About Me

Travis Schoenborn is the latest farmer in a multi-generational legacy of apple farmers in rural west Michigan. He is dedicated to the long-term success of the family orchard and to providing his two young children with a firm footing in agriculture while offering them space to pursue their dreams.

Crrent Role and Duties

Schoenborn currently works at the family orchard, EDS Schoenborn Orchards, near Conklin. The location nestles the orchard in one of the top apple-picking locations in the country. Only Washington state and New York state produce more apples than Michigan, and the family orchard is squarely in the top hotspot for apple-producing farms, according to the Michigan Apple Committee.

Conklin is prime territory for apple orchards due, in part, to its proximity to Lake Michigan. The Great Lake helps regulate temperatures year-round, keeping springs cooler and falls warmer. Colder springs help ensure apple blossoms stay dormant until they can survive in the spring. Warmer falls also provide relief by offering a time for fresh apples to be picked before cold temperatures damage the fruit.

Also of help for the Conklin region were the historic glaciers that led to the creation of the Great Lakes. As the glaciers receded, rich soil stayed in abundance, creating the perfect earth for apple trees to bloom and produce crisp, high-flavored apples.

As a third-generation apple farmer, Travis Schoenborn inherits this unique legacy of ice and industry and the blessing of weather coupled with hard work and decades of effort. His family has always been dedicated to uplifting the local community and the legacy of family farms in the region.

Career History

For Schoenborn, there was no career for him but one in agriculture. As a child and then young man, he worked tirelessly helping his father, David Schoenborn, maintain the highly fruitful apple orchards established by his grandfather in the 1950s.

EDS Schoenborn Orchards has its roots in a 1954 land purchase by Emmett Schoenborn. His goal was to start a high-quality apple orchard on historic family property, and the enterprise proved successful. By 1984, David and his brother Steven were brought in to help manage the business, and the formal name of EDS Schoenborn Orchards was born.

Travis later joined the enterprise as a third-generation hands-on family worker. In a day-to-day capacity, he assists with running the orchard operations alongside his dad and uncle, and he considers it the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Even as a young boy, he always knew he wanted to be a farmer, so he never sought employment away from the familiar landscape of the family farm.

Professional Skills and Experience

As a farmer, Travis is skilled in various administrative and hands-on tasks involving the day-to-day operation of a 510-acre apple orchard.

In addition to the nuances of crop management, such as pruning, controlling insects, and fertilizing the trees, there are the logistics of maintaining equipment. On most family farms, mechanical troubleshooting is handled in-house, with only more complex equipment issues outsourced to mechanics.

For EDS Schoenborn Orchards, picking efforts must be managed, and the safe storage of picked apples must be until they are packed in the on-site packing facility and prepared for distribution to wholesalers.

Adequate record keeping is essential to the enterprise. From wages to parts invoices and larger expenditures, Schoenborn has learned various aspects of the business through the years. While he prefers to stay hands-on with day-to-day operations, he has a firm grasp of the finer points of orchard management and the necessary business operations.

Accomplishments and Achievements

One of the biggest achievements for Travis was branching out and purchasing his farm. As a family man with a son and daughter, he is mindful of the impact a family legacy can have on a person's life. He is committed to providing his children with the same firm roots in farming and careful land management.

Personal Interests and Hobbies

As a farmer, Travis maintains an active interest in his community and in ensuring family farms can survive for the next generation and beyond.

For many farms in west Michigan, an evolving and growing interest in sustainable food sourcing has provided new opportunities for family farms to connect directly to apple and other produce buyers through wholesalers.

With access to high-demand cities in Michigan, northeast Illinois, and southwest Wisconsin, Michigan's apple farms are uniquely poised to help reduce costs and emissions for companies focused on reducing their carbon footprint.

Travis stays up-to-date on the latest developments in farming, farming, and distribution to identify new opportunities to grow and develop the family orchards.

He also maintains a strong interest in educating the next generation of farmers through all available avenues, including local 4-H clubs and FFA organizations.


Travis Schoenborn Portfolio