NewsState

Actions

She's one of a handful of Black farmers in Michigan and is making a go of it with mushrooms and pigs

Shara Trierweiler
Posted at 5:52 PM, Nov 04, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Shara Trierweiler is Agape Organic Farms.

"I'm the only owner, the only worker, I'm it," she said.

On 30 acres near Dansville, she grows more than 20 varieties of mushrooms, raises purebred Berkshire pigs and grows microgreens.

But the soil that feeds her plants and animals has also drunk her sweat and tears.

"Originally, I started farming with my ex-husband in 2017," Trierweiler said. "We went through a divorce, and my kids and I actually ended up being homeless and farming for a little over two years. We continued farming and through the farming community, we were able to keep our animals."

Treirweiler was able to buy Agape Farms in July of 2020. Today she says she's the only black livestock farmer in the state of Michigan.

According to the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture census, 95 percent of the country's farmers are white, and only 0.4 percent of Michigan farmers identify as Black.

For that reason, Trierweiler says she feels responsible to much more than her 1,000-pound boar Big John.

She says whether or not she succeeds on her land is an example to young Black people.

"What I'd like to try to do is change that dynamic. I plan to bring in kids in from the inner city so that they can see someone who looks like them in a rural setting being successful," Trierweiler said. "So then it can increase their visualization and their perception that they too can do that."

Trierweiler is working with The Fledge in Lansing to bring more of these farming opportunities to city kids.

Saturday morning, Shara will head to the Meridian Farmers Market with her son Dominic like they always do.

"As soon as anyone comes he stands up and he’s super excited to see everybody," she said.

They'll sell the fruits of their labor and serve as an example.

"I think farming is just kind of in my blood," said Trierweiler. "It's kind of a part of who I am and it's, I feel like I'm getting emotional, I feel like I've just found who I am in farming."

You can buy Shara's mushrooms, and produce at Agape Organic Farms. For information on the farm, click here.

Shara also has a GoFundMe up to help pay for her farm's fencing and infrastructure projects. For that information, click here.

Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.

Select from these options: Neighborhood News, Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook