2017 Chapman Award

For Immediate Release
Date: February 23rd, 2017
Contact: Bill Palladino bill@localdifference.org (877)562-2539 

2017 Chapman Award Presented to Shetler Family Dairy

Traverse City, MI: George and Sally Shetler, dairy farmers from Kalkaska, Michigan, were presented with the prestigious Chapman Award on Friday, February 17th.  The award, presented as part of the Food and Farming Network’s annual Farm Route to Prosperity Summit, is given each year to an individual or group that contributes to the advancement of agriculture in Northwest Michigan.

The Chapman Award is named after John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. The dedication reads, “Given each year to the person that shows unerring dedication, enduring fortitude, and embodies the exceptional pioneering spirit that is remaking American agriculture right here in Northwest Michigan.”

Nominations for the Chapman Award are taken throughout the year. The leadership team of the Food and Farming Network selects the winner in time for their annual summit in February. The event features updates from a multitude of people working to enhance the vitality of local food and farming across the 10-county region. Every year since 2013, The Chapman Award has been presented at the conclusion of the summit.

At this year’s event, Bill Palladino co-chair of the Network, introduced the Shetlers as “…representing the clearest example of a new entrepreneurial agriculture necessary for the ongoing sustainability of the region’s food system. The Shetler’s leadership in farming, business, family and community has influenced thousands. There is no one more worthy of this award than George and Sally.”

The Shetler Family has been dairy farming in Kalkaska, Michigan since 1979, and has three generations living and working on their land. They practice a very hands-on managed grazing system and bottle and distribute their own milk to local stores in returnable glass bottles, along with butter and ice cream. The Shetler’s delicious and high-quality products reflect their passion for farming and their unique approach to business. In accepting the Chapman Award, George Shetler said, “Thank you for this honor, and we are also thankful for all the support of our loyal customers that believe in what we do.”

The Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network is a volunteer organization, based in Traverse City that works year-round to advance the food system in Northwest Michigan. For information about the Chapman Award, the Shetler Family Dairy, or the Network, visit the website,www.foodandfarmingnetwork.org.

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The goal of the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network is to build Northwest Michigan’s agricultural future by identifying areas of need throughout the region’s food system and coordinating action to address them.
Our strength is in facilitating synergies and communicating among the many people and organizations already at work changing our regional food system.

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