members elected Michael Feight to the cooperative’s Board of Directors. With decades of a diverse farming background, a father’s footsteps to follow, and the experience of financing in the 80s all a part of his foundation, Michael shares a bit more about his farm and perspective of being the newest member on GreenStone’s Board of Directors. Be sure to watch his video bio for an inside view!
When I received the call from the nominating committee representative to consider running for a GreenStone board position, I can say the I was completely surprised and honored to be considered. We all have times and occurrences in our lives that seem to happen when you are not looking in that direction at all, but after many trips across the field in auto mode, you realize that those occurrences can be unforeseen opportunities. For me, it was one on of those times when I realized it was a good fit for where I am in life. So, with the support of the voters of Region Three, I was elected to the board of directors for GreenStone this past spring.
I farm with my father Fred and brother Doug in Tecumseh, Michigan, located in Lenawee County. In 2018 we sold our dairy herd and now focus on cash crops. We have 2,500 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat. In addition, we’ve also diversified and grow 60 acres of carrots for Campbell’s Soup.
The farm was started by my great grandfather and his brothers who came over from Ireland and began farming in 1870. The farm was unable to survive the Depression of the 1930’s, but my father was gradually able to reacquire the land to continue farming.
It is hard to describe all the uniqueness that being involved in the business of agriculture has to offer. Dealing with land and nature touches one in a way that few occupations have to offer. At the same time, we must be well aware of the business aspect of farming because in the end, in order to keep doing what we love, it has to be a viable way of making a living. This is where having the understanding and integrity of GreenStone gives those in the production of food and grain the financial stability that is needed.
In my first few months of getting oriented onto the board and becoming even more acquainted with GreenStone, there were two things in particular that surprised me about the organization. One being the scope of lending that the cooperative handles - from the family farm operation like mine to the large food and timber companies. The second thing was the outside regulatory process and guidelines that GreenStone has to abide by. Like any business, there’s much more behind the scenes than anyone realizes; the awareness I have gained recently gives me even more appreciation for the organization I now serve.
I would like to thank all the board members and staff of GreenStone for making me feel welcome as the newest board member. I look forward to working with everyone!