In the rural west Michigan region, Travis Schoenborn is the most recent member of a multi-generational line of apple growers. He is committed to the family orchard's long-term prosperity and to giving his two young children a solid foundation in agriculture while giving them room to follow their aspirations.
Schoenborn is presently employed by the Conklin-area EDS Schoenborn Orchards, the family's orchard. The position places the orchard in one of the best areas in the nation for collecting apples. According to the Michigan Apple Committee, only Washington and New York State produce more apples than Michigan, and the family orchard is firmly located in the top hotspot for apple-producing farms.
Conklin is an ideal location for apple orchards because of its closeness to Lake Michigan, among other factors. The Great Lake contributes to year-round climate control, making springs colder and falls warmer. Apple blooms are kept latent until the spring when they can survive, thanks to colder springs. Warmer autumns also help since they allow for the picking of fresh apples before the fruit is harmed by freezing temperatures.
The ancient glaciers that helped form the Great Lakes were also beneficial for the Conklin region. Rich soil persisted when the glaciers retreated, making the ideal environment for apple trees to grow and provide crisp, flavorful apples.
Travis Schoenborn, a third-generation apple grower, carries on this special history of ice and industry, the blessing of the weather, hard labor, and decades of effort. His family has always worked hard to improve the neighborhood and preserve the history of the area's family farms.
There was only one job that Schoenborn could pursue: agriculture. He put in many hours as a young boy and young man helping his father, David Schoenborn, manage the incredibly productive apple orchards that his grandparents had started in the 1950s.
Emmett Schoenborn bought a piece of property in 1954, which is where EDS Schoenborn Orchards got its start. He set out to establish a premium apple orchard on the old family land, and he was successful in his endeavor. When David and his brother Steven were added to the management team in 1984, the company officially became known as EDS Schoenborn Orchards.
Later, Travis came on board as a third-generation, hands-on family employee. Alongside his father and uncle, he helps oversee the orchard operations on a daily basis, and he sees it as the realization of a lifetime goal. He never looked for work away from the comfortable surroundings of the family farm since he always knew he wanted to be a farmer.
Travis has experience running a 510-acre apple orchard on a daily basis, including both administrative and
practical work. In addition to the specifics of crop management, such as pruning, pest control, and feeding trees, there are also the logistics of equipment maintenance. The majority of family farms manage mechanical troubleshooting internally, only outsourcing more complicated equipment faults to technicians.
EDS Schoenborn Orchards must coordinate picking activities and ensure that apples are stored safely until they are ready to be processed in the on-site packaging facilities and distributed to wholesalers. The firm must maintain adequate records. Schoenborn has gained knowledge of a variety of business areas throughout the years, from wages to components bills and greater expenses. He has a solid understanding of the finer parts of orchard management and the related business processes, but he wants to be hands-on with day-to-day activities.
One of Travis' greatest accomplishments was venturing out and getting his own farm. He is aware of the influence a family history may have on a person's life because he is a family guy with a son and a daughter. He is determined to provide his kids with the same solid foundation in farming and meticulous land management.
As a farmer, Travis continues to take a keen interest in his neighborhood and in preserving family farms for future generations.
An emerging and expanding interest in sustainable food sourcing has created new options for family farms in west Michigan to interact with apple and other fruit purchasers directly through wholesalers.
The apple orchards in Michigan are ideally situated to assist businesses concerned with lowering their carbon footprint in lowering costs and emissions since they have access to high-demand towns in Michigan, northeast Illinois, and southwest Wisconsin.
Travis maintains current farming, agricultural, and distribution trends to spot new chances to expand and enhance the family orchards. Additionally, he still has a keen interest in teaching the next generation of farmers through all accessible channels, such as neighborhood FFA and 4-H clubs.
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