County News Archive


Please CLICK HERE  to view the Resolutions that will be presented at our Annual Meeting on 9/23/2021.

Monroe County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
Thursday, September 23rd
Arrive between 5:00 – 5:50 PM, the meeting will start at 6:00 PM

Monroe County Fairgrounds (3775 S Custer Rd, Monroe, MI 48161)
Please enter the Fairgrounds using M-50, we will be in Parking Lot A

Seating under a tent will be provided or attendees can stay in their vehicle and listen to the meeting using their radio.  

Reservations are required by calling the the County Farm Bureau office at (734) 269-3275.  A boxed meal will be provided by Whiskey Jack’s BBQ.  This is a free event for our members and special guests. 

The meeting will include: Policy 
Resolutions, Election of Directors, Program Activity Reports and Financial Reports. We will again be collecting monetary donations to benefit a local food pantry as part of our Harvest for All program.

Board positions up for election this year include one At Large position, the Berlin-Frenchtown-Monroe District, the Bedford-Whiteford District, and the Ida-Raisinville District. Any eligible member who would like to run for one of these positions should contact the county office for more information.


Byline Here

Berrien County Farm Bureau’s June 25 membership event drew some 70 attendees to the County Sportsman’s Club in Berrien Springs for a barbecue meal, sander races and fellowship.

Marcellus-based food truck Scott’s Pig Roast provided a delicious pulled-pork and beef brisket with plenty of the traditional picnic side dishes.

During dinner members of the Berrien County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, including President Ed Kretchman, spoke about local Farm Bureau programming and emphasized the value of Farm Bureau membership.

Excitement escalated after dinner with seven members competing in double-elimination belt sander races. Officials refereeing the event include local Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Marty Rudlaff and Michigan Farm Bureau CEO Scott Piggott.

Piggott explained the race rules to the gathered crowd while Rudlaff organized contestants according to a race bracket made by Tera Baker, Berrien County’s Young Farmer co-chair. Baker also announced the races, generating excitement amongst the racers and audience members alike.

Two at a time, the sanders flew down the 48-foot track, built by board member Joshua Rick of Baroda. Rudlaff officiated the start while Piggott declared the winner as each heat crossed the finish line.

When all had taken their final run, Ed Kretchman’s “Warrior” sander was declared the winner by a long shot, besting Terry Koebel’s “Funny Farm” entry.

During dinner, tickets were distributed for voting for which sander each attendee thought would win the races and the sander with the best decoration. After the races were completed, the votes were tabulated and best-decorated honors went to Koebel’s “Funny Farm,” which featured a pig in a Farm Bureau t-shirt riding a cow “driving” the sander.

The evening rounded out with a great deal of fellowship and laughter as the bonfire was lit, the cornhole bags flew and the bounce house rocked with kids of all ages!

Berrien County Membership Event was fun for all ages!

Members looking to join the state board of directors are asked to express their candidacy in writing — email works — to MFB Secretary Andy Kok on or before the Annual Meeting Kickoff Nov. 3.
 

Ambitious Farm Bureau members looking to take their involvement game to the next level may consider contending for a seat on the MFB Board of Directors. This year’s state board election will decide who represents Farm Bureau members in Michigan’s odd-numbered districts, currently occupied by the following:

  • Dist. 1 — Brigettte Leach (Kalamazoo)
  • Dist. 3 — Mike Fusilier (Washtenaw)
  • Dist. 5 — Stephanie Schafer (Clinton)
  • Dist. 7 — Mike DeRuiter (Oceana)
  • Dist. 9 — Ben LaCross (Northwest Michigan)
  • Dist. 11 — Pat McGuire (Antrim)

Two at-large positions are also up for reelection:

  • At-Large — Andy Hagenow (Kent)
  • At-Large — Doug Darling (Monroe)

The third at-large position is occupied by President Carl Bednarski (Tuscola), who will be up for re-election next year.

Members looking to join the state board of directors are asked to express their candidacy in writing — email works — to MFB Secretary Andy Kok on or before the Annual Meeting Kickoff Nov. 3.

MFB’s State Annual Meeting Rules Committee instituted a new rule last year asking candidates for MFB director positions to provide a written statement describing how they meet the bylaw qualifications for directors, attesting that they are “directly and actively engaged in farming as owners and/or operators of farms whose primary interest is in farming” — and that they are not employed full-time in an occupation other than farming, nor serving in a county, state or national elective office.

“This move was recommended by a statewide committee several years ago,” Kok said, “to help the delegates understand how each candidate meets the ‘full-time farmer’ eligibility requirement for service on the board of directors.”

Statements will be shared with delegates prior to elections taking place.

Prospective candidates should contact Kok directly for the necessary form or more information.

Not up for reelection this year are those directors representing even-numbered districts:

  • Dist. 2 — Jennifer Lewis (Hillsdale)
  • Dist. 4 — Jeff Sandborn (Ionia)
  • Dist. 6 — Travis Fahley (St. Clair)
  • Dist. 8 — Michael Mulders (Bay)
  • Dist. 10 — Leona Daniels (Arenac)
  • Dist. 12 — David Bahrman (Hiawathaland)

Every year half of the MFB Board of Directors are up for election or re-election: even-numbered districts in even numbered years, odd-numbered districts in odd years. Two/Three at-large directors (from anywhere in the state) are also up for reelectio
Mistelle Serio

Calling all individuals looking for an opportunity to grow agricultural literacy in Ottawa County! Michigan and Ottawa County Farm Bureaus are hiring an Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Contractor. Know anyone who loves working collaboratively with passionate volunteers, educators, and youth?  Follow the link to learn more and apply!  https://jobs.mitalent.org/job-seeker/job-details/JobCode/12118552

Calling all individuals looking for an opportunity to grow agricultural literacy in Ottawa County!
Deb Holmes

Livingston County Farm Bureau will be holding their Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at the Fowlerville Family Fairgrounds, 8800 W Grand River in Fowlerville.   Registration will begin at 6:00pm with dinner being served at 6:30pm.    This event will be held outside at the Bingo Pavilion at the north end of the fairgrounds, near the historical village.

Social distancing will be practiced in that picnic tables will be spaced appropriately for diners or if attendees prefer, parking will be adjacent to the pavilion so that you may dine in your vehicle.  Dinner will consist of pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, Cole slaw and a cookie.  Bottled water will be provided for refreshment.

Horseshoes and corn hole games will be set up.  There will be some appropriate games for children that will allow for social distancing and safe play.

In order to accomplish the business of the Annual Meeting, a business meeting will be held following dinner to approve the 2020 Annual Meeting Minutes, approve the financial statements as of August 31, 2020,  to elect new directors and to review policy to be forwarded for consideration to Michigan Farm Bureau.  If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, the business materials will be made available for email as of September 2, 2021.  A ballot is also being prepared so that you may submit a vote via email.  To request these materials, please email [email protected] .  Completed ballots would need to be emailed by 4:00pm to [email protected] on September 14th to be counted in that evenings vote.

The LCFB Board of Directors thanks each of you for being a member in our organization.  We will do everything possible to make sure that the County Annual Meeting is a safe and family friendly event.  Our hope is that you will attend either in person or by reviewing the Annual Meeting materials and by submitting a ballot via email.  2021 has been a challenging year and we hope that our meeting will give members an enjoyable evening out at the fair.


Livingston County Farm Bureau will hold their Annual Meeting on September 14th. Materials will be made available via email if you cannot attend in person

Pumpkin Patch Coloring Page          Tractor Coloring Page

Please find the coloring contest pages here.  Please fill out the contact information requested at the bottom of your child's coloring page. Have your child color the picture with crayons, markers or colored pencils. Plan to bring your completed coloring page to our Fall Fest event on Saturday, September18th at Ogemaw County Fair Grounds.  If you are not able to attend, you can drop your completed pictures at your local Farm Bureau Insurance Office by September 15.   You can register to attend the District 10 Fall Fest at:  https://bit.ly/3dNJMqx


Grand prizes will be awarded in the following age groups: 
  
Birth - age 3
4-6
7-10
* Please note that all entries will receive a prize
 
Winners will be announced during dinner on the 18th
Coloring contest for District 10 Fall Fest coloring contest.

Pumpkin Patch Coloring Page         Tractor Coloring Page

Please find the coloring contest pages here.  Please fill out the contact information requested at the bottom of your child's coloring page. Have your child color the picture with crayons, markers or colored pencils. Plan to bring your completed coloring page to our Fall Fest event on Saturday, September18th at Ogemaw County Fair Grounds.  If you are not able to attend, you can drop your completed pictures at your local Farm Bureau Insurance Office by September 15.   You can register to attend the District 10 Fall Fest at:   https://bit.ly/3dNJMqx

Grand prizes will be awarded in the following age groups: 
  
Birth - age 3
4-6
7-10
* Please note that all entries will receive a prize
 
Winners will be announced during dinner on the 18th!

Coloring contest for District 10 Fall Fest
Farm News Media 

From The Field
 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced the appointments of four Michigan Farm Bureau members among those tapped for the the Michigan Beef Industry Commission and Michigan Cherry Committee.

Michigan Beef Industry Commission

Newly appointed:

  • Jennifer L. Lewis is manager and human resources director for Pleasant View Dairy near Jonesville, and treasurer of the Hillsdale County Dairy Promoters. A member of the Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, Lewis represents farmers from a five-county region on the Michigan Farm Bureau Board of Directors. She will represent dairy farmers on the Beef Commission through May 31, 2024.
  • Leon D. Knirk is the owner of LDK Farms near Quincy and a member of the Branch County Farm Bureau. He is appointed to represent cattle feeders through May 31, 2024.

Reappointed:

  • Jon Haindl is the owner and operator of Jarhian Farm near Cooks in western Schoolcraft County. A member of the Hiawathaland Farm Bureau, Haindl is reappointed to represent cattle growers through May 31, 2024.

Michigan Cherry Committee

Newly appointed:

  • Emily Miezio of Suttons Bay is the receiving station manager for Cherry Bay Orchards and a member of the Northwest Michigan Farm Bureau. Miezio will represent District 1 tart cherry growers through Feb. 1, 2024.   
  • Juliette McAvoy of Central Lake is the vice president of sales and marketing for King Orchards, Inc. She is appointed to represent District 1 tart cherry growers through Feb. 1, 2024.
Governor appoints Local Farm Bureau members to state committees.

August 25, 2021

Drive Through from 5:30 – 6:30pm and Optional Policy Review from 5:00 – 6:00pm

 

A drive-through option is available again this year.  Regular Farming Members can stop by the Huron County Fairgrounds welcome booth anytime between 5:30pm and 6:30pm and you will be given a packet and ballot.  Fill out your ballot by voting on minutes, financials, and elections, and take the ballot to the Fairgrounds Farm Bureau Building (small animal building).  Your filled-out ballot will be your ticket to a *free Fat Matt’s BBQ Food Truck meal.  *RSVP by August 20th to 989-269-9911 and your meal will be free.  *There will be a $10 charge per person if you do not RSVP.

 

Optional Policy Development Review Meeting:

If you miss the discussion & fellowship portion of the meeting, you will have an opportunity this year to review the policies set by our committee for the 2021/2022 year.  We will host an optional review period from 5:00pm to 6:00 pm at the Fairgrounds, in the Farm Bureau Building, where you can talk to our Policy Development Committee and Board of Directors about the policies being presented this year.    Ballots and meal tickets will be available at the conclusion. Please RSVP by August 20th.

2021 County Annual Meeting

Have you recently contributed to fight hunger in Michigan as a member of Michigan Farm Bureau? If so, you can be a part of this year’s Harvest for All campaign.

Created by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Harvest for All is a yearlong campaign encouraging Farm Bureau members across the country to work together to help fight hunger.

To inspire their fellow members to donate their time, produce and dollars, every year the state Young Farmer committee hosts Harvest for All, which distributes $1,000 back into local hunger-relief organizations.

This year sees some exciting changes to the contest.

The 2021 Harvest for All Contest will be tallied at the district, not county, level. The district with the highest total will win $1,000 dollars to donate to a food bank of their choice.

All 2021 calendar year donations of volunteer time, commodities, food and dollars given by members on behalf of Farm Bureau are reportable. (Activities that took place in November and December of 2020 are also accepted.)

The winning district will be recognized at the 2022 Growing Together Conference.

Contact your county Farm Bureau office by Dec. 31 to report donations and activity. The deadline for this year’s contest is December 31, however contributions should be reported to county Farm Bureau’s by December 1 to assist in timely reporting.

For more information on the contest and resources visit www.michfb.com/HarvestforAll.

Created by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Harvest for All is a yearlong campaign encouraging Farm Bureau members across the country to work together to help fight hunger.
Mistelle Serio

Please join us to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Ottawa County Farm Bureau.  Our Centennial County Annual is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21st at The Red Shed located at 5301 Barry St in Hudsonville.  We will enjoy a true farm-to-table meal and a cocktail hour, with everything being grown, raised, or produced on Ottawa County Farms.  We will also be voting on policy for 2021 and electing new members for our Board of Directors!   Watch your mailboxes in August for the formal invitation.  We hope to see you there! 

Be sure to join us September 21st as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Ottawa County Farm Bureau!
By Ken Delaney

The Butternut Ridge Beef farm at 457 Dayburg Road, Coldwater M( (courtesy of Butternut Ridge Beef)
 

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) – Butternut Ridge Beef is moving their pop-up store to its summer location at Hoff’s Family Vegetable Farm at 546 Marshall Road, just north of the Coldwater city limits, beginning today.

They’ll be at Hoff’s every Friday & Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. all summer and fall selling their 40+ cuts of locally raised, all-natural Angus beef.  More details are on their website at www.ButternutRidgeBeef.com or their Facebook page.

Hoff’s is celebrating their 67th year in business and will have the stand open for their fresh asparagus Friday as well.  They are currently open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. each day.

http://wtvbam.com/2021/05/21/149022/

Butternut Ridge Beef is moving their pop-up store to its summer location at Hoff’s Family Vegetable Farm at 546 Marshall Road, just north of the Coldwater city limits, beginning today.
By Jim Measel

BRANCH COUNTY, MI (WTVB) – While the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows most of Branch County remains in a moderate drought, conditions are getting worse in parts of southwest Michigan.

Kent, Ionia, Barry, Allegan, Van Buren and Ottawa Counties are now included in an area which is considered to be in a severe drought.

When a severe drought hits, corn and soybean yields are low, mature trees are stressed and streamflow is extremely low and potentially too low to irrigate.

Most of the Lower Peninsula is in a moderate drought while counties to the south of the Mackinaw Bridge are considered abnormally dry.

Only 66-hundredths of an inch of rain has been measured so far in May at the M.S.U. Extension Service weather station at the Bloom Dairy Far, This follows 1.55 inches of rain in April and just under two inches in March.

(Map courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor)

http://wtvbam.com/2021/05/20/six-sw-michigan-counties-now-in-a-severe-drought/

BRANCH COUNTY, MI (WTVB) – While the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows most of Branch County remains in a moderate drought, conditions are getting worse in parts of southwest Michigan.
By Jim Measel

BRANCH COUNTY, MI (WTVB) – Ten days into the merry month of May and we are still talking about frost but the weather is expected to warm up later this week.

Branch County was included in a frost advisory Monday morning. The temperature at the Branch County Memorial Airport dropped to 32 just after 6:00 a.m..

The mercury dropped to 31 degrees in Marshall and Jackson with some locations reporting fog and visibilities less than a quarter mile.

The average date for the final frost of the season in Branch County is May 15.

The National Weather Service is forecasting at least two more days of below normal temperatures with highs on Monday and Tuesday only in the mid 50s. The average high temperature for Coldwater on May 10 is 66 degrees.

Sunday was a cold, wet and miserable day with Coldwater’s high topping out at 49 degrees. The M.S.U. Extension Service weather station at the Bloom Dairy Farm measured .38 of an inch of rain on Sunday. Heavier amounts of rain stayed to the south of Branch County. Fort Wayne and some others areas of northeast Indiana measured over two inches of rain.

A gradual warm is expected late this week. Highs are expected to be in the 60s on Thursday and Friday and around 70 over the weekend.


http://wtvbam.com/2021/05/10/143356/
BRANCH COUNTY, MI (WTVB) – Ten days into the merry month of May and we are still talking about frost but the weather is expected to warm up later this week.
Genesee County Farm Bureau

Spring is in the air and its time to start thinking about shopping your favorite local greenhouse and selecting plants for the upcoming growing season.  Genesee County Farm Bureau would like to help you make the most of the upcoming growing season and will once again be offering our members vouchers to be used at local, member owned greenhouses. 

New this year Farm Bureau will be hosting in-person pop up events at each participating greenhouse location where we will be handing out the vouchers.  The events will help visitors gain tips from plant experts who will be on hand to answer any plant related question you have for the upcoming growing season.  We also are planning planting demos that will showcase container gardening and help you select the perfect plants just right to grow in your environment.

Join us at one of the following locations during the listed times to receive your greenhouse vouchers and start your growing season with us!

Walker Farms and Greenhouses 5253 E. Atherton Rd. Burton       May 11, 3-6 PM

Hall’s Greenhouse 9268 Linden Rd. Swartz Creek                             May 13, 3-6 PM

Jenny B’s Flowers and Trees 9063 N. Clio Rd. Clio                             May 17, 3-6 PM

The Weed Lady 9225 Fenton Rd. Grand Blanc                                   May 19, 3-5 PM

Rich’s Greenhouse 5109 Linden Rd. Swartz Creek                            May 20, 3-6 PM

Knickerbocker Farms 2115 E. Stanley Rd. Mt. Morris                       May 24, 3-6 PM

Ketzler Florist 3188 W. Hill Rd., Flint                                                               May 26, 4-6 PM

If you can’t attend one of the pop-up events, we will be sorry to miss you but be sure to fill out the short survey here to receive your greenhouse vouchers in the mail.

We appreciate your continued membership and involvement with Genesee County Farm Bureau and wish you a successful and safe growing season!

*Limit four $5 vouchers per membership.  Greenhouse vouchers available to the members of Genesee County Farm Bureau. 
Greenhouse vouchers are redeemable thru June 7, 2021 at participating greenhouse locations.

Join Genesee County Farm Bureau at area greenhouse locations for pop up events which include plant experts on hand and planting demonstrations. Members of Genesee County Farm Bureau will receive $5 greenhouse vouchers to spend at listed locations.

Continuing our series of real talk with real experts about the real issues facing Michigan farmers, Farmers After Hours: Rural Access, Wellness and You will explore the struggles and resources available for rural healthcare, wellness and support. By breaking down the building blocks of overall health — medical healthcare, rural health trends and mental health — this series will help viewers build awareness of their current health habits and connect with resources to improve their overall well-being.

  • March 17: Live Farmer Panel
  • March 24: Rural Access: The Struggle is Real; healthcare & broadband; Eric Frederick, Connect Michigan
  • March 31: Creating Connectivity: Resources for Rural Areas; healthcare & broadband; The Rural Broadband Association and Rural Health Association
  • April 7: Rural Health Trends; mental health, suicide and cancer; Drs. Elena Stoffel and Joe Himle, University of Michigan
  • April 14: Rural Trends: Diffusion and Meaningful Solutions; mental health, suicide and cancer; Kim Vapor and Dr. Joe Himle, University of Michigan
  • April 21: Farm Stress: The Physical and Mental Toll; real-life stressors, tolls and stigma reduction; Charlotte Halverson, AgriSafe
  • April 28: Combating Stress: Tactics, Resources and Networks; Eric Karbowski, MSU Extension
  • May 5: Live Ask-the-Expert Panel

Register for the new Farmers After Hours series here. Catch up on previous series here on YouTube.

MFB staff contact: Kate Thiel517-679-5741


Continuing our series of real talk with real experts about the real issues facing Michigan farmers, Farmers After Hours: Rural Access, Wellness and You will explore the struggles and resources available for rural healthcare, wellness and support.
Farm News Media

Purdue University reports 38 grain entrapments in 2019 representing a 26.7% increase over 2018. With over two-thirds of U.S. grain storage capacity currently being on farms which are exempt from OSHA injury reporting requirements, the authors of the Perdue report note that, “the summary almost certainly does not reflect all grain-related entrapments, fatal or non-fatal, that have occurred.” | Photo by Pierre Fire Department

This week has been designated “Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week” by the Alliance, a collaboration of OSHA and agricultural industry groups, to provide a collective industry focus on, and commitment to grain safety.

Originally launched in 2017 as a regional initiative between OSHA and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society, the safety stand up has since expanded to a nationwide program effort involving OSHA National Grain and Feed Association, Grain Handling Safety Council.

According to the Alliance, a Safety Stand Up is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to workers about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-up by taking a break to focus on hazards found in the work environment and reinforcing the importance of safety.

It is an opportunity for employers to have a conversation with workers about job hazards they face, hazard prevention and protection, and the company’s safety policies and goals. It’s also an opportunity for workers to talk to management and provide input about hazards they see at work.

Grain-bin incidents on the rise

Numbers from a Purdue University Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department 2019 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities show a disturbing trend, including two grain bin entrapments with one fatality in Michigan:

  • No fewer than 67 fatal and non-fatal cases involving all types of agricultural confined spaces were documented in 2019, representing a 9.8% increase over 2018.

  • There were 38 grain entrapments in 2019 representing a 26.7% increase over 2018.

  • 56.7% of all cases documented involved grain-related entrapments as compared to other cases involving falls, entanglements, and asphyxiations in all types of agricultural confined spaces.

  • All documented cases involved males.

  • 58.2% (39) of 2019 cases were fatal compared to 61% historically.

  • Eight cases in 2019 involved a youth under the age of 21, of which five involved manure handling or storage.

  • The number of agricultural confined space-related fatalities documented exceeded the number of mining-related fatalities in 2019 (39 versus 24).

    The 38 fatal- and non-fatal grain entrapment cases documented in 2019 represented a 26.7% increase from the 30 recorded in 2018 and it was were substantially higher than the 5-year average of 28.8 cases/year, making 2019 incidents the highest of the past four years.

    Nevertheless, the five-year running average continues to drop from its peak of 40.4 in 2011, according to the Purdue report. The number of non-fatal grain entrapment cases (15) was the fifth largest ever recorded after 2010 (27), 2011 (21), 2013 (21), and 2014 (20). Of the total number of reported entrapment cases, 61% resulted in a fatality, a rate higher than the five-year average.

    With over two-thirds of U.S. grain storage capacity currently being on farms, which are exempt from OSHA injury reporting requirements, the authors of the Perdue report note, “The summary almost certainly does not reflect all grain-related entrapments, fatal or non-fatal, that have occurred.”

    Visit the Stand Up 4 Grain Safety website for more information on how you can conduct an on-site Safety Stand Up, and for additional resources, including a series of webinars all week.

This week has been designated “Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week” by the Alliance, a collaboration of OSHA and agricultural industry groups, to provide a collective industry focus on, and commitment to grain safety.

Please join us on the April 18th showings of Silo the Movie at Celebration Cinema on Edgewood in Lansing.   Eaton County Farm Bureau has joined with Ingham County Farm Bureau to offer this film about grain entrapment to our Regular members, their friends and local first responders.  There are two showings available, 1 pm or 3 pm, with a limit of 100 people per showing.  The showings are free and include a free popcorn and a pop.  In order to attend this event, please RSVP to Kathy at 517-543-5567 and leave a message with your name, the number attending, the preferred showtime and phone number to reach you.  You may also email [email protected] with Silo the Movie in the subject line and the same information.  We look forward to provide this event to our members!
Showings of Silo the movie about grain entrapment at Celebration Cinema, April 18th

Farm News Media


The case was found through routine surveillance testing required by the state’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is Michigan’s 81st cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB since 1998. | Photo by The Guardian

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting another case of confirmed bovine tuberculosis in a Cheboygan County beef herd, located in Michigan’s Accredited Free Zone (AFZ).

The case was found through routine surveillance testing, as required by the state’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture. This is Michigan’s 81st cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB since 1998.

“As with all new findings of this disease in a cattle herd, additional testing will be done in the herd, and an epidemiologic investigation has been started to rule out the possibility of additional cases stemming from the affected herd,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM.

A key part of the investigation, says Wineland, will be whole genome sequencing, a comprehensive analysis of DNA from the TB bacteria found within this sample.

“This analysis will help to determine the source of the infection,” Wineland said, adding that it may take three months for the genome sequencing to be completed.

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. It is known to be present in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population in specific areas of northeastern lower Michigan, and the disease can be transmitted between deer and cattle.

As a result, there are currently two TB zones within the state: a four-county area in northern lower Michigan called the Modified Accredited Zone; the remainder of the state is referred to as the Accredited Free Zone.

Although Cheboygan County is a part of the AFZ, it is also categorized as a buffer county, which is a county adjacent to the four counties of the MAZ (Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties). As required by the Memorandum of Understanding, MDARD has been testing herds in buffer counties over the past year. This herd was identified as part of that surveillance program.

This is the first recorded case of a bovine TB-positive cattle herd in Cheboygan County; however, the disease was detected in two free-ranging white-tailed deer from the county in 2010.

While state and federal agencies are taking significant steps to manage the disease, the continued hunting of deer in this area is an important tool in maintaining healthy deer and cattle populations.

More information about bovine TB can be found at Michigan.gov/bovineTB.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting another case of confirmed bovine tuberculosis in a Cheboygan County beef herd, located in Michigan’s Accredited Free Zone (AFZ).
Farm News Media

The case was found through routine surveillance testing required by the state’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is Michigan’s 81st cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB since 1998. | Photo by The Guardian

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting another case of confirmed bovine tuberculosis in a Cheboygan County beef herd, located in Michigan’s Accredited Free Zone (AFZ).

The case was found through routine surveillance testing, as required by the state’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture. This is Michigan’s 81st cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB since 1998.

“As with all new findings of this disease in a cattle herd, additional testing will be done in the herd, and an epidemiologic investigation has been started to rule out the possibility of additional cases stemming from the affected herd,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM.

A key part of the investigation, says Wineland, will be whole genome sequencing, a comprehensive analysis of DNA from the TB bacteria found within this sample.

“This analysis will help to determine the source of the infection,” Wineland said, adding that it may take three months for the genome sequencing to be completed.

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. It is known to be present in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population in specific areas of northeastern lower Michigan, and the disease can be transmitted between deer and cattle.

As a result, there are currently two TB zones within the state: a four-county area in northern lower Michigan called the Modified Accredited Zone; the remainder of the state is referred to as the Accredited Free Zone.

Although Cheboygan County is a part of the AFZ, it is also categorized as a buffer county, which is a county adjacent to the four counties of the MAZ (Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties). As required by the Memorandum of Understanding, MDARD has been testing herds in buffer counties over the past year. This herd was identified as part of that surveillance program.

This is the first recorded case of a bovine TB-positive cattle herd in Cheboygan County; however, the disease was detected in two free-ranging white-tailed deer from the county in 2010.

While state and federal agencies are taking significant steps to manage the disease, the continued hunting of deer in this area is an important tool in maintaining healthy deer and cattle populations.

More information about bovine TB can be found at Michigan.gov/bovineTB.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting another case of confirmed bovine tuberculosis in a Cheboygan County beef herd, located in Michigan’s Accredited Free Zone (AFZ).

Farm News Media


The case was found through routine surveillance testing required by the state's current Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  This is Michigan's 81st cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB since 1998.  Photo by The Guardian.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting another case of confirmed bovine tuberculosis in a Cheboygan County beef herd, located in Michigan’s Accredited Free Zone (AFZ).

The case was found through routine surveillance testing, as required by the state’s current Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture. This is Michigan’s 81st cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB since 1998.

“As with all new findings of this disease in a cattle herd, additional testing will be done in the herd, and an epidemiologic investigation has been started to rule out the possibility of additional cases stemming from the affected herd,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM.

A key part of the investigation, says Wineland, will be whole genome sequencing, a comprehensive analysis of DNA from the TB bacteria found within this sample.

“This analysis will help to determine the source of the infection,” Wineland said, adding that it may take three months for the genome sequencing to be completed.

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. It is known to be present in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population in specific areas of northeastern lower Michigan, and the disease can be transmitted between deer and cattle.

As a result, there are currently two TB zones within the state: a four-county area in northern lower Michigan called the Modified Accredited Zone; the remainder of the state is referred to as the Accredited Free Zone.

Although Cheboygan County is a part of the AFZ, it is also categorized as a buffer county, which is a county adjacent to the four counties of the MAZ (Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties). As required by the Memorandum of Understanding, MDARD has been testing herds in buffer counties over the past year. This herd was identified as part of that surveillance program.

This is the first recorded case of a bovine TB-positive cattle herd in Cheboygan County; however, the disease was detected in two free-ranging white-tailed deer from the county in 2010.

While state and federal agencies are taking significant steps to manage the disease, the continued hunting of deer in this area is an important tool in maintaining healthy deer and cattle populations.

More information about bovine TB can be found at Michigan.gov/bovineTB.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reporting another case of confirmed bovine tuberculosis in a Cheboygan County beef herd, located in Michigan’s Accredited Free Zone (AFZ).
Jeremy C. Nagel, Michigan Farm Bureau
Top - Kayla Lewis
Bottom - Nathan McGuire

Eleven county Farm Bureaus start the New Year with new leadership in place, and it’s Farm Gate’s pleasure to introduce them in small batches. This time let’s meet the new presidents in neighboring Hillsdale and Antrim counties.

Hillsdale County  

Kayla Lewis succeeds Stuart Welden as president of the Hillsdale County Farm Bureau. She works at Pleasant View farm, the dairy and beef operation outside Jonesville operated by her husband’s family.

“Once in a while I help out with the calves when I’m needed,” but for the most part she’s content to be part of Pleasant View’s payroll team alongside her mother-in-law, MFB Dist. 2 Director Jennifer Lewis.

Originally from Ionia County, Kayla grew up on a beef and crop farm outside Lyons, showing cattle in 4-H and FFA. While attending Michigan State University she worked on dairy farms and vet clinics. It’s also when she met Adam; they married in 2012 and have two little ones, Jace & Aubree.

“I’ve kinda always been part of Farm Bureau, but not always to this extent,” Kayla said. “Adam and I went to a member involvement event the county hosted and signed up then.”

She was active in Hillsdale County’s communications program (county newsletter) before being asked to serve on the board of directors.

“That’s when I really started to get involved with Young Farmer events, then vice president and now president. I’ve also been our county annual chair for the past two or three years.

“I really do enjoy it. We’ve got a great board of directors who are very helpful.”

As hard as it’s been for county Farm Bureau leaders to plan events through the pandemic, Lewis said Hillsdale has had good luck with continued member involvement in spite of safety precautions.

“It’s been tough to figure out a way around COVID and still be active,” she said, adding that her Promotion & Education team is working on creating and distributing video versions of their Ag in the Classroom lessons that teachers can slot into their curriculum when it’s convenient.

This summer she’s also hoping for the flexibility to hold a family-friendly member picnic, if only to celebrate the ability to do so.

“We’d love to just get people together to chit-chat — no business — just get people together and socialized.”

Antrim County

Nathan McGuire steps up to lead the Antrim County Farm Bureau, taking over from dairyman Jarris Rubingh. McGuire raises fruit and grains with his uncle, MFB Dist. 11 Director Pat McGuire. Royal Farms comprises some 900 acres of apples, cherries, apricots and grain production west of Ellsworth. The operation also includes a busy roadside market with a wine and cider tasting room managed by Nate’s wife Chelsea.

After being persuaded into taking part in his district discussion meet — which he ended up winning — McGuire competed at the state level in 2014. His Farm Bureau involvement ramped up during his years at Michigan State University. By his senior year he was president of MSU’s then-new Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter and had represented Michigan at the national-level Collegiate Discussion Meet at AFBF in Nashville.

Back home after graduation, county Farm Bureau leader Greg Shooks encouraged him to join Antrim’s board and its Young Farmer group. After chairing Antrim’s Young Farmers more than five years, he was ready for his new challenge.

“I had some pretty strong opinions on some changes we could make,” McGuire said, starting with bridging a gap he saw materializing between Antrim’s leadership and members. “My number-one goal is revamping the board. We’ve had people on board who’ve been there a long time and were ready to step away. I’ve gotten three new people on the board at this point and we’re starting to learn how to work together. The biggest thing right now is better understanding how each other works.”

Next on Nate’s agenda is reconnecting with more members in Antrim County’s southern townships, where member involvement has flagged after years of north-county dominance.

Eleven county Farm Bureaus start the New Year with new leadership in place, and it's Farm Gate’s pleasure to introduce them in small batches. This time let’s meet the new presidents in neighboring Hillsdale and Antrim counties.
Michigan Farm Bureau

In a Dec. 3 message to county Farm Bureau leaders, MFB President Carl Bednarski broke the bad — but not surprising — news that the organization’s winter 2021 Core Programs were canceled to safeguard the health and well-being of members and staff alike. Using feedback collected by the MFB State Board of Directors over the past month, the following alternative structure has been approved for 2021.

In lieu of traditional Core Programs (Growing Together, Lansing Legislative Seminar and President’s Capital Summit) those dollars will be used to fund in-person or virtual district-level programming, structured at each district’s discretion and meeting at least one of these objectives:

  • Improve the effectiveness of county Farm Bureau boards, provide concentrated leadership development to county leaders and build organizational discipline.

  • Provide resources, training and leadership development for county Membership, Promotion and Education and Young Farmer chairs. 

  • Enhance member relationship building with state and federal officials while building their issue knowledge and advocacy skills. 

  • Build collaborative relationships amongst counties and districts through idea sharing, networking and best practice brainstorming. 

  • Host a hands-on Young Farmer leadership development activity in the form of district Discussion Meets, emphasizing need for and support of the MFB membership pipeline.

    With the help of home office staff, the meeting(s) will be hosted and coordinated by key leaders of the district including district directors, county Farm Bureau presidents, state P&E and Young Farmer committee members and MFB Regional Managers.

    All events or programming must be conducted before Nov. 1, 2021. Each district will have a budget of $12,500 to use toward their district event(s) to cover location, meals, speakers, programing, etc. Core Program staff will set up a system to ensure the events meet the meeting criteria and will streamline the survey and reporting process to ensure we have good feedback to gauge member satisfaction to this alternate format.

    In addition to these district meetings/programming, MFB will hold a series of virtual sessions/training, meeting the above objectives, that members can participate in at no charge. More information will be forthcoming regarding topics and dates.

    MFB program areas that traditionally deliver Core Programs will work with corresponding state committees (if applicable) to provide county-customizable resources and templates to execute local virtual and in-person programming during the continued uncertainty of 2021. 

    MFB staff contact: Justin Hein, 517-679-4781

In a Dec. 3 message to county Farm Bureau leaders, MFB President Carl Bednarski broke the news that the organization’s winter 2021 Core Programs were canceled to safeguard the health and well-being of members and staff alike.

Members and their dependents may apply for the Ionia County Farm Bureau $500 Scholarship due March 1, 2021.
Applications due March 1st
Michigan Farm Bureau

In a Dec. 3 message to county Farm Bureau leaders, MFB President Carl Bednarski broke the bad — but not surprising — news that the organization’s winter 2021 Core Programs were canceled to safeguard the health and well-being of members and staff alike. Using feedback collected by the MFB State Board of Directors over the past month, the following alternative structure has been approved for 2021.

In lieu of traditional Core Programs (Growing Together, Lansing Legislative Seminar and President’s Capital Summit) those dollars will be used to fund in-person or virtual district-level programming, structured at each district’s discretion and meeting at least one of these objectives:

  • Improve the effectiveness of county Farm Bureau boards, provide concentrated leadership development to county leaders and build organizational discipline.

  • Provide resources, training and leadership development for county Membership, Promotion and Education and Young Farmer chairs. 

  • Enhance member relationship building with state and federal officials while building their issue knowledge and advocacy skills. 

  • Build collaborative relationships amongst counties and districts through idea sharing, networking and best practice brainstorming. 

  • Host a hands-on Young Farmer leadership development activity in the form of district Discussion Meets, emphasizing need for and support of the MFB membership pipeline.

    With the help of home office staff, the meeting(s) will be hosted and coordinated by key leaders of the district including district directors, county Farm Bureau presidents, state P&E and Young Farmer committee members and MFB Regional Managers.

    All events or programming must be conducted before Nov. 1, 2021. Each district will have a budget of $12,500 to use toward their district event(s) to cover location, meals, speakers, programing, etc. Core Program staff will set up a system to ensure the events meet the meeting criteria and will streamline the survey and reporting process to ensure we have good feedback to gauge member satisfaction to this alternate format.

    In addition to these district meetings/programming, MFB will hold a series of virtual sessions/training, meeting the above objectives, that members can participate in at no charge. More information will be forthcoming regarding topics and dates.

    MFB program areas that traditionally deliver Core Programs will work with corresponding state committees (if applicable) to provide county-customizable resources and templates to execute local virtual and in-person programming during the continued uncertainty of 2021. 

    MFB staff contact: Justin Hein, 517-679-4781

In a Dec. 3 message to county Farm Bureau leaders, MFB President Carl Bednarski broke the news that the organization’s winter 2021 Core Programs were canceled to safeguard the health and well-being of members and staff alike.
Byline Here

Barry County Farm Bureau sent Farm Crate Boxes to Fourth Grade Classrooms across Barry County.  We focused on 4th Grade, since they were unable to participate in Ag. Awareness Day this past spring.  

The boxes focus on the Christmas season including Michigan sugar, forestry and Christmas trees.  We hope the students enjoy the boxes and learn something new about Michigan agriculture.    
Michigan Farm Bureau

As of Nov. 20, Michigan is at less than 50% of its deer TB testing quota required in a USDA/MDARD agreement. Failure to meet the testing quota could prompt USDA to reevaluate Michigan’s TB status, leading to additional testing requirements statewide of the state’s beef and dairy herds. (Photo, MDNR) 

Deer hunters in a dozen northern Lower Peninsula counties are urged to turn in the heads of harvested deer to an MDNR check station or drop box for bovine tuberculosis testing this hunting season. If testing quotas aren’t met by year’s end, the USDA could reevaluate the entire state’s TB status, imperiling Michigan’s beef and dairy farmers. 

“The new memorandum of understanding between USDA and Michigan requires a significant number of deer heads to be turned in for TB testing in the Modified Accredited Zone and surrounding counties,” said Ernie Birchmeier, MFB’s dairy and livestock specialist. “It is imperative that we all collaborate to achieve those goals.

“Failure to meet the requirements could cause USDA to reevaluate the TB status of the entire state of Michigan. Lowering the state’s status could lead to additional testing requirements statewide, which would be a significant challenge for our beef and dairy farmers.”

While more than 2,000 animals across the Northeastern region of the state had been tested as of Nov. 20 (current numbers are available online), it's significantly under the MOU testing requirements.

Per the MOU, signed this past February, MDNR is required to conduct active surveillance for bovine TB in free-ranging white-tailed deer. Michigan’s Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ), which includes Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties, is required to test 2,800 deer annually. 

As of Nov. 20, only 1,220 deer — just 43.6% of the number required — had been tested collectively in the MAZ.

New annual testing quotas are also required for the seven counties surrounding the MAZ including 500 free-ranging deer in Presque Isle County, and 300 each in Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Otsego and Roscommon for a combined total of 2,300 deer. 

Thus far only 798 deer had been tested in those counties — less than 35% of the number required in the USDA/MDARD agreement.

“It’s imperative we hit those testing quota numbers,” Birchmeier said. “Harvesting a large number of deer and getting the heads tested for TB can help reduce the overall population in areas that have a significant number of deer and we can help to prove to USDA that we are containing the disease and working to eliminate it.”

“Sixty percent of deer that test positive show no signs of the disease, so testing is important,” said Emily Sewell, DNR wildlife health specialist. “It’s important that hunters take precautions like wearing latex or rubber gloves when field dressing. If they notice any lesions on the lungs or in the chest cavity, they should avoid cutting into the lesions and bring the deer to a check station.” 

Check station and drop box locations are listed below and online at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck

For more information visit Michigan.gov/BovineTB or contact Sewell or Birchmeier directly.

DNR Drop Box Locations

  • Alanson — Oden Hatchery Visitor Center; 24-hour drop box; 3377 Oden Road, Alanson; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031

  • Alpena Field Office — check station, 24-hour drop box; 4343 M-32 West, Alpena; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Atlanta Field Office — check Station, 24-hour drop box; 13501 M-33, Atlanta; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Cheboygan Field Office — 24-hour drop box120 A Street, Cheboygan; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031

  • Curran BP Gas Station — check station; M-65 & M-72, Curran; 989-348-6371 ext. 7477

  • East Tawas State Harbor Dock — check station; 113 Newman St., Hwy. US-23, East Tawas; 989-275-5151 ext. 2039

  • Gaylord Customer Service Center — check station, 24-hour drop box; 1732 West M-32, Gaylord; 989-732-3541

  • Grayling Field Office — check station, 24-hour drop box; 1955 Hartwick Pines Road, Grayling; 989-348-6371 ext. 7477

  • Hale — Alward’s Market, 118 S. Washington St., Hale; 989-728-2315

  • Hillman BP Gas Station — 24-hour drop box; 27400 M-32 West, Hillman; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Indian River Field Office — 24-hour drop box; 6984 Wilson Road, Indian River; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031

  • Lincoln Field Office — check station; 408 Main Street, Lincoln; 989-736-8336

  • Lupton — Rifle River Recreation Area; check station; 2550 E. Rose City Road, Lupton; 989-473-2258

  • Mio DNR Field Office — check station, 24-hour drop box; 191 S. Mt. Tom Road, Mio; 989-275-5151 ext. 2722030

  • Onaway Check Station — Tom’s IGA, 20597 State St., Onaway; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Posen Check Station — behind Huron Oil Co., 10941 Michigan Ave., Posen; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Rogers City — Adrian’s Sport Shop; 24-hour drop box; 335 N. Bradley Hwy., Rogers City,
     989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Roscommon Customer Service Center — check station, 24-hour drop box; 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon; 989-275-5151 ext. 2722039

  • West Branch Field Office — check station; 410 N. Fairview Road, West Branch; 989-345-0472

Deer hunters in a dozen northern Lower Peninsula counties are urged to turn in the heads of harvested deer to an MDNR check station or drop box for bovine tuberculosis testing this hunting season.
Michigan Farm Bureau

As of Nov. 20, Michigan is at less than 50% of its deer TB testing quota required in a USDA/MDARD agreement. Failure to meet the testing quota could prompt USDA to reevaluate Michigan’s TB status, leading to additional testing requirements statewide of the state’s beef and dairy herds. (Photo, MDNR) 

Deer hunters in a dozen northern Lower Peninsula counties are urged to turn in the heads of harvested deer to an MDNR check station or drop box for bovine tuberculosis testing this hunting season. If testing quotas aren’t met by year’s end, the USDA could reevaluate the entire state’s TB status, imperiling Michigan’s beef and dairy farmers. 

“The new memorandum of understanding between USDA and Michigan requires a significant number of deer heads to be turned in for TB testing in the Modified Accredited Zone and surrounding counties,” said Ernie Birchmeier, MFB’s dairy and livestock specialist. “It is imperative that we all collaborate to achieve those goals.

“Failure to meet the requirements could cause USDA to reevaluate the TB status of the entire state of Michigan. Lowering the state’s status could lead to additional testing requirements statewide, which would be a significant challenge for our beef and dairy farmers.”

While more than 2,000 animals across the Northeastern region of the state had been tested as of Nov. 20 (current numbers are available online), it's significantly under the MOU testing requirements.

Per the MOU, signed this past February, MDNR is required to conduct active surveillance for bovine TB in free-ranging white-tailed deer. Michigan’s Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ), which includes Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties, is required to test 2,800 deer annually. 

As of Nov. 20, only 1,220 deer — just 43.6% of the number required — had been tested collectively in the MAZ.

New annual testing quotas are also required for the seven counties surrounding the MAZ including 500 free-ranging deer in Presque Isle County, and 300 each in Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Otsego and Roscommon for a combined total of 2,300 deer. 

Thus far only 798 deer had been tested in those counties — less than 35% of the number required in the USDA/MDARD agreement.

“It’s imperative we hit those testing quota numbers,” Birchmeier said. “Harvesting a large number of deer and getting the heads tested for TB can help reduce the overall population in areas that have a significant number of deer and we can help to prove to USDA that we are containing the disease and working to eliminate it.”

“Sixty percent of deer that test positive show no signs of the disease, so testing is important,” said Emily Sewell, DNR wildlife health specialist. “It’s important that hunters take precautions like wearing latex or rubber gloves when field dressing. If they notice any lesions on the lungs or in the chest cavity, they should avoid cutting into the lesions and bring the deer to a check station.” 

Check station and drop box locations are listed below and online at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck

For more information visit Michigan.gov/BovineTB or contact Sewell or Birchmeier directly.

DNR Drop Box Locations

  • Alanson — Oden Hatchery Visitor Center; 24-hour drop box; 3377 Oden Road, Alanson; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031

  • Alpena Field Office — check station, 24-hour drop box; 4343 M-32 West, Alpena; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Atlanta Field Office — check Station, 24-hour drop box; 13501 M-33, Atlanta; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Cheboygan Field Office — 24-hour drop box120 A Street, Cheboygan; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031

  • Curran BP Gas Station — check station; M-65 & M-72, Curran; 989-348-6371 ext. 7477

  • East Tawas State Harbor Dock — check station; 113 Newman St., Hwy. US-23, East Tawas; 989-275-5151 ext. 2039

  • Gaylord Customer Service Center — check station, 24-hour drop box; 1732 West M-32, Gaylord; 989-732-3541

  • Grayling Field Office — check station, 24-hour drop box; 1955 Hartwick Pines Road, Grayling; 989-348-6371 ext. 7477

  • Hale — Alward’s Market, 118 S. Washington St., Hale; 989-728-2315

  • Hillman BP Gas Station — 24-hour drop box; 27400 M-32 West, Hillman; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Indian River Field Office — 24-hour drop box; 6984 Wilson Road, Indian River; 989-732-3541 ext. 5031

  • Lincoln Field Office — check station; 408 Main Street, Lincoln; 989-736-8336

  • Lupton — Rifle River Recreation Area; check station; 2550 E. Rose City Road, Lupton; 989-473-2258

  • Mio DNR Field Office — check station, 24-hour drop box; 191 S. Mt. Tom Road, Mio; 989-275-5151 ext. 2722030

  • Onaway Check Station — Tom’s IGA, 20597 State St., Onaway; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Posen Check Station — behind Huron Oil Co., 10941 Michigan Ave., Posen; 989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Rogers City — Adrian’s Sport Shop; 24-hour drop box; 335 N. Bradley Hwy., Rogers City,
     989-785-4251 ext. 5233

  • Roscommon Customer Service Center — check station, 24-hour drop box; 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon; 989-275-5151 ext. 2722039

  • West Branch Field Office — check station; 410 N. Fairview Road, West Branch; 989-345-0472

Deer hunters in a dozen northern Lower Peninsula counties are urged to turn in the heads of harvested deer to an MDNR check station or drop box for bovine tuberculosis testing this hunting season.



MFB Board Member Mike Fusilier presents Washtenaw County member Katelyn Packard with the 2020 Young Farmer Ag Leader Award at the Dist. 3 policy meeting Nov. 11.


District policy meetings got underway Nov. 9 as county Farm Bureau delegates statewide met for regional discussions about new and amended policy recommendations on the docket for Michigan Farm Bureau’s hybrid-virtual 2020 State Annual Meeting, Dec. 2. Regional meetings took place in 10 out of 12 Farm Bureau districts across both peninsulas.

District 10 

In the northeastern Lower Peninsula, District 10 was first out of the gates, meeting in the morning of Nov. 9.

Leona Daniels was reelected district director and we had good discussion,” reports Northeastern Regional Manager Sonya Novotny. “I believe we’ll have some amendments come through from our district and they are working on those before the November deadline.

Eldon Barclay, our state PD representative, did a wonderful job presenting policy and leading the policy discussion.”

District 1

In the opposite corner of the Lower Peninsula, District 1 met that same evening with 50 members gathered for food, fellowship, recognition and policy discussion.

“The event went very well,” reported Southwest Regional Manager Sarah Pion. “State Farm Bureau leaders Brigette LeachJulie Stephenson and Mitch Kline all did a great job at presenting our county members with their awards and recognition.”

On the recognition agenda were MFB Educator of the Year Steve Rigoni and state Young Farmer Employee Award winner Tera Baker, as well as State Young Farmer Award finalists Riley Brazo and Andy Heinitz.

“State Policy Development Committee members Cliff Lipscomb and Melissa Morlock were very effective at presenting this year’s proposed policy resolutions and walking through the issue ideas with our delegates and facilitating the policy discussion.”

Delegates in the southwest discussed the ongoing meat processing and packing issue, as well as bovine tuberculosis and state road funding.

District 5

District 5 delegates met in Owosso Nov. 10.

“It was nice to get out of the house, see other Farm Bureau members and talk about current issues, said Ingham County member Don Vickers.

Central Regional Manager Hannah Lange said District 5 delegates also welcomed a special guest, MFB President Carl Bednarski, who dropped in to share his thoughts on the importance of continuing business through a crisis.

District 3

District 3 met in Howell Nov. 11 to start working through its policy agenda and recognize state-level Young Farmer Ag Leader Award winner, Washtenaw County member Katelyn Packard.

Delegates from across the southeast confabbed on a wide range of policy matters: utility wire placement, urban and legislative outreach, the Michigan Ag Council Ag Ambassador program, mandatory vaccinations and the tax implications for pandemic-forced home-schooling.

District 7

Farm Bureau members from across District 7 convened Nov. 11 in Reed City.

“We have a great group of both new and experienced members,” said West-Central Regional Manager Bridget Moore. “Everyone had great attitudes and were excited to still be able to come together and focus on policy.

“The motto of the night was ‘making lemonade out of lemons.’ Our members did a great job of that and are looking forward to live discussion on Dec 2.”

District 9

Northwestern Regional Manager Nicole Jennings reports District 9’s Nov. 11 meeting in Cadillac saw exceptional engagement from several first-time delegates just getting their policy-development sea legs.

“For our first-timers, much of this process was very new,” Jennings said, “but our state-annual veterans stepped into their leadership roles to help the newer attendees understand and take part in this process.

“Even as we faced the challenges of 2020, member involvement in the policy development process has remained strong. Thorough discussion led by the members and for the members, as it has been and should be.”

~

Farm Bureau members also met last week in Districts 6, 8, 11 and 12. Regional meetings wrap up Nov. 19, with sessions that day in Districts 2 and 4.

District policy meetings got underway Nov. 9 as county Farm Bureau delegates statewide met for regional discussions about new and amended policy recommendations on the docket for Michigan Farm Bureau’s hybrid-virtual 2020 State Annual Meeting, Dec. 2
Michigan Farm Bureau

Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski, in delivering his annual address to the organization's membership virtually, focused on several wins for agriculture, the challenge of COVID-19, the work of the MFB Family of Companies to provide for those in need during the pandemic, and finally, the election. (Photo by Michigan Farm News)

LANSING MI, Nov. 4, 2020 — Despite several major challenges in 2020, headlined by fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski, a Tuscola County farmer, urged Farm Bureau members to recognize the economic turnaround in major commodity markets, setting the stage for a better 2021.

Delivering his annual address virtually on Nov. 4, during the opening session of the organization's virtual 101st state annual meeting — themed “Building for the Future,” Bednarski commended members for their ingenuity and creativity as county Farm Bureau leaders and as farmers.

“Our lives changed; the world changed,” Bednarski said regarding COVID-19. “There was panic, and people were scared. But agriculture knew we needed to continue what we do best — produce food.”

Bednarski focused on several wins for agriculture amid the challenges of COVID-19, noting the organization’s focus and success in reversing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order issued in early April, effectively shutting down greenhouses, nurseries, and landscapers. 

“The timing could not have been worse,” Bednarski said. “With product ready to be shipped to consumers, why didn’t (Gov. Whitmer) at least give growers the option to show they could abide by the rules?”  

Bednarski said more than 56,000 responses were generated from an MFB-issued Action Alert to members, adding the response was 33 times bigger than any previous alerts issued by the organization. 

“We were able to call out the flaws in the EO and make accommodations for producers to sell their products and get back to work in the fields,” Bednarski said. “I was extremely proud of our members for how they handled this issue. It showed the strength and unity in agriculture and the role Farm Bureau played.” 

Bednarski said the organization was called upon to assist members and their employees in their legal challenge to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services mandated testing requirement of farmworkers, citing civil rights and discrimination concerns.

“Even though farmers and farmworkers knew they faced an uphill battle, and ultimately lost their case, they knew this organization stood behind them in their efforts,” Bednarski said. “It’s another great example of how your organization is constantly working for you and for Michigan agriculture.”

MFB also assisted members in June to take legal action challenging the new National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit issued by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy that, according to Bednarski, “largely ignores livestock industry recommendations and the most basic agronomic standards.”

“The potential implications of EGLE’s unrealistic permit requirements is just the first step toward more overly-burdensome regulations impacting all of Michigan agriculture — livestock and crop operations alike,” Bednarski said. “Regardless of farm size and regardless of whether we’re talking manure or commercial fertilizers, the threat is real.”

On the economic front, Bednarski acknowledged the “tough spot” farmers were put in due to retaliatory tariffs during intense trade negotiations with China and the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but commended the Trump administration’s support of agriculture throughout process. 

“It was a breath of fresh air to hear President Trump make agriculture a priority during trade negotiations with China, Japan, Canada, Mexico and now the European Union,” Bednarksi said. “Those of us in agriculture recognized the game that was being played — we had seen it before.” 

As a result of those tough negotiations and the new Phase-1 trade deal signed last January, Bednarski predicted better days ahead for producers, with China making record purchases of U.S. corn and soybeans, which are reflected in the markets during fall-harvest.

With his annual address coming just a day after arguably one of the most contentious and controversial elections in recent memory, Bednarski commended the work of County Candidate Evaluation Committees for recommending “Friends of Agriculture” endorsements to MFB’s AgriPac. 

“Yesterday’s results at polls reflect on successes and change,” Bednarski said. “Amid a volatile election cycle, many of Michigan Farm Bureau’s AgriPac-endorsed Friends of Agriculture proved victorious in their general election races — including several hard-fought and highly contested races.  

“Unfortunately, it appears we’ll have to wait a few more days before we know if President Trump will continue to be there for our farmers, as he has been throughout the last four years,” he added.

Calling it a memorable election for agriculture, Bednarksi thanked members for their efforts to meet with candidates on their farms to understand the needs of farmers and rural communities, noting their efforts will need to continue.

“As final official election results are determined, Michigan agriculture will face additional challenges and opportunities to assist those newly elected officials to understand agriculture’s concerns and the impact of their future policy decisions,” Bednarski said.

In addition to assisting farmer members navigate the challenges of a pandemic, he said the Farm Bureau Family of Companies staff, insurance agents and members stepped up to help those in need in a big way, including the “We’re in This Together” initiative to support local restaurants, and the “Million Meals Challenge.”

“Together, in a one-week campaign, Farm Bureau agents, members, insureds and staff raised more than $183,000 for families in need,” Bednarski said. “Those dollars helped the organization surpass their goal, raising enough for 1.1 million meals for Michigan children and families affected by the pandemic.” 

Watch President Bednarski's annual address here.
Despite several major challenges in 2020, Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski urged Farm Bureau members to recognize the economic turnaround in major commodity markets, setting the stage for a better 2021.
Kent County Farm Bureau member Kylee Zdunic-Rasch speaks on a policy amendment at the 2019 Michigan Farm Bureau State Annual Meeting.

If anyone worried COVID would dampen the grassroots spirit of county Farm Bureau members involved in the policy development process, they were fretting over nothing. They’d also be wrong to think a mere pandemic would jeopardize the quality of policy recommendations submitted by Michigan’s county Farm Bureaus. If anything, 2020 appears to have strengthened our members’ resolve and sharpened their talent for crafting meaningful, well-thought-out policies to protect and enhance Michigan agriculture and our rural communities.

Michigan Farm Bureau’s state policy development committee recently spent two days in Lansing deliberating nearly 500 policy recommendations from 60 county Farm Bureaus and 12 state advisory committees. The result is a carefully crafted slate of resolutions that 400-plus delegates to MFB’s 101st annual meeting will debate and approve, setting the organization’s course for 2021.

Unlike any previous annual meeting, county Farm Bureau delegates are encouraged to spend time preparing for the all-virtual delegate session Dec. 2 — the first of its kind in MFB history and certainly an unforgettable way to kick off the organization’s second century.

In his capacity as chair of the state policy development committee, MFB Vice President Andy Hagenow’s guidance is firm and simple:

“Attend your district delegate meeting,” Hagenow urges. “We’ll have limited time to discuss the policies during the delegate session, so it’s important members get together to determine what questions they have.

“Members should try to prepare amendments in advance to make the best use of our time during this year’s abbreviated delegate session.” 

A small sampling of policies with significant amendments are summarized below. The complete policy docket will be available online in early November.

COVID-19 and Emergency Powers 

To no one’s surprise, delegates will consider numerous amendments stemming from COVID-19, conflicting government authority, and food and agriculture industry disruptions.

“There were a lot of resolutions specifically dealing with COVID and executive orders that have been embedded all over the policy book,” said committee member and District 7 Director Mike DeRuiter. “That’s one of the pieces I would definitely focus on as a delegate.”

Among the amendments:

  • Provisions requesting that proper security, identification and safety protocols be followed by state agency personnel when visiting farms, including compliance with executive orders (Policy #16 Food Safety).
  • Opposition to a segment of the workforce being targeted for mandatory testing or regulatory compliance (Policy #47 Agricultural Labor).
  • Support for allowing healthcare facilities to decide to remain open during emergency circumstances (Policy #62 Health).
  • Language stating that rulemaking authority should be limited by legislative actions and state government should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act when emergency powers are enacted (Policy #67 Regulatory Reform and Reduction).
  • Support for government checks and balances during emergency power situations and that those powers should be valid for a maximum of 28 days without legislative oversight (Policy #68 Streamlining Michigan Government).
  • Support for liability protection for employers providing proper training, personal protection equipment, and working in good faith to protect employee health (Policy #69 Tort Liability Reform).
  • Support for a refundable income tax credit for businesses shut down due to government-issued executive orders (Policy #91 Taxation).

Transportation

Delegates will also review an overhaul of MFB’s longstanding policies on transportation.

State committee member Jarris Rubingh explained that a new “Transportation Improvement” policy will replace existing policies #95 Highway Improvements and Maintenance and #96 Highways and Funding.

“The transportation subcommittee went through the book, and we have a lot of policy on transportation, whether it’s road funding, improvements, rights of way, etc.” Rubingh said. “We tried to organize it so that it would make more sense and be easier to find specific things.

“Read through the whole transportation policy, because we deleted very little… It’s just moved around to make it more concise.”

Meat Processing

County Farm Bureaus also had strong feelings this year about challenges and opportunities for the state’s meat-processing industry.

“We probably had over 20 different county policy recommendations for the meats industry and processing side,” said John Bowsky, state committee member representing district 6. “We crafted a brand-new policy under commodities and marketing, so you’ll be seeing all-new language.”

The proposed “Michigan Meat Processing Industry” policy would add language supporting:

  • Studying the meat-packing industry’s retail sales, custom-exempt facilities, market access, expansion opportunities and regulatory issues.
  • A partnership between MSU, community colleges, career technical schools and the livestock industry to establish a livestock harvest/meat processing certification program.
  • Investment in and promotion of more mobile agricultural processing labs.
  • Creating a Michigan-based meat inspection and licensing system for in-state processing.
  • Limiting regulatory burden for small and medium-sized meat processors while protecting and enhancing food safety.
  • State funding and low-interest loans for small and medium-sized facilities to comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Greater utilization of the meats laboratory and professionals at MSU to support the meat industry, educate students and train industry professionals.

Environmental

Delegates will review proposed changes to the structure of the organization’s environmental policies.

A new policy, Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), was created by relocating MAEAP-specific language from policies #73 Environmental Protection and Authority and #80 Nonpoint Source Pollution and Watershed Management. If approved, the shift would streamline some of the bulkiest policies in the book.

In terms of new language, delegates should look for the addition within Policy #73 Environmental Protection and Authority calling for evaluation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process in Michigan and supporting an MFB study committee on the topic.

Bovine Tuberculosis  

Policy #34 TB – Mycobacterium Bovis Tuberculosis, continues to be a priority as delegates consider language to support requiring heads from all deer taken on private and public lands in the Modified Accredited Zone and surrounding TB surveillance counties be submitted for testing. The amended policy also calls for supporting the movement of cattle out of the region to maintain market access, if testing and other requirements are met.

If anyone worried COVID would dampen the grassroots spirit of county Farm Bureau members involved in the policy development process, they were fretting over nothing.

Results of the 2020 Eaton Count Farm Bureau Election

2019 Minutes and Financials were approved

By-Law Amendments were tabled to next year

 

Director Representing the SE Quarter Section – Jim Orr

Director Representing the SW Quarter Section – Katelyn Thompson

Directors At Large – Lynn Stanke, Debbie Granger, Martin Fabrik and Melissa Kelly

 

Promotion and Education Committee Chair – Kylie Thompson

Young Farmer Committee Chair – Claire Dewey

 

In our board meeting on October 26, 2020 the Executive Committee positions were elected:

Lynn Stanke, Board President

Katelyn Thompson, Vice President

Jim Orr – Third Member

 


Results from the 2020 Eaton County Farm Bureau Annual Elections