Ah Michigan, the land of two peninsulas, a state rich in history from its unique position among the Great Lakes, to its manufacturing to its agriculture, Michigan has so much to offer. Along with the VALOR fellows I was recently able to visit there for the first time and learn about its agriculture. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the diversity of its agricultural industry but as usual I was not surprised at the dedication to agriculture exhibited by the folks we were fortunate to meet.
Hudsonville was the location we met one of those dedicated folks, Mr. Roger Victory, the owner and operator of Victory Farms. It seems that when Roger was still in High School he decided he wanted to be a farmer. Now, 20 years later he is a successful vegetable farmer with Victory Farms as well as Victory Sales, a national produce distributor.
Shortly after graduating from college with a degree in Logistics he has worked to establish Victory Farms to what it is today, 800+/- acres of vegetable production. It was his love of the land and dedication to serving people that led him to vegetable production. It was, in my opinion, these factors as well as his leadership that helped to establish Victory Farms which now employs approximately 15-17 full-time employees as well as 70 or so seasonal workers. His leadership has inspired his employees to work hard to provide the best customer service possible and he will readily tell you that the success of the farm is attributable to the great people that work there.
A great success story, right? A young Michigan teen inspired to farm the land, goes off to college and then returns to work and make farming a success. There is no question that Roger Victory and Victory Farms is a Michigan success story… BUT, it doesn’t end there. Roger has taken leadership, dedication and passion a step or two further. In 2012 he was elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives serving the 88th house District. In addition he currently serves as an executive member of the Michigan Vegetable Council, Vice-President of the Vriesland Growers Cooperative and the National Council of Agricultural Employees.
It is refreshing to me that the values of farmers, their dedication and their passion are being represented by Mr. Victory, not only at home on the farm but in the State House.
I hope that you agree that this success story is “No Small Victory”