Andy and Beth Snider
The official Top Producer of the Year ceremony (as presented by Greg Vincent, Top Producer Editor):
First is Andy and Beth Snider. It reminds me of the story of the phoenix and if that mythical bird rose from the ashes near Hart, Mich., it was probably a turkey.
Things looked good for Andy and Beth in the early 1990s, though they faced challenges that are common to most farm families.
But, they also had a great number of opportunities that were available to them. In 1994, the Sniders entered into a 10-year contract to produce turkeys for Sara Lee, and in 1995 they started on their own by purchasing the farm from Andy's parents.
Then the challenges really started. In July 1996, their milking parlor burnt and all but one of their registered Holstein milk cows. Two years later, four years into their contract, the subcontractor for Sara Lee announced it was pulling its contracts from all farmers in the state. Quitting would have been easy, but it wasn't an option.
Andy continued to make payments to his parents, despite these set backs. It was their only source of income and he stayed true to his commitment to them. But, he wasn't content with hanging on. He wanted to prosper.
Snider chose to concentrate on grain and pork production and specialized turkey production. He helped form Michigan Turkey Producers Cooperative and Michigan Turkey Producers (MTP) to develop their own turkey market focused on natural production and humane handling. Today Snider and two other MTP are certified organic.
That success in market development and financial management has resulted in a 13-year net worth increase of more than 1,400%. Andy and Beth, well done.
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