Fruitridge Farms was started in 1951 by Victor and Dorothy
Schultz with only 80 acres; Currently the 2nd and 3rd generation of Schultz’s have expanded the farm to over 500 acres including adding bison to form the ranch located in the Schoolcraft area. Currently, the 3rd generation is carrying on the proud tradition of serving the southwest Michigan area with quality fruits and vegetables.
come often to Schultz Fruitridge Farms, where you can "Pick
The history of Schultz Fruitridge Farms started with Victor and Dorothy Schultz many years ago. Dorothy grew up on a fruit farm outside Dowagiac while Victor was from Benton Harbor. And their story goes like this…
Victor had an early interest in flying and spent much of his free time at the Benton Harbor airport, washing airplanes in return for rides. This was also when he met Charles Lindberg while he was making a cross-country tour after his solo flight across the Atlantic. After high school, Victor was accepted to Michigan State University as an engineering student but only attended one year due to lack of money for tuition (it was the depths of the Depression and jobs were scarce). With war looming, Victor enlisted in the US Army with the hope of becoming an Army Air Corp pilot. After five days of written tests, he was one of a small handful (5 of 300) who passed and were accepted for pilot training.
Victor was stationed in North Africa during WWII, where he was responsible for aerial reconnaissance. He flew the 1,100hp P-51 Mustang fighter.
In 1945 Victor was united in marriage to Dorothy Leitz. After his service they bought a grocery store and home by Sister Lakes. Shortly thereafter, they heard of a farm for sale over in the Mattawan area. The Mattawan farm had a crop of peaches that year, while most other farms did not. Finding a farm with such a good record, Vic and Dorothy decided to sell everything and moved out to the 80 acre Mattawan farm in 1951. Here they raised their three boys.
Every since then, we have been growing and expanding, living the American dream. Our farm produces a greater variety of crops now, and we still take great pride in producing quality, local foods.
Bill Schultz's father Victor, led by example and installed a good work ethic within him from a young age. Even as a young teen, Bill always knew that he was going to be a farmer. Born in 1957 and the youngest of three boys, he was the only one who stayed on the farm. He enjoys the challenge every year of growing a good crop, though the weather has made it challenging in some years. He says that his best crop has been his four children. Spring planting is his favorite time of year next to the fall harvest, and of course deer season. Bill enjoys fishing, deer hunting, and vacationing with his primary care giver and wife Denise.
Denise Schultz is a native resident of Battle Creek who quickly became acclimated to farm life. She serves Schultz Fruitridge Farms as Secretary/Treasurer, and in addition she manages the farm market. Denise was involved with her four children's lives (Billy, Robyn, Daniel, and Andrew) with 4-H, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. She has been serving as Secretary for Antwerp Township Planning Commission since 1999.
Denise served as Treasurer for the Antwerp Sunshine Library Friends in the late 90's promoting the summer reading program and library. Her interests include traveling, gardening, family, and reading. Her favorite time of the year is the spring.
Billy Schultz is the oldest of the third generation of the Schultz family. Growing up on the farm, he knew that he had farming in his blood. Whether it's the aroma of ripe Concord grapes in the fall air, enjoying a fresh picked sweet juicy peach, or running the cherry shaker on a sunny July day, he has always held a love for the land. For him, it is very gratifying to know that he helped place food on a family's table. He feels that farming is a noble profession.
He especially enjoys Schultz's sweet corn, peaches, and concord grapes. In his spare time, Billy enjoys fresh air, fishing, hunting, competitive shooting, downhill skiing, and traveling.
Robyn Schultz grew up on the family farm until she attended college at Lake Erie College. In 2005 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Facility Management. She currently lives in Ohio with her fiancee Dave, and they are planning their wedding for the summer of 2012.
Her favorite fruits are red haven peaches, concord grapes, melrose apples, sweet corn, bison meat, and apple cider. Robyn strongly believes in supporting local family farms, and is proud to be part of the Schultz family heritage.
Dan Schultz has always had a knack for farming since he was a little boy. He grew up driving tractors and learning the ways of farming through his grandpa and father.
Dan recently got married to Audrey Klein, from Athens MI, and both enjoy spending time on the farm and bonding with each others' families. In their spare time, they enjoy hunting, fishing, catching up with friends, and playing with their dog, Chase.
Audrey works at the market during the season. Also, she runs a photography business. For more information, look at www.photographybyaudreyklein.com
Andrew Schultz is the youngest of the third generation of the Schultz family. In December 2011, he graduated Michigan State University with a degree in Agribusiness Management. He currently resides in Texas.
One of his fondest memories of growing up on the farm is riding behind the tractor seat while his father was hard at work. Andrew's interest in agriculture continues to grow through his continuing education and involvement in the family business, even while living away from home. Andrew really enjoys the outdoors, partly stemming from his time as an Eagle Scout in his youth. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, hiking, camping, and playing with the family dog.