Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Fredrick Oesch, the founder of Swisslane farms was born in Switzerland on August 8th, 1888. At just 6 years old, he was orphaned and forced to live with relatives. Unhappy with his situation, he began to dream of living in America where there was hope for a better life. He believed that one day he would move to America and purchase land of his own. In 1904, Fredrick was only 16 when he made the long journey to America. In 11 short years his dreams were realized when he bought 91 acres in Alto, Michigan a small farming community.
In 1918, Fred married the Swiss girl next door, Lucy Wingeier. Together, Fredrick and Lucy raised six children. Only their son Joe decided to stay and help Fredrick run the farm. By the time Joe was old enough to take on the responsibilities of the farm, they had 24 cows. In 1950, Joe married a local girl named Melva Crosby. Joe and Melva raised seven children on their growing farm. Fredrick and Joe continued to farm together until 1968 when Fredrick passed away. By that time, Joe and Melva’s oldest son, Fred, was ready to take on more responsibilities of running the farm. Immediately after high school graduation, he devoted his life to farming. Joe and Melva’s sons Jeff and Tom also made the commitment to continue to work on the farm after high school.
The farm continues to grow, as does the family. Currently, 33 members of the Oesch family live within two miles of the farm. SwissLane Farms has 41 employees (29 full-time). Seventeen of which are family members.The dreams of a young man from Switzerland remain alive and are being passed down through generations. This is not just a farm. This is not just a business. This is our heritage.