Meet Mike Basedow Of The Young Growers Alliance

Mike Basedow
Mike Basedow

Mike Basedow joined Penn State University Extension this year as the coordinator of the Young Growers’ Alliance (YGA). American Fruit Grower had a chance to catch up with him and talk about his background and long-term plans while in his post.

Q: What interests you about horticulture and why?
Every day is a new challenge with a lot of different factors to account for. I also hate sitting behind a desk all day every day, so horticulture gets me outside.

Q: Are you familiar with the industry?
I worked closely with the Penn State tree fruit team during my master’s degree, so I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of the industry and the people involved in it in Pennsylvania. I’ve also gotten to know a handful of other growers throughout the Northeast.

Q: What is your background? How familiar are you with Pennsylvania?
I grew up in suburban New Jersey, so I’m not from a farming background. I got interested in fruit production visiting orchards in the Hudson Valley. I studied plant science at Cornell and then earned my master’s degree in horticulture at Penn State. As far as Pennsylvania goes, my grandparents grew up on farms in Cambria County. We visited them every summer, and the land is still in our family. My brother, three cousins, and aunt also went to Penn State.

Q: What drew you to get involved with YGA?
Agriculture is continuously evolving, and it seems in orchards we are starting to look closely at how we can better utilize technology to stay ahead of the curve. I think young growers are the most likely to be interested in adopting this technology, and I’m excited to be involved in it.

Q: Have you set any short-term goals as of yet? Any long-term goals?
My short term goals are to get up to date on all of the projects we have going on – it’s a pretty long list! In the long term I’m interested in working on projects related to cider orchard management.

Q: What can you bring to the table to help ensure YGA’s continued success?
I’ve been called highly motivated, and I have experience working with agriculture from the academic and industry side, so I think I can put that to good use for YGA.

Q: What are some challenges facing the next generation of specialty crop growers?
I think the public is exposed to a lot of pseudoscience, and it makes a lot of young consumers skeptical of agriculture. We need to find a way to better educate the general public on what actually happens on the farm.

Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself?
I played the saxophone in my college pep band, and am still a big fan of Cornell hockey. Go Red!

Topics:

Leave a Reply

GenNext Growers Stories
overflowing beaker in science lab
GenNext Growers
September 4, 2017
New Collaboration Hopes to Boost Youth Interest in Science
Bayer, 4-H partner to increase interest in science among young people nationwide and cultivate the next generation of innovators shaping agriculture, food, and health. Read More
haskap berries
GenNext Growers
August 22, 2017
Top Alternative Crops GenNext Growers Should Consider
Now is a good time for you to think about what new selections might pay off. Read More
GenNext Growers
August 17, 2017
Young Growers See Evolving Orchard Production on Cornell Tour
A group of 30 got a chance to see operations boasting vertical integration and higher production per acre up close in the Champlain region of New York State and Vermont. Read More
GenNext Growers
August 8, 2017
Winegrape Society Awards $100,000 in Scholarships
American Society for Enology and Viticulture bestows awards at its 68th national conference. Read More
Carl and Dustin Grooms of Fancy Farms
Business Planning
July 11, 2017
Young Florida Farmers Ready to Take the Reins
As growers age, the next generation is stepping up and stepping into leadership roles on the farm. Read More
inspecting a citrus leaf for HLB symptoms
GenNext Growers
July 8, 2017
5 Crop Scouting Mistakes You Might Be Making
Inspecting fields for signs of pest pressure is critical to your farm’s success. But, are you doing it right? Read More
GenNext Growers
July 5, 2017
National Young Farmer Coalition Members Show Support for Farm Bill
Young growers speak up about issues that impact the next generation of growers. Read More
cash money in hand
GenNext Growers
July 5, 2017
Ag Trade Association Awards Give $117,000 in College Scholarships
Awards to 59 students this year and previous years now exceeds $1.3 million in total. Read More
GenNext Growers
June 29, 2017
Cornell Graduate Student Earns Grape Disease Research
Doctoral candidate recognized by American Society of Enology and Viticulture for work studying sour rot pathogens. Read More
girl on smartphone
GenNext Growers
June 24, 2017
Find the Food Safety Apps That Are Right for You
There are a lot of choices available for growers. We’ve sifted through them to help figure out which ones will best suit you. Read More
Online shopping graphic for GenNext Growers webcast
GenNext Growers
May 22, 2017
How to Make Dollars and Sense of Today’s Produce Marketplace Mayhem
Despite current challenges impacting the future of the North American fruit and vegetable industry, there are opportunities to be had. Read More
Gary Reeder of West Coast Tomato/McClure Family Farms in Florida
GenNext Growers
May 18, 2017
Five Delegates to Represent U.S. at Youth Agriculture Summit
More than 1,000 applied as delegates to help tackle global food security challenge at international event. Read More
GenNext Growers
April 22, 2017
Next Generation of Leaders Gets Yearlong Almond Immersion
Almond Leadership Program enters its ninth year with the 2017 class. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 19, 2017
Young Apple Growers Meet with Lawmakers
Apple leaders from across the country discuss ag issues such as labor, trade, and research. Read More
Vijay Kumar giving TED Talk on ag innovation
GenNext Growers
April 17, 2017
TED Talks Take on Agriculture Innovation
The popular short-form presentations address the future of food production. Read More
The Latest
GenNext Growers
October 1, 2017
USDA Announces $12.6M to Train Next Gene…
Future ag scientists are looking to tackle exotic invasive pests, water quality monitoring. Read More
GenNext Growers
September 21, 2017
Advice for Taking Over the Family Farm
If you are considering joining and running your family business, here are some tips to ensure success. Read More
Farm Management
September 10, 2017
$3 Million Available to Train Future Agr…
There are a lot more jobs being created than there are graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees who can fill them. Read More
GenNext Growers
September 4, 2017
New Collaboration Hopes to Boost Youth I…
Bayer, 4-H partner to increase interest in science among young people nationwide and cultivate the next generation of innovators shaping agriculture, food, and health. Read More
GenNext Growers
August 22, 2017
Top Alternative Crops GenNext Growers Sh…
Now is a good time for you to think about what new selections might pay off. Read More
GenNext Growers
August 17, 2017
Young Growers See Evolving Orchard Produ…
A group of 30 got a chance to see operations boasting vertical integration and higher production per acre up close in the Champlain region of New York State and Vermont. Read More
GenNext Growers
August 8, 2017
Winegrape Society Awards $100,000 in Sch…
American Society for Enology and Viticulture bestows awards at its 68th national conference. Read More
Business Planning
July 11, 2017
Young Florida Farmers Ready to Take the …
As growers age, the next generation is stepping up and stepping into leadership roles on the farm. Read More
GenNext Growers
July 8, 2017
5 Crop Scouting Mistakes You Might Be Ma…
Inspecting fields for signs of pest pressure is critical to your farm’s success. But, are you doing it right? Read More
GenNext Growers
July 5, 2017
National Young Farmer Coalition Members …
Young growers speak up about issues that impact the next generation of growers. Read More
GenNext Growers
July 5, 2017
Ag Trade Association Awards Give $117,00…
Awards to 59 students this year and previous years now exceeds $1.3 million in total. Read More
GenNext Growers
June 29, 2017
Cornell Graduate Student Earns Grape Dis…
Doctoral candidate recognized by American Society of Enology and Viticulture for work studying sour rot pathogens. Read More
GenNext Growers
June 24, 2017
Find the Food Safety Apps That Are Right…
There are a lot of choices available for growers. We’ve sifted through them to help figure out which ones will best suit you. Read More
GenNext Growers
May 22, 2017
How to Make Dollars and Sense of Today&#…
Despite current challenges impacting the future of the North American fruit and vegetable industry, there are opportunities to be had. Read More
GenNext Growers
May 18, 2017
Five Delegates to Represent U.S. at Yout…
More than 1,000 applied as delegates to help tackle global food security challenge at international event. Read More
GenNext Growers
April 22, 2017
Next Generation of Leaders Gets Yearlong…
Almond Leadership Program enters its ninth year with the 2017 class. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 19, 2017
Young Apple Growers Meet with Lawmakers
Apple leaders from across the country discuss ag issues such as labor, trade, and research. Read More
GenNext Growers
April 17, 2017
TED Talks Take on Agriculture Innovation
The popular short-form presentations address the future of food production. Read More