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Excerpts from The Business of Urban Agriculture Summit - April 7, 2010

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Score Is Set To Lead Hantz Farms In Developing Underutilized Land
In Detroit, To Create the World’s Largest Urban Farm

Score Has 30 Years Of Experience in Agricultural Production, Food
System Economic Development And Community Development


DETROIT, Mich., December 15, 2009 – Michael Score has been named President of Hantz Farms L.L.C.  The announcement was made by John Hantz, owner and CEO of Hantz Farms, LLC.

“We are pleased to have Mike Score join our team as president of Hantz Farms.  He has the knowledge, talent and integrity to help bring our dream to reality,” said Hantz. “His vast experience in the business of agriculture and community development  provides us with a tremendous advantage as we embark upon this important effort.”

Detroit-based Hantz Farms L.L.C. seeks to create the world’s largest urban farm on underutilized land in the city of Detroit.   The for profit venture aims to transform Detroit into a destination for fresh, locally grown natural foods, create a viable, beautiful  environment that will enhance  the City, attract tourism, increase the tax base, create jobs and greatly improve the quality of life in Detroit.

Score was born in Detroit and graduated from Michigan State University (MSU) in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in crop and soil sciences.  He joins Hantz Farms after 30 years of experience in agricultural production, food system economic development and community development.  Score has assisted more than 200 entrepreneurs in efforts to achieve their dreams and build sustainable communities through food system business development. 

For over four years, Score and his wife, Mary, were involved in international agricultural development in the Republic of Zaire (Congo).  Following their return to the United States, Score worked for nine years as an Agricultural Educator with the University of Kentucky. During his tenure, he received his Master of Arts in rural sociology in 1997 and served as coordinator of a Kellogg-funded state-wide study of sustainable agriculture.

Score then returned to Michigan State University Extension as an Agricultural Educator serving as an Innovation Counselor with the MSU Product Center.

Hantz Farms is headquartered at 17403 Mount Elliott St. in Detroit, and is a subsidiary of the Hantz Group, based in Southfield. For more information visit:

About John Hantz:  John R. Hantz is the CEO of Hantz Group, Incorporated and is a nationally recognized leader in the financial community.  In 1998, Hantz formed Hantz Financial Services and subsequently Hantz Group, Incorporated, a full-service financial holding company based in Southfield, Michigan.  Under his leadership, Hantz Group, Incorporated has grown to more than 500 employees and maintains 23 offices serving communities in Michigan and Ohio.





Preliminary Plans Call For The Development Of Underutilized Land To Produce
Fresh, Local, Natural, Safe Fruits, Vegetables And Trees


DETROIT, Mich., Mar. 23 – Preliminary plans for a newly developed urban farm within the City of Detroit will utilize vacant land and abandoned property to create Hantz Farms, the world’s largest urban farm, announced John Hantz, CEO of Hantz Farms, LLC.

“Detroit could be the nation’s leading example of urban farming and become a destination for fresh, local and natural foods and become a major part of the green movement,” said Hantz, a Detroit resident. “Hantz Farms will transform this area into a viable, beautiful and sustainable area that will serve the community, increase the tax base, create jobs and greatly improve the quality of life in an area that has experienced a severe decline in population.”

Phase 1 plans utilize more than 70 acres of underutilized vacant lands and abandoned properties on Detroit’s lower east side.

Hantz Farms plans to grow natural, local, fresh and safe fruits and vegetables to help meet Michigan’s increasing demand for locally grown produce. In addition to food and trees, Hantz Farms will harvest wind energy and utilize geothermal heat and biomass fuel from recycling compost.

Hantz Farms is working directly with Michigan State University to add its expertise on agricultural and soil sciences and consulting with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a national leader in community-based food systems.

“It makes great sense to utilize the blighted and abandoned land in the city to produce fresh, nutritious food for local consumers,” said Rick Foster, vice president for programs at the Kellogg Foundation. “Urban development projects like this one not only create good food and connection to nature, but serve as an economic development anchor for others in the community.”

“Urban agriculture is an opportunity to provide an effective economic development program for the Detroit community. MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has been providing expert advice to Hantz Farms along with the MSU’s Michigan Agriculture Experiment Station and MSU Extension to develop a productive outreach and engagement program as part of the proposal,” said Jeffry D. Armstrong, Dean of the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “This is a challenging and exciting opportunity.”

Heading up Hantz Farms LLC, will be Matt Allen, a Detroit resident and advocate for Hantz’s vision.

“The combination of land consolidation, blight removal, conservation of city services and the beautification of the city itself are just some of the byproducts that will come from our commitment to urban farming,” Allen said. “We’re very excited to be able to make strides in helping to make Detroit a progressive, world-class leader in providing fresh, locally grown food that’s safe and purely Detroit.”

Once the project is approved by Detroit city officials, work would begin immediately and the farm would be operating within six months.

About John Hantz: John R. Hantz is the CEO of Hantz Group, Inc. and is a nationally recognized leader in the financial community. In 1998, Hantz formed Hantz Financial Services and subsequently Hantz Group, Inc., a full-service financial holding company based in Southfield, Michigan. Under his leadership, Hantz Group, Inc. has grown to more than 550 employees and maintains 23 offices serving communities in Michigan and Ohio.

A Detroit resident, Hantz is a supporter of numerous community projects and an active member of the Michigan higher education system. He is responsible for the renovation and restoration of 11 homes in Detroit’s historic Indian Village neighborhood and is an active member of several downtown organizations.

About Matt Allen: Matt Allen is the Senior Vice President of Hantz Farms, LLC and recently joined the Hantz Group after concluding a governmental appointment as Press Secretary for the City of Detroit. A former broadcast journalist, Allen also has experience in the mortgage industry as a loan consultant and has 7 years of retail management experience with Dayton Hudson, Target and TJX.

A Detroit resident, Allen also served honorably for more than 13 years in the United States Army and Army Reserve as part of the Military Police Corps.