Faces in the Crowd: Carli Geers

September 7, 2017

If you like pumpkins, and if you’re familiar with the McBain area, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Geers Farms. And with pumpkin season quickly approaching, chances are you might run into this week’s face in the crowd, Carli Geers. Now, don’t be mistaken, Carli is more than just a pumpkin farmer on her Grandpa Barni’s farm. She’s also Carl and Patti’s daughter, and Eric, Lauren, and Madison’s sister. She’s also a school psychologist for the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District, where she currently splits time between Marion, Pine River, Lake City, Manton, and Mesick school districts. Basically, she’s a psychologist by day, farmer by night. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. We were fortunate enough to catch up with her recently, and gain some insight into what makes Carli more than just another face in the crowd.

Marion Press: Where are you from originally?

Carli: I grew up in Scottville, which is pretty close to Ludington. Ludington’s a big tourist town, so there’s a lot of people coming and going in the summer; it’s usually pretty busy. I went to school at Mason County Central. I think I had a graduating class of a little over 100 – we went back and forth between class B and C for sports.

Carli (far left) with her sisters Madison (center) and Lauren.

Carli (far left) with her sisters Madison (center) and Lauren.

MP: What were some things you enjoyed while growing up in Scottville?

I played a lot of sports: outside activities, hiking, stuff like that. Both of my sisters played college basketball; I only played through high school. I was a point guard and a shooting guard. I played volleyball and softball and I ran a year of track. I took a year off from softball – we could only be 3 sport athletes – to run track, but then I ended up going back to softball the next year.

MP: Tell us a little bit about Geers Farms.

Carli: Geers Farm is my grandpa’s (Barni Geers) farm. My grandpa has been doing the pumpkin patch for, I wanna say, 15 or so years. It started out really small, just with pumpkins; they wanted to have pumpkins just for the animals and then people started coming and asking to buy pumpkins. So, they added donuts and cider and now it’s gotten quite a bit bigger.

We’re open to the public starting the last weekend in September. We’re open Saturdays and Sundays the last weekend in September through all of October. We do some things during November and December too, like selling pies and small stuff like that. And then we’re open in the summers on Saturdays. We used to have a farmer’s market where we’d have all the activities open, as well as some farmers that came [with their goods] and we’d sell donuts and pies. But we haven’t had many farmers come this year, so it’s been more focused on the fun activities for kids, with the donuts, pies, baked goods – stuff like that.

MP: How did you get into psychology? Have you always wanted to be a school psychologist?

Carli: I have always loved psychology classes, and I’ve loved working with kids. But I did not want to be a psychiatrist, where I’d have to diagnose all the problems and prescribe medication; I didn’t want to do that.

But I changed my major 4 times in college. I started out wanting to go into the medical field. And the more chemistry and biology classes I took, the more I hated it, so I slowly kind of transitioned. I started out in biology, then biomedical sciences, then biopsychology, then I was like, I’m just going to go with psychology.

My mom’s good friend was a school psychologist, and she told me about it. She had me job shadow her, and I fell in love. I love the fact that the things that I do with the kiddos can have a huge impact positively in their lives, both in school and at home.

MP: How long have you been living here in McBain?

Carli: I moved here about a year ago. But I grew up around here in the summers. I have a ton of family in the area. Both of my grandparents are here; I have 3 aunts in the area, I have a bunch of cousins. So, I grew up spending most of my summers here and I absolutely loved it. I was looking forward to coming to this area after college.

MP: What is it that you enjoy about the area?

Carli: I love it. It’s a beautiful area. I love all the outside activities that are available here. And then, I’ve met some of my best friends here already, just great people. I love the sense of community here. It’s just a great area.

I spend most of my time on the farm in McBain, but I like to go to some of the different hiking and biking and walking trails in and around Cadillac. There are some really good hiking spots in Mesick that I like to go to as well.

MP: What else do you like to do for fun?

Carli: I just started horseback riding. My horse’s name is Elvis, or Pistol Pete. Everyone calls him Elvis but on all his paperwork he’s Pistol Pete. Pistol Pete is his registered name, which is way cooler than Elvis.

I like to run. I spend a lot of time kayaking in the summer. I like yard games; I’m a big yard games person, which I know is kind of dorky.

MP: What kind of yard games?

Carli: Cornhole is my favorite. Spikeball is a lot of fun – it’s like the yard game version of volleyball: you have a little trampoline net that you have to hit the ball on instead of over. It’s so much fun.

MP: What kind music do you listen to? Any favorite movies? Have you read any good books recently?

Carli: I listen to basically everything except for Rap; mostly Contemporary Christian and Country music.

My favorite movie would be Shooter – that’s a good movie. I haven’t got to read actual books in a really long time, but I just read the book, The Shack, and man, that book is great.

I’m doing a bible club for kids starting up next month. It’s an after-school program once a week for kids – I guess they did it years ago, but it hasn’t been done recently. My aunt and I are going to start it back up again and see how it goes.
MP: Have you had any role models or mentors growing up?

Carli: My family has – they’ve just all been very good inspirations for me, just in the way they live. The two people who have really mentored me the most since moving into the area are Jamie Powers and Virginia Stahl, who I work with. They’ve both been very influential since I’ve moved here.

MP: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Carli: I don’t know. That’s a good question. I hope I’m doing the same thing. I hope I’m still working at the ISD here, and I hope I’m still living in the area, but I guess I’ll leave that up to God.

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