Planning, planting, pruning and picking produce keep Door County Farm Bureau members Steve and Char Sullivan busy year-round. The couple owns and operates Sully’s Produce LLC, in Sturgeon Bay. The business has been around for more than 30 years and specializes in fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies, plants, flowers and baked goods.
The Sullivans sell their produce at five Door County farmers’ markets in addition to doing some wholesale business with area stores, restaurants and other farmers’ markets for resale. From apples to zucchini, the family has an impressive line up of produce to offer.
“My favorite part of my job is seeing the entire process of planting, growing and selling our produce, it is very hands-on,” Char said. “It is fun to see the flowers and crops change each day and the positive reactions from our customers when they come out to purchase our products.”
Steve and Char have two sons, Shawn, 38 and Michael, 32 and three grandchildren. Shawn is a software developer for Epic Systems in Verona while Michael works on the farm.
“Family is very important to us,” Char said. “As a family, we work to grow produce but we also get to interact with other families who come to the farm or area farmers’ markets to purchase our products.”
Char says the family takes pride in the role they play in providing food to people in the local area.
“Agriculture is involved in so many aspects of our lives,” explained Char. “I believe we will always have a part to play in feeding our community.”
The family is passionate about engaging their customers in conversations about how food is grown.
Steve explained that one of his least favorite misconceptions about agriculture is that farmers don’t care for the environment.
“I like to talk with folks about the practices we implement to be good stewards of the land,” said Steve. “I also remind our customers that this is not unique to us, as all farmers live off the land and must be good environmental stewards.”
Being involved in discussions about the environment is one of the main reasons the Sullivans joined Farm Bureau.
“We joined Farm Bureau to support agriculture and have a seat at the table with lawmakers to talk about implementing regulations that find a balance between allowing farmers to do their job while also ensuring our natural resources will be available for years to come,” Steve explained.
The couple has been very active in Door County Farm Bureau. Steve served as county president, fair food stand manager, a member of the state Policy Development Committee and a member of the state Non-point Pollution Committee.
Char served as treasurer for the Door County Farm Bureau. She also works at the county fair food stand and has been active with Ag in the Classroom activities and farm tours.
“Everyone has their own unique role in the agricultural community and we are proud to have found our niche in growing produce,” Char said.
Story by Amy Eckelberg. Original version appeared in the June/July 2018 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route.