Contact Us

New Michigan Tree Fruit Commission Includes Representatives From West Michigan

heysooooos, ThinkStock

Last week, Governor Rick Snyder announced nine appointments to the new Michigan Tree Fruit Commission.

West Michigan will have a voice on the commission.

The nine-member commission was established by growers in 2014 to improve the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry.

Governor Snyder announced nine appointments to the commission on June 2.

“The food and agriculture industry is one of the pillars of Michigan’s economy,” Snyder said. “I am confident that this group of appointees will work hard to grow this sector of our economy.”

Grand Rapids-area appointees are:

Patrick Goodfellow, of Sparta, is the owner of PG Orchards LLC. He previously worked as a plumbing apprentice and maintenance worker which is beneficial in the day-to-day operations of a farm. Goodfellow graduated from West Catholic High School. He will represent fruit growers in District 2.

Jim Engelsma, of Walker, is the president of J Engelsma Orchard Inc. He is also a crop consultant with Crop Production Services, where he ensures that growers are current on the most efficient and environmentally friendly fruit production methods. He served as a member of the Michigan Apple Research Committee, Steering Committee, and the Interim Michigan Tree Fruit Committee. He will represent fruit growers in District 2.

Steve Thome, of Comstock Park, is a member of Thome Orchards LLC. Thome has served as the president of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, and served as the chairman of the Michigan Apple Research Committee. He earned his associate degree from Ferris State University. He will represent fruit growers in District 2.

The other members of the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission are:

Michael VanAgtmael, of Hart, is the president of VanAgtmael & Sons Inc. He has served on the Michigan Cherry Committee, Michigan Plum Advisory Board, and Interim Michigan Tree Fruit Committee. VanAgtmael attended Michigan State University. He will represent fruit growers in District 2.

James Nugent, of Suttons Bay, is a partner and operator of Sunblossom Orchards. He previously served as the district horticultural agent of the MSU Extension and coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station. Nugent serves as chairman of the board of Graceland Fruit Co. and on the board of directors of the Leelanau Conservancy. He also served on the Interim Michigan Tree Fruit Committee. Nugent earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Michigan State University. He will represent fruit growers in District 1.

Randy Willmeng, of Watervliet, is the owner of Willmeng Farms and has more than 45 years of agricultural experience. He is a member of the Michigan Processing Apple Growers Division and served on the Michigan Cherry Committee. Willmeng is a Howe Military graduate and earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He will represent fruit growers in District 3.

Mark Miezio, of Suttons Bay, has been the operations manager of Cherry Bay Orchards for over eight years and was previously the lead civil engineer for Jacobs Engineering, Inc. He serves as president of the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Foundation board and the Leelanau County Horticultural Society. Miezio is also a board member of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, Great Lakes Packing Co. and the Shoreline Fruit LLC. Miezio earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and his MBA from Michigan State University. He will represent fruit growers in District 1.

Fred Koenigshof, of Coloma, is the owner of K & K Farms, where he has worked for over 30 years. Koenigshof served as president of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, Michigan Great Lakes Expo, and currently serves as president of the Watervliet Fruit Exchange. Koenigshof earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Western Michigan University. He will represent fruit growers in District 3.

Rick Sayler, of Williamsburg, is the owner of Sayler Orchards and has over 38 years of farming experience. He serves as the director of the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Foundation. Sayler also served on the Grand Traverse Chamber of Commerce and as the chair for the Interim Michigan Tree Fruit Committee. He earned his associate degree from Northwest Michigan College and his bachelor’s degree in pomology from Michigan State University. He will represent fruit growers in District 1.

Follow Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen to 100.5 The River weekdays, 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.

More from 100.5 The River

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://rivergrandrapids.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 100.5 The River quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Register on 100.5 The River quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!