Marty Dahl retired Wednesday, March 31 after 52 years with the family-run business, Tri-County Feed Services. The business, which was previously run by Marty’s grandfather and father, will be taken over by Marty’s two sons. John Dahl will run the New Era location and Gered Dahl will run the Montague location.
Marty, who started working alongside his father, Kenneth Dahl when he was just 15, said that he will still be seen around the Montague location as a costumer. “I’m happy to keep the business in the family, and it is in good hands,” said Marty.
Starting his career at only 15, Marty remembers a time when he would be let out of school early to head to the family business and work. He continued to work at Tri-County Feed and in 1992, he and his father purchased the New Era location, expanding their business together.
When Kenneth retired in 1996, Marty was put in charge full-time as the owner and president of the business. Marty’s son, John, began to follow in his father’s footsteps, joining the team and being named general manager at the time.
Marty has seen a wide array of changes as he worked at the feed store. “I’ve seen a lot of people grow up, and I’ve watched their animals grow up,” said Marty. He said he’s also seen gardening projects and deer farms kick off and youth members of 4-H learn and develop.
While he wasn’t working at Tri-County Feed, Marty was known for jamming with his band, Red Eye, which is a rock n’ roll group for which Marty plays lead guitar. “I’m the only original member left in the band,” Marty said.
Red Eye plays many shows in the White Lake area, including the Jimmy’s Pub street party, right down the road from Tri-County Feed in Montague. “Originally, we used to just perform on the deck of the business,” said Marty. He plans to continue with the band, which is still performing and have played several private shows during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides playing with the band, Marty plans to spend his retirement time with family and friends. He enjoys the outdoors and hopes to spend time in his cottage. “People ask me if I plan to travel,” said Marty, “And I say: ‘We’re in Michigan, you’re going to see something new every time you open your door.”
He saw many visitors and customers during his last week at the business as they were invited with open arms by his children to give congratulations. He departs happily from the store at ease knowing that he is leaving the business in the hands of his sons as the legacy of Tri-County Feed continues.