An employee of State Line Farms near Morenci was named the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Young Farm Employee.
Christopher McCallister, 32, of Sand Creek topped three other finalists and was honored Nov. 30 at Michigan Farm Bureau’s 92nd annual meeting in Grand Rapids.
The Outstanding Young Farm Employee Award recognizes young farmers, between the ages of 18 and 35, for their contributions as employees to the success and long-term profitability of the operations where they are employed. Nominees are also judged on their leadership involvement in Farm Bureau, agriculture and their community.
As the state winner, McCallister received a prize package courtesy of Michigan CAT, $500 from GreenStone Farm Credit Services, a prize from the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and a trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation 93rd Convention and Annual Meeting in Honolulu in January.
At State Line Farms, McCallister is responsible for managing the wean-to-finish operation that raises piglets from shortly after birth until the time they are marketable for meat production.
In the spring, McCallister also operates the farm’s greenhouses, where he raises tomato transplants that are planted and harvested for food processing. In addition, he is the farm’s agronomist and is in charge of crop scouting and soil sampling, spreading fertilizer and maintaining all planting and spraying records.
McCallister’s background in agronomy and his state certification as operator of a concentrated animal feeding operation have kept State Line Farms less dependent on outside consultants and more self-sufficient. Over time, he has decreased the farm’s fertilizer costs and kept up with changes in technology and record keeping, helping to increase productivity.
McCallister is also involved with the Lenawee County Farm Bureau, serving as the county vice president and Farmers CARE chairperson.
He has a bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in agriculture from the University of Findlay and a certificate in equine reproduction from Colorado State University. He and his wife, Kathie, live in rural Sand Creek.