Family, faith, and farming.
That’s what it’s all about for Anndrea McCrimmon and her daughter Becky Johnson.
From their homes on 20th Avenue just east of Marion, the Duo help own and operate 20-20 Feeds and More, and JMAC Ranch.
And it’s a family business. On any given day, you might find Becky’s kids, Alex and Chris, helping their Grandpa Howard out on the farm. Whether it’s mixing feed for customers, or hauling the horses to their summer camp destinations, the McCrimmon and Johnson families enjoy their time spent together on the farm.
For many locals, driving by the farm is a sight to see. When the horses return home from their various summer camps throughout the state, you’ll see nearly 100 beautiful horses grazing on the ranch.
While many of our readers are familiar with the former McCrimmon’s Farm and Feeds in downtown Marion, the family continues to make feed for all farm animals with 20-20 Feeds and More.
But family remains the most important thing in the McCrimmon and Johnson households. Anndrea gave the family a scare over the fall and winter after being diagnosed with cancer and dealing with covid pneumonia. But she is now cancer-free, and on the road to recovery.
We caught up with Anndrea and Becky recently, where we learned a little bit more about their farm, family, and businesses. We learned that these two are more than just a couple of faces in the crowd.
Marion Press: When did you get into farming? How’d that start?
Anndrea: Marge and Orlen Blackledge got us involved. Becky was just a little one. It started with sheep.
Becky: Orlen called and said, “Howard, I bought some sheep. You’re taking care of them.”
Anndrea: [Orlen and Marge] were getting older, and weren’t able to take care of them. At first it was going to be just for a short time, because one of Orlen’s nieces was going to take care of them. But she decided she didn’t want them, so we ended up with them. And then he got some more. And Howard ended up helping him with that. The Blackledge’s would spend the winter months in Florida, and he’d said, “And you can take care of these while I go.” And they had a ram, of course, and they brought him. And that’s how we got into it.
MP: How long ago was that?
Becky: I was probably 4 or 5 – so this was probably 45 years ago. Dad used to help Marge and Orlen put hay up when he was in high school.
Anndrea: [Howard] was always kind of part of their life in one way or another. They were really great people. They became kind of like grandparents to Becky and Chris. They got us into [farming], and once that gets in your blood, it’s hard to squeeze it back out.
MP: Was that right here on the farm?
Anndrea: The sheep were on the main road (just east of the high school). We lived in town, but we owned some property on 5th Avenue – Howard’s brother George lived there – and we had sheep and pigs there too. We’ve had quite a few beef cows at times. At one time, we had over 100 ewes in this long barn… We enjoyed talking to all the older people that had [sheep].
Becky: We learned a lot from them. Learned about the different traits, and the different [advice] that they would give you – the little secrets… it was interesting. [Farmers like] Ernie Mosher, and Vera Shaw.
MP: A lot of our readers are probably familiar with McCrimmon’s Farm and Feed, What made you decide to get into the feed business?
Anndrea: I went to work for the Marion Concentrate. I went down to pay a bill that we had, and they were looking for somebody. At that time, I was working at a shoe store in Cadillac, and I enjoyed that too. But they called me up and wanted to know if I’d work there – and I thought, well, that’s a closer drive than Cadillac.
But they ended up going out of business, and then it came up for sale in ’98. We ended up buying it. So it was my idea, I guess. I’ll take the blame!
But we’d had a [number] of businesses. We had a sawmill – we worked in the milling business. We had a gas station in Marion at one time – McCrimmon’s Service, I think is what it was called. Back then, we got worried because gas prices were going up: they went from .35 cents up to .55 cents! We’d bought the building from Rusty Baughn in town, and turned that into a gym. Our thing has always been family, church, and community.
MP: 20-20 Feeds and More – what all kinds of feed do you have?
Anndrea: Everything. For all species. We have our floor stock items that we make, and we’ll custom mix. You give us what you want to put in it; we’ll put everything in it that we should, but we cannot do medication.
Becky: And if somebody wants an exorbitant amount of selenium, we’ll question it. Because it’s toxic; at certain levels it becomes toxic. Within reason, we’ll do it. But if it’s out of [specification], we’ll tell the [customer] what the vet recommends, and they’ll almost always go with what the vet recommends.
Anndrea: [You learn] to question what they’re actually using it for, “What is this for?” Somebody with chickens – or any animal – might come in and ask for certain percentages. Sometimes you can overdo the protein level, and all it’s doing is going in and coming right back out, because it’s too much.
We have a beef mix; we can make stuff for milk cows. We have a 16% feed that can be fed to baby calves, baby goats, and horses. And we can do a 12% horse feed. We can customize it. And if they want to bring their own corn in, we’ll add the protein, the vitamins, the minerals, and the molasses. Some people want so much molasses, you can almost wring it out! And other people don’t want very much. Our beef mix, we put just a little bit of molasses in that, so the animals smell it, and it entices them to eat it better. For example, our beef mix: We put extra calcium, salt, Vitamin A, D, and E, and we put minerals, soy and corn. Chickens, we have a layer feed, a 20% grower feed. Turkeys might take a higher percentage, and we have a customized peacock feed too. In our scratch, we put cracked corn, oats, soy, sunflower seeds, grit, and molasses.
MP: So you guys are actually making the feed, right here.
Anndrea: We make the feed. That’s what Howard does, and Alex helps.
MP: And tell us about JMAC Ranch, and the horses. How did that come about?
Becky: That was actually by sheer accident! We had a friend of ours up by Lake Ann that we took horse feed to. And we sold him hay. It was late summer, and he come to us and asked if we had a pasture he could rent. And dad says, “Yeah, we do.” And he says, “How bout you winter ‘em for us? That way you don’t have to haul the hay up there, you can feed them down here.”
And the next spring, he says, “I don’t know if I really want to do this [horse] camp thing anymore.” And I’m thinking, “What are you getting at here??” So it kind of fell into our lap…
And he [took his horses] to Mystic Lake Camp, so that was the first camp that actually came online with us. Then I called Spring Hill in Evart. And those were the first two camps that came online with us. The next year, I get a phone call from Camp Nissokone. They call, and say, “Okay, we’re looking for some horses. We need 18 at this camp, and 15 at [Camp Ohiyesa, a sister camp]. I said, “Okay, let me see what I can do.”
And then all of a sudden, Camp Timbers calls… And two days later, Camp Arbutus calls. At this point, I’m pulling out my hair; we’re quickly behind the eight ball…
So I hear about some horses that were for sale up in Hale – the owner was going out of business. We went up and looked at the horses. And a lot of these horses had been servicing these camps, and the guy who we bought them from was great.
We have three private camps that we go to. We have a camp in Wisconsin that sits on the Illinois/Wisconsin border… We have Wolf Lake, over in Baldwin. If anyone wants to have a good time with their family, I highly suggest going over to Wolf Lake Ranch. Pete is an awesome person, he’s just a good guy. He rents between 6 and 8 horses. We have Cedar Ridge camp, and the Girl Scouts. We service 10 camps, and we’re looking to increase that. We usually ship our first camp out about the 15th of April, and I go in and pick up the 6th or 7th of November.
MP: What do you enjoy the most about having the horses?
Becky: I enjoy being able to go out and walk with them, and they’re not going to give me lip! When I go out and walk with them, it’s a calming effect. There are certain horses that have that effect; you can be having a bad day, and that stress will just [disappear].
Anndrea: It’s cool to see Howard go out and call them in, and they’ll come running up. It makes you feel good.
MP: And if someone was looking to buy a horse, is that something you could help them with?
Anndrea: We would. If somebody comes to us, and says we’re looking for such and such a kind [of horse] we’ll try to find what they’re looking for. We can help you out.
Becky: I’ve got a couple contacts that I can call, and say, “Hey, I’ve got a customer looking for something,” and within a week or two we can usually find the horse. That’s not a problem.