Travis Bratschi and Family
Years in Industry: 4
Family: Wife Erin, son Samuel, daughter Sophie
Memberships: Grand Traverse Fruit Council, Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Station Foundation Board, Elk Rapids Rotary Club
Travis and his wife Erin bought their farm in Williamsburg in 2010. He said he knew he had a passion for farming and was eager to make harvesting apples and sour cherries their family business. Each year Travis harvests 10 acres of apples and eight acres of sour cherries. He hopes to add six or seven acres of apples to his farm in 2016.
Graduating from Grand Valley State University, Travis was a human resource management major, with a minor in finance. After going back to work on his grandpa’s farm shortly after college, the idea to start his own farm evolved from there. His apples are shipped to Jack Brown Produce and he looks forward getting up to 25 acres of apples, if the land is available and the apple prices stay strong. Being a young grower with a small scale farm, Travis hopes he can support the fruit industry and keep expanding.
Travis also works at Greenstone Farm Services, which he says keeps him connected and current in the agriculture industry. He hopes to work with the tall spindle system in the future, but says the biggest challenge he will face is labor. He believes there is good technology out there, like the platform picking system, that will improve efficiency, but also that there is still room to go.
As a family, the Bratschis like to attend the local festivals and go for long car rides. Travis says that they have to take Samuel on the gator through the fields almost every night to please him. He and his wife recently welcomed their second child, Sophie. Travis looks forward to his kids growing up on their apple and cherry farm and showing possible future generation apple growers the mechanics of the fruit industry.