In 2011, at the age of 15, Joe Koopsen started Joe's Farm. With just a small back yard chicken coop and vegetable garden in Portage. After just one year Joe knew he wanted to be a farmer, working the soil and caring for animals. That next spring Joe moved to a small 2 1/2 acre piece of land on VW ave in Schoolcraft where he currently has a small farming operation consisting of 700 laying hens, 15 pigs (kept on a friends farm), 15 turkeys, 150 meat chickens and 1/2 an acre of produce. Realizing the need to grow beyond 2 1/2 acres Joe is part owner of an established 45-acre farm, dating back to 1880, on Pulver Road in Three Rivers. At the Pulver Road farm, Joe has had the opportunity to expand with better barns for the animals and additional acreage for pasture for the hens, tractored chickens, and turkeys, as well as a larger selection of produce and other crops like hay and corn that will help us move to be self sustaining.
As a young farmer, Joe has had a number of older farmers who have been willing to share their experiences and suggest practices that might be successful for Joe's smaller operation. This collaboration along with hard work has resulted in producing high-quality food for our customers as well as ensuring that our animals are kept in safe and clean conditions. Our barns (averaging 2 square feet/chicken) and pastures (of approx. 8 – 10 square feet/chicken) are well insulated, lite, ventilated, and kept clean so our chickens can live in the most natural way. Joe also senses a collaboration with our customers, we believe it is not just the product we produce but the conditions our animals live that matter to our customers. We encourage our customers to stop by the farm and see for themselves how their food is produced. At Joe's Farm we make every effort to consistently improve the way we care for our animals and soil so we can offer our customers the very best locally grown produce, fresh pastured eggs, and pastured meat available.