Michigan Farm Bureau Young Farmer winner reflects on COVID lessons


Michigan Farm Bureau Young Farmer winner reflects on COVID lessons

A mid-Michigan agritourism destination says they plan to carryover lessons from the COVID pandemic into this year’s season.

Sara Reisinger with Leaman’s Green Applebarn near Midland tells Brownfield they turned to ticketed events last year to limit the number of visitors which in turn created more impactful experiences for their customers.

“For every new event that we put out there, we had sellouts, quickly,” she shares.

The farm and u-pick added a drive-through for their bakery, farm market and cider Sunday specials as well as modified outdoor activities like goat yoga and other seasonal family friendly events coordinated by Reisinger with an emphasis on safety.

“Our customers were more patient than they’ve ever been, our customers were more grateful than they’ve ever ever been,” she says.

Reisinger was recently recognized as Michigan Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Employee of the Year, also in part for her work creating a local land use ordinance to better define intense agritourism and allow for an event barn.

“It made it possible for us to be able to build this barn and expand, and it also kind of defined what we are,” she explains.

She says the barn will be used for school tours, camps, along with weddings and other celebrations once completed.