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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments, reappointments to Asparagus Marketing Advisory Board

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Tracey Butler, of Shelby, and Nick Oomen, of Hart, and the reappointments of Tom Oomen, of Hart, Victor Shank, of Dowagiac, and Ryan Walsworth, of Mears, to the Michigan Asparagus Marketing Advisory Board, which develops and implements asparagus marketing programs.


"Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is the second most diverse in the nation and asparagus is an important crop to our state," Snyder said. "I thank these experienced farmers for serving on this board as we continue to ensure Michigan is an agricultural leader.”



Butler is owner and manager of Lakeshore Farms and Butler Farms, a family-owned Centennial farm growing crops for Pinnacle Foods, Nestle, Indian Summer, Michigan Freeze Pack, Todd Greiner Farms, and Speich Farms. She has farmed for more than 25 years and grows tart cherries, apples, asparagus, cling peaches, and hay, and raises cattle. Butler earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Muskegon Community College. She represents growers at large and replaces Harrold Goodell. 


Nick Oomen works on Oomen Brothers Farms, a family-owned and operated business primarily producing fruits and vegetables. He has farmed for 13 years and grows asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, corn, carrots, wheat, rye, squash, and cherries, and finishing hogs. Oomen earned a degree in agricultural industries from Michigan State University. He represents growers at large and replaces Ken Oomen.



Tom Oomen is president of Oomen Farms Ltd. Inc, a diversified agricultural operation raising crops with a 1,500 ton carrot storage that is utilized to receive and hydro-cool asparagus for fresh market use.  He has farmed for more than 40 years and grows asparagus, zucchini, carrots, green beans, pumpkins, rutabaga, corn, wheat, cherries, and rye and serves on the National Asparagus Council. He continues to represent growers at large.


Shank is president of Central Produce Sales Inc., a farming operation producing fruits, vegetables, and seed corn, as well as a brokerage operation that supplies processing snap beans to food processors in the U.S. and Canada. He has farmed for more than 30 years and grows asparagus, apples, seed corn, snap beans, zucchini, and cherries. Shank studied agricultural economics at the University of Arkansas. He continues to represent southwest Michigan growers.


Walsworth is owner of Golden Stock Farms LLC, a fresh and processed asparagus farm. He has farmed for more than 20 years and grows asparagus, corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, and alfalfa. Walsworth earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan State University. He continues to represent growers at large.


Members serve three-year terms expiring Nov. 13, 2017. The appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.