Growing family values

September 4, 2015

Al and Marlene Karnemaat

Al and Marlene Karnemaat love what they do. To them Karnemaat Farms isn’t just their family business—it’s a family calling.

“We are a family of faith,” said Al. “It’s the most important part of our lives. And we believe we’ve been called to the greatest career there is: to produce good food in safe ways for a hungry world.”

Along with their sons, Kent and Tom, two grandsons have now joined the business. They focus primarily on growing vegetables that are sold locally and nationally.

“It’s a gift to be doing what you enjoy,” said Al. “You spend too many hours in your career not to love what you do.”

Al and Marlene’s enthusiasm for their work also shows through in the scholarship that they established at the Community Foundation. The Karnemaat Family Scholarship helps local young people train for their own rewarding careers in agriculture or other food-related fields, ministry, or conservation.

“Our hope is that it gets them off on the right foot so they can have a career they like and be successful,” said Marlene.

“We can all look back and find times when someone helped us,” said Al. “We have been blessed and are thankful there’s an opportunity to do things like this for local youth.”