For 100 years, Shooks Farms has been a family owned and operated business, and is entering into its fourth generation of ownership.
Shooks Farms location in the beautiful countryside of northern Antrim County, overlooking Grand Traverse Bay and gorgeous Torch Lake, has its advantages for the production of delicious fruit. Shooks Farms close proximity to lakes affords the cool breezes necessary to help delay the fruit buds from advancing too far in the early spring (when temperatures begin rising) and also keeps the orchards warmer in the winter to avoid frost damage.
The roots of the farm run deeper than the cherry trees. The Shooks family farm has seen many changes since its humble beginnings in 1914. Vet and Tena Shooks began by purchasing 50 acres and steadily began accruing additional acreage as it became available. In 1946 two of Vets’ sons, Versal and Marvin, became partners in the farm, and under their leadership the farm continued to expand. In the 1970’s the next generation of the Shooks family, Bryan, Dale and Daryl, began farming full time with their parents. In 1987 the farm was purchased by the three sons and continued that way until the passing of Dale in 2005. Since that time the farm is owned by Bryan and Daryl, and is now entering their fourth generation with Dale’s sons RJ & Jon, and Daryl’s sons Greg & Rob.
Farming has changed much over the years, and they have adapted and implemented many new growing practices. In 2011, Shooks Farms was the recipient of the Michigan Farm Bureau Ag Ecology Leadership award for their environmental stewardship. The Shooks family is very proud of its participation in MAEAP, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. This program assures the general public that every effort is being made to be environmentally aware. Shooks Farm also participates in a program called GAP, following Good Agricultural Practices. These practices are in place to ensure that the fruit they grow on the farm will not only be of the highest quality, but more importantly be the safest they can grow.
Shooks currently raises over 250 acres of light sweet, black sweet, tart and balaton cherries. Keeping the cherries company, at any time you are likely to see over 400 head of Holstein beef cattle, 700 acres of corn, 300 acres soybeans and 100 acres wheat.