MILWAUKEE — Marcus Landry's life is a collection of commitments.
He’s made commitments to God, family, basketball and, his latest pursuit... fresh food.
“I think farming is really giving back. It’s feeding another life,” said Landry. “Whether it’s spiritually, naturally or physically.”
Landry, a former Badger and Buck, retired from professional basketball eight months ago, the same time he bought his farm in East Troy.
“I’ve always wanted land. It’s always been a dream of mine to have land,” said Landry.
The Beulah Family Homestead is his new commitment, hence the name.
“Beulah is a biblical name and it actually means marriage,” said Landry. “One of the things we teach the kids when they come out here is to be committed and married to whatever you do.”
Before Beulah, and during his professional career in the NBA and overseas, Landry opened Matthew 25 food pantry on Milwaukee’s south side.
Now with his farm, which is 13 acres, he plans to help supplement the pantry’s shelves with fresh produce.
But, perhaps more important than the fresh food he’s growing, are the educational opportunities he’s going to provide for future farmers.
Many of those farmers, he hopes, will be kids that attend his basketball camps in the city. He’s introducing kids to agriculture through the camps, both traditional and through hydroponics.
“If they don’t become an athlete, we taught them how to farm, how to make money using farming,” said Landry.
Landry sees an opportunity for people, especially those living in the city, to save money and eat healthier if they grow their own vegetables and, even, raise their own chickens.
The former Badger star was inspired, in part, to start his own farm after building a chicken coop in his backyard in New Berlin.
In a state dominated by white farmers, Landry also hopes his new line of work inspires a more ethnically diverse future generation of farmers in Wisconsin.
“I want them to know that doing something different or doing something that was once looked upon as a negative for African American people, is something that is really cool," he said.
Landry, who now rises before the sun to tend to his farm, is working the land, just as hard as he worked at basketball.
“Put your all into it. It’s a marriage until death do you part. We teach that principal out here,” he said.