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In Memoriam


A Farewell to Ivan Morley

by Vicki Morrone

Many of you may have known Ivan Morley, an ambitious organic field crop farmer from Standish, Michigan.  He passed away August 31, 2015, at age 71, at his home in Standish with his wife Diane and other family members by his side.  He was a fun loving guy and took great pride in his crop yields, often surpassing his conventional neighbors.  He will be missed by all of us for his ideas, energy, wit, and of course strong opinions.  You could count on Ivan to always cut to the chase when he had a position about anything, whether it was farming, the government, Michigan State University, or the color of the walls!

I got to know Ivan when I rounded up him and two other organic farmers to be part of a Farmer/Rancher SARE grant to test organic soybean and corn varieties.  A few years later I asked him to give a talk at the Organic Reporting Session, an annual program that shares research that relates to Michigan organic production.  He gave a talk that I will not forget, expressing how he managed the medium red clover, often called Michigan red clover.  Of course when I asked if he wanted any help to put it together, I expected to get an email.  Well emails were not his thing. If he needed help he may call you, but I didn’t count on it so I persisted to call him until I was lucky enough to get him, often on the combine when neither of us could hear one another.  His presentation was all written out by hand, probably on his grandkids' school paper.  He shared a good account of building his soil and how “hurting” the clover in the winter allowed him to get it incorporated sooner in the spring, as soon as Mother Nature would let him get on the field.

So Ivan created a fun memory for me as a rabble rouser, always game for a lively conversation and a chance to share his passion for his farming, his family and for Michigan State University.  He was a graduate from MSU’s Agriculture Short Course and was very proud to be an alumnus of the home of the Spartans.

Lloyd Hammond

Lloyd Hammond was born in St. Johns, Michigan, October 24,

Photo of Lloyd Hammond with carrot

1927.  He died December 26, 2012, at age 85, in Traverse City, MI.  His wife, three children, 9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren survive him.

After graduation from high school in 1945, Lloyd attended Michigan State University as an agricultural student.  At the same time he began his career as a farmer.  He married in 1948 and in 1958 he bought a large farm north of East Lansing, farming there until the mid 1980s.

Lloyd was awarded the honor of Onion King in 1960, and he was runner-up for this category in several other years.  This award was given to the grower who produced the most onions per acre nationwide.  He was also recognized for his production of carrots, radishes, and potatoes he grew for Campbell's and Heinz.  His produce was also sold at farm markets throughout mid-Michigan.


Susan Houghton, Organic Farmer and True Innovator  

It is with great sadness that I share this news. Our friend, Susan Houghton shared her life with many of us, teaching, organizing and innovating. She was one of the very early adopters of hoophouses. Below is her obituary and note that memorial donations are being accepted by Giving Tree Farm in Lansing, where she developed a program of vegetable, herb and flower production that aided (and still does today) persons who were impacted by an injury and then need assistance to regain occupational skills. Not only did she develop a profitable organic produce business but also served many persons with the opportunity to engage in the healing virtues of growing food while they grew in confidence and ability.  I will miss Susanher wisdom, enthusiasm and sense of adventure.

—Vicki Morrone 

Sturgis Journal, 15 May 2012

Susan Houghton, 69, of White Pigeon passed away at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, May 13, 2012, at her home, surrounded by her family.

She was born May 17, 1942, in North Canton, Ohio, to Arthur James and Rosemary (Garrison) Shahan.

She is survived by her children, Carla Bordine of White Pigeon, Cynthia Ernst of Decatur, James Houghton of Sturgis, William Houghton of Goshen, Ind., and Cathy Houghton of Three Rivers.  Also surviving are 15 grandchildren, Michael Warren of Kalamazoo, Samantha Plank of Constantine, Brandi Clewell of South Bend, Ind., Shannon Clewell of Auburn, Ind., Christopher Houghton of Decatur, Amanda Houghton and Mark Houghton, both of Middlebury, Ind., Laura Workman, Jacob Houghton and Kelsey Houghton all of Goshen, Aiden Houghton of Ohio, Scott Fox of Kalamazoo, Reggie and Nathan Jones of Three Rivers and Cassie Crill of Canton. She is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren; a sister, Rosemary Shahan of Davis, Calif.; and two brothers, John Shahan of Claremont, Calif., and Arthur Shahan of Norco, Calif.  Susan was preceded in death by her parents.

She loved gardening, fishing and spending time with her family and friends.

Memorials for Susan may be given to The Giving Tree in Lansing.