Sep 21, 2021
Urban ag seen on recent Michigan Ag and Rural Development Commission tour

Members of the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development got a first-hand look at the opportunities available for urban agriculture while touring new Commissioner Andy Chae’s farm, Fisheye Farms, located in Detroit.

As a first-generation farmer, Chae shared with his fellow commissioners and attendees his passion for agriculture, farming, and getting more people to consider agriculture as a career.

Fisheye Farms is a specialty-crop operation growing “anything you can find at the farmers’ market,” said Chae, like mesclun mixes, eggplant, cabbage, and tomatoes. Restaurants he delivers product to include Detroit’s Selden Standard and Coriander Kitchen and Farm. He also runs a Community Supported Agriculture program, which is when a community buys into a farm’s seasonal harvests in advance.

“As commissioners, it’s important to visit farming and agricultural operations of all sizes and locations to get a deeper understanding of their challenges and what we can do to support them,” said Dru Montri, commission chair and owner of Ten Hens Farms.

According to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell, first-generation and minority farmers can help further grow the state’s $104.7 billion food and agriculture industry.

“Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is a powerhouse of diverse products. From asparagus to flowers to peaches to asparagus, we grow it all,” said McDowell. “It’s exciting to see new and minority farmers discover a love for agriculture to make farming part of their careers and communities.”

A video of the commission tour is available online.

The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development has the responsibility to recommend, and in some cases determine, policy on food, agricultural, and rural development issues. The commission is a bipartisan body of five citizens appointed by the governor. For more information on the Commission, visit their webpage.

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