Montcalm County Farm Bureau’s first-time president Scott Karnatz has a tidy answer to the question about how long the farm’s been in his family: “My dad grew up on a farm down by Ypsilanti, then it was about when I was born he bought this place.”
“This place” means the farm Richard Karnatz bought in 1983, near Greenville in southwestern Montcalm County. Today father and son together work more than 3,000 acres, raising cash crops: the usual corn-soybean rotation plus a little wheat now and then, plus food-grade soybeans for tofu production and non-GMO varieties for other specialty customers.
“I also sell seed on the side—Dairyland,” Karnatz added.
Asked what priorities and goals he’s bringing to his last year before he gets termed off the executive committee, Karnatz strikes a chord that’ll ring familiar with many county presidents, from the newest to the most experienced.
“We’re just trying to get more members involved again,” he said, “instead of the same people over and over doing everything.”
And there’s plenty going on in Montcalm County these days. Their Project RED happens next month at the county fairgrounds, and their annual meeting this year—held jointly with neighboring Mecosta County—will focus on celebrating the rich history of agriculture in their neck of the central Lower Peninsula.
Scott and his wife Jillian have a five-year-old son, Ethan.