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Michigan Apple Farmer

Jennifer Bixby

“We love living on an apple orchard. There's no place else we'd rather be.”

Jennifer Bixby
Apple Farmer

Name: Jennifer Bixby
Location: Berrien Springs, Michigan
Years farming: My husband, Bryan, has been farming all of his life. I've been involved in the family business for the past 13 years. Our fruit and vegetable farm is 45 years old. Apples are our primary crop, as we grow 16 different varieties on 150 acres!
My family: Bryan and I have a daughter Alyson, 10, and son Clayton, 8. We live in the original farmhouse built on the property.
How I came to be a farmer: Though my husband has been involved in the business his entire life, I married into farming in 1996. In addition to apples, we also grow asparagus, strawberries, peaches, sweet and field corn, apricots, grapes and different field crops. We primarily sell wholesale out of our barn, but do a great deal of retail business as well. We also service many area restaurants and local grocery stores. We’ve been active in Berrien County and Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Apple and US Apple Association, as well as many community service organizations.
The best thing about being a farmer: The best thing about being a farmer is the end results - there is nothing better than a fresh apple right off the tree!
My personal philosophy on farming: My personal philosophy is that you can't cut corners and end up with a quality product. We give 100 percent to our farm every day and our produce shows it!

Apple Production in Michigan and the United States
  • Six states account for the majority of the apples grown in the United States – Michigan, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington
  • Apples are Michigan's largest and most valuable fruit crop, with a value of about $100 million annually to the apple grower.
  • There are over 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 37,000 acres, on 950 family-run farms throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
  • On average, Michigan harvests about 19.5 million bushels of apples a year.
  • Apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop grown in Michigan.
  • Small family farmers who operate their own orchards dominate the Michigan apple industry. According to statistics, 99 percent of Michigan orchards had fewer than 100 acres in apples.
  • Longtime favorite varieties still dominate Michigan's orchards. The most prevalent variety remains the Red Delicious, followed closely by the Golden Delicious. The Gala is rapidly gaining on tradition, however.
  • 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.

For more information about apple production in Michigan, please visit

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