Meet a Farmer: Michael Antle of Tanimura & Antle
Meet Michael Antle! Michael has always wanted to be a farmer, ever since he was a young kid out in the field with his dad. Now Michael grows artisan lettuce, romaine, broccoli, cauliflower and celery. See what advice he has for future farmers!
CA GROWN: What are you doing today?
Michael: We’re planting a couple of fields and also disking some cover crops after our strawberries to incorporate a little more of the organic matter into the soil because strawberries deplete the soil a little bit. I’m also checking on all of the guys making sure everyone is doing the right things.
CA GROWN: What is your favorite thing about farming?
Michael: My favorite thing is watching the crop grow from a little seedling all the way to harvest and being able to get a good yield in the harvest. It’s really rewarding watching the crop grow all the way from planting it as a seed to harvesting it for people to eat. I also love being outside; I don’t like working inside.
CA GROWN: How do you give back to the community?
Michael: I volunteer on a bicycle team for a high school here. I help out by riding with the kids. We recently just did a clothing drive where you bring all of your old jackets and clothes and we gave them to the homeless. T & A will usually put together boxes of produce and give it to the workers and their families too. We’ve also donated extra crops to food banks.
CA GROWN: What drew you into the farming profession?
Michael: As a kid I always liked being out in the field and driving tractors. I started working in the fields in the 8th grade and I really liked it. My dad used to be in the harvest part of our business and I liked to work with him. We’d drive around in the field. I was always more interested in producing the crop. It’s kind of what I wanted to do my whole life.
CA GROWN: What are your hobbies or pastimes when you’re not farming?
Michael: I enjoy team roping. We have horses, my dad and I like to team rope. I also like to mountain bike, snow ski and water ski.
CA GROWN: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a farmer?
Michael: You have to be patient. It is frustrating at times because things tend to break and it’s difficult managing people but you just have to put in the time and work hard at it. And, you have to be there everyday to check your crops and see the progress of things on the farm.