Met with Ron, the owner of Stadler Farms in Monroe Michigan, today, and we had a quick chat. His farm has been in the family since 1896, making it a centennial farm. They mainly focus on cash crops, growing corn and soybeans and they offset it during the summertime with vegetables. This Spring, the Farms’ greenhouses will be busting the rim with many varieties of veggies and herbs.
Do you sell to restaurants as well?
I have in the past, but now I just specialize in retail. I’m getting a few years on me. I’m tired of bending over. So, we’re slowing her down a little bit and doing whatever I can handle myself.
I’ve heard that you are a very good businessman. Is this true?
What separates you and what sets you apart from other farmers as far as being business savvy?
Well, a lot of guys don’t like to bend over and pick the stuff. It’s easier to ride in machinery and let the machinery do all the work. So, it’s getting to be fewer and fewer people that do it all by themselves and labor is very expensive. I avoid that by doing the work myself.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Oh, probably just being there with the land and no cars, no city buses, and no smog. I enjoy pure country and decent quiet nature.
What challenges do you face as a farmer?
One of the biggest challenges can be the weather. Sometimes there’s too much rain or not enough which sometimes causes supply shortages.
What does the future look like for Stadler Farms?
I have to say I think if more people learn about Detroit Eastern Market, as opposed to going to the grocery store, they get a lot better deals here. Primarily because they can buy directly right from the grower without all the overhead as the stores do. Here you get to actually speak with the farmer. Which is very cool.
Do you do farm boxes deliveries to people?
I used to, but I don’t really anymore. At my house, I have a stand set up where you know, people can come up and buy big corn, or buy fresh eggs or whatever. And it’s a self-serve stand where people donate money. If you buy a dozen eggs, you put the $5 bill in the there’s a little box out there.