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Top Story

By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

This year’s Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be offered as a hybrid event, incorporating several familiar in-person activities and some of last year’s virtual components.

After 2020’s pandemic restrictions, making for an almost entirely virtual meeting, feedback gave way to mixed responses from the members who attended. Members mostly missed the collaboration and efficiency from in-person interactions. On the other hand, some were glad to meet virtually who lived long distances from Grand Rapids or were unable to attend due to obligations on the farm.

This year’s annual meeting will be an early virtual kickoff event on the evening of Wednesday, November 3 for dispensing with reports and other formalities, followed by in-person district meetings the following week. Jackson County and their fellow county farm bureaus in District 2 will join forces in-person at Olivia’s Chophouse in Jonesville on the evening of Tuesday, November 9. The district meetings will allow delegates to nominate and elect their district director (odd-numbered districts only this year) and review the policy agenda prior to the full delegate body convening three weeks later.

The final component will provide delegates the option of meeting virtually or in-person in Grand Rapids that has been condensed to a two-day format on Tuesday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 1. In addition to the delegate session, the two-days in Grand Rapids will be packed with Young Farmer discussion meets, the Ag Art Gallery, Promotion & Education content and more.

Last month Member Hank Choate was voted as delegate chair joined by Jim Spink, Loren Faist, and Tonya Sears.

The primary purpose of being a delegate at the Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is to set direction for the organization by adopting policies, electing directors to the MFB Board of Directors and to recognize outstanding member and county activities.

There are limited seats still available to attend. If you’re interested in becoming a delegate, please contact our county manager Janelle Walworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (517) 784-9166.

This year’s Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be offered as a hybrid event, incorporating several familiar in-person activities and some of last year’s virtual components.

Jackson County Farm Bureau News

By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

This year’s Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be offered as a hybrid event, incorporating several familiar in-person activities and some of last year’s virtual components.

After 2020’s pandemic restrictions, making for an almost entirely virtual meeting, feedback gave way to mixed responses from the members who attended. Members mostly missed the collaboration and efficiency from in-person interactions. On the other hand, some were glad to meet virtually who lived long distances from Grand Rapids or were unable to attend due to obligations on the farm.

This year’s annual meeting will be an early virtual kickoff event on the evening of Wednesday, November 3 for dispensing with reports and other formalities, followed by in-person district meetings the following week. Jackson County and their fellow county farm bureaus in District 2 will join forces in-person at Olivia’s Chophouse in Jonesville on the evening of Tuesday, November 9. The district meetings will allow delegates to nominate and elect their district director (odd-numbered districts only this year) and review the policy agenda prior to the full delegate body convening three weeks later.

The final component will provide delegates the option of meeting virtually or in-person in Grand Rapids that has been condensed to a two-day format on Tuesday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 1. In addition to the delegate session, the two-days in Grand Rapids will be packed with Young Farmer discussion meets, the Ag Art Gallery, Promotion & Education content and more.

Last month Member Hank Choate was voted as delegate chair joined by Jim Spink, Loren Faist, and Tonya Sears.

The primary purpose of being a delegate at the Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is to set direction for the organization by adopting policies, electing directors to the MFB Board of Directors and to recognize outstanding member and county activities.

There are limited seats still available to attend. If you’re interested in becoming a delegate, please contact our county manager Janelle Walworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (517) 784-9166.

This year’s Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be offered as a hybrid event, incorporating several familiar in-person activities and some of last year’s virtual components.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Sears Farm


Faist Farms


The Golden Girls


Team Springport 

Earlier this year, Jake Faist was appointed Membership Captain, a volunteer position tasked with increasing membership appreciation, memberships, and member involvement.

After brainstorming what he could accomplish before year end, he tossed around the idea of holding a membership golf outing in an effort to appreciate members and support local FFA Chapters.

“My focus isn’t to make money, but rather hold a fun membership appreciation event plus help out our local FFA Chapters,” said Jake when initially sharing his idea with his fellow directors.

On Friday, August 20th Jackson County Farm Bureau’s first golf outing was held at Arbor Hills Golf Course.

Members enjoyed 18 holes of golf, lunch and lots of laughs.

The event drew in four new members. We proudly welcome Mac Ward, Austin Ward, Cana Garrison, and David Cook to our county farm bureau!

We would like to thank the sponsors of the golf event: Jackson County Conservation District, Rocky Oak Farms LLC, Spring Arbor Lumber & Home Center, Urban Restaurants LLC, Grand River Brewery, Doll N Burgers, Andersons INC, and Representative Sarah Lightner.

In the coming weeks, Jake will be reaching out to local FFA chapters to give them an opportunity to share their accomplishments and upcoming activities and provide them with a donation for their programs.

Learn more about Jackson County Farm Bureau activities by visiting our website at jackson.michfb.com.

On Friday, August 20th Jackson County Farm Bureau’s first golf outing was held at Arbor Hills Golf Course.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Young Farmers in Jackson County held their 8th annual Cornhole for Hunger Tournament on Friday, August 13th.

The cornhole tournament was developed to help in the strive to end hunger in Jackson County.

Each year, local businesses support the event by sponsoring at their desired level. The $350 Platinum Sponsors receive their business name on the participant t-shirt, their name and logo on a team scoreboard and on the cornhole board prizes that go home with the winning teams. The $150 Gold Sponsors receive their business name on the participant t-shirt along with their business name and logo on a team scoreboard. The $75 Silver Sponsors receive their business name on the participant t-shirt.

We would like to thank our 2021 sponsors for their continued support of this program!  Our Platinum Sponsors are Blain's Farm & Fleet, Drumhiller Farms, Hughes Seed Solutions, The Grate Haus, and Greenstone Farm Credit Services. Our Gold Sponsors are American One Credit Union, Anderson's Inc Community Contributions Committee, Choate's Belly Acres, Dibble's Ag Spreading, Emerson Fine Woodworking, Jenkins Insurance Group-Farm Bureau, McLaughlin Farm-Highland Beef, Nevin Alexander Insurance Agency-Farm Bureau, Papa John’s Pizza, Preview Properties - Neal Sanford, Tanner's Farm, and Weir Farms. Our Silver Sponsors are Bollheimer Meats, Hilltop Farm, Jackson County Conservation District, Little Prairie Farm, Mowrer Agency, Napoleon Livestock Commission, Rocky Oak Farms, Sears Farm, Sandhill Farms, Sanford Family Beef, and Wells Equipment.

The most unique thing about this event is that the proceeds earned by sponsorships and participant fees are used to purchase livestock from the 4-H large animal auction. Five hogs were bought from Brett Miller, Mercedes Adams, Madison Lasky, Ryan Shaw, and Chloe Winans providing five local pantries with approximately 600lbs of meat.

Committee Member Becky Heim shares, “This event is always a favorite at the Jackson county fairgrounds by the 4-H kids and adults. Being able to support both 4-H and local food banks at the same time is something we are proud to do for our community.”

This year, Jackson County Farm Bureau applied for matching funds from the Farm Bureau of Michigan Agent Charitable Funds and received almost $2,000! The Agent Charitable Funds serves as a fund for Farm Bureau agents, clients, and partners to contribute to charitable causes throughout Michigan. Learn more here.

Each participant receives a t-shirt, pizza, and water. There are three age groups: 8-12 years, 13-17 years, and 18 years and older.

We appreciate our sponsors and participants for making this event successful every year!

Over the past 8 years, Jackson County Farm bureau has proudly raised over $30,000 and provided over 4,000 pounds of meat to local food pantries.

Visit our website at jackson.michfb.com to learn how you can participate on the committee, sponsor the event, or participate in the tournament.

  
1st place winners


  
2nd place winners


  
3rd place winners





    

Young Farmers in Jackson County held their 8th annual Cornhole for Hunger Tournament on Friday, August 13th.

State News


“Dale’s an example of a traditional county Farm Bureau board member: Their world is their county — they’re dedicated.”

This article has three simple goals:

  1. Honor the memory of an active Farm Bureau member — one specific man — whose years were recently cut tragically short.
  2. Honor the unsung style of member he was: the strictly local kind, content to do good work in their familiar, comfortable corner of a much larger universe.
  3. Encourage county Farm Bureaus to do more of #2.

The ‘larger universe’ here is the greater Farm Bureau organization, with its award plaques, stage walks and grip-n-grin photos, all in the name of recognizing the indispensable work of outstanding members and counties. In an organization reliant on the efforts of volunteers, recognizing those efforts is essential.

The ‘one specific man’ in this case never saw any of that, simply because he neither sought nor desired it. He is — was — Dale Frisque, who died Aug. 5 at the age of 59, the sole casualty of a fire at the cedar mill where he’d worked his whole adult life.

That mill is in the center of Menominee County, anchoring the south end of Carney, where Dale grew up, attended high school and was the third generation to work his family’s farm. He inherited Frisque Hilltop Farms in the wake of his father’s death, and completed its transition from dairy to beef, hay and oats.

“That was my grandparents’ farm — the farm my mother grew up on,” remembers longtime Menominee leader Pete Kleiman, a first cousin of Frisque’s.

“Dale never did get married; he stayed on the farm with his mother, raised hay, corn, oats to feed the beef… Some chickens, ducks… Sold round bales in the winter to horse people.

“Kind of an old-fashioned farm, really.”

Wasn't Like That

He joined Farm Bureau in 2001, launching an impressive track record of involvement in membership events, annual meetings and other activities central to the organization.

“I was the one who talked Dale into running for the county board in the first place,” Kleiman said. “We were looking for somebody from that area; it’s hard to find folks there.”

With a regular job in town and the farm only a couple miles away, Frisque was busy but always nearby and ready to help.

“He was kind of a homebody and involved in the community as best he could — the Lions and the church and sports clubs.”

And he brought that same sturdy reliability to the Menominee County Farm Bureau board, Kleiman recalls:

“He wasn’t a board member who… Y’know some people come onto a board with an agenda and ‘Once I get done what I want to get done, I’m gone.’

“Dale wasn’t like that. He showed up every month and he was willing to offer his opinion about how to proceed with something and if he didn’t think it was a good idea, he’d say so.

“He was just never going to be that person to serve on a state committee — that just wasn’t something he wanted to do. But when we did Breakfast on the Farm we could always count on him to be there on the weekend to help out.”

Plenty to Do 

The same held true at the mill, where Dale knew every facet of the operation and could always be counted on, even when it meant stepping away for a bit.

“At the mill when things slowed down and they needed somebody to take a week off, Dale was always willing to take a voluntary leave because he always had plenty to do back on the farm,” Kleiman said.

The mill was Peterson Brothers when he started there as a teenager, then Gilbert & Bennet, then Superior Cedar after a group of its own employees bought the place. Over the years it dealt in pulpwood and fence posts and bark mulch — mountains of mulch, feeding city folks’ garden beds by the semi load.

And in an instant, innocent sawdust turned into a lethal inferno.

Most Don't Know

News of Dale’s loss came promptly the next morning, Aug. 6, straight into the gut of MFB’s state staff convening online for an informal weekly meeting. The messenger was Craig Knudson, our seasoned Regional Manager in the Upper Peninsula.

“Most of you probably don’t know him,” he started, before announcing the loss in the succinct, economic way we do when those left behind are still wondering how and why.

That Frisque’s name was unfamiliar even to longtime MFB staffers came as no surprise to Knudson, who’d shepherded Dale’s involvement for almost two decades.

“Dale’s an example of a traditional county Farm Bureau board member: Their world is their county — they’re dedicated,” Knudson said, his voice growing bolder, more insistent.

“You won’t see them at State Annual Meeting, but they’re dedicated to the county Farm Bureau at the local level.

“That’s where Dale fit in.”

Moral of the Story

Our society rewards ambition and glorifies ladder-climbing heroes striving for greatness that skeptical observers may dismiss as out of reach. On the flip side of that, we can overlook those of more moderate aspirations: “Big fish in a small pond” is not a compliment.

The message for county Farm Bureaus is simple: Be sure to support your quiet journeymen, low-profile workhorses and behind-the-scenesters who get things done outside the limelight.

An industry that values humility can’t forget to honor the humble.

The ‘larger universe’ here is the greater Farm Bureau organization, with its award plaques, stage walks and grip-n-grin photos, all in the name of recognizing the indispensable work of outstanding members and counties. In an organization reliant on t

The Emmet County Farm Bureau’s member-appreciation event, a drive-through dinner hosted by the Petoskey Culver’s restaurant, earned it District 11’s Champion of Excellence honors in Grassroots Innovation. Pictured above are Emmet leaders Ben Blaho (left) and Bill McMaster

Michigan Farm Bureau recently announced the winners of this year’s Champions of Excellence Awards, acknowledging county Farm Bureaus’ efforts toward engaging their membership and their innovative means of doing so.

Altogether this year 37 county Farm Bureaus applied for a total of 45 Champions awards in two updated categories: Grassroots and Involvement, each going above and beyond creating innovative and effective member programming.

Counties were also evaluated on their involvement statistics throughout the recently concluded membership year.

Here are our 2021 Champions of Excellence winners, by district:

Grassroots

  • District 1: Cass County Farm Bureau
  • District 2: Jackson County Farm Bureau
  • District 3: Washtenaw County Farm Bureau
  • District 4: Ionia County Farm Bureau
  • District 5: Clinton County Farm Bureau
  • District 6: Lapeer County Farm Bureau
  • District 7: Mecosta County Farm Bureau
  • District 8: Isabella County Farm Bureau
  • District 9: Mason County Farm Bureau
  • District 10: Gladwin County Farm Bureau
  • District 11: Emmet County Farm Bureau
  • District 12: Iron Range Farm Bureau

Involvement

  • District 1: Berrien County Farm Bureau
  • District 2: Calhoun County Farm Bureau
  • District 3: Oakland County Farm Bureau
  • District 4: Kent County Farm Bureau
  • District 5: Shiawassee County Farm Bureau
  • District 6: Lapeer County Farm Bureau
  • District 7: Osceola County Farm Bureau
  • District 8: Saginaw County Farm Bureau
  • District 9: Mason County Farm Bureau
  • District 10: Huron Shores Farm Bureau
  • District 11: Cheboygan County Farm Bureau
  • District 12: Iron Range Farm Bureau

One state-level winner in each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced at MFB’s 2022 Council of Presidents’ Conference, Feb. 2-3 in Midland.

Congratulations to all of these outstanding county Farm Bureaus for their exemplary work throughout the 2020-21 membership year!

The ideas and events submitted through the Champions of Excellence Awards process will be shared with all county Farm Bureaus so everyone can strive toward the greatness our winners have achieved.

Michigan Farm Bureau recently announced the winners of this year’s Champions of Excellence Awards, acknowledging county Farm Bureaus’ efforts toward engaging their membership and their innovative means of doing so.

Beyond all the tour hosts and expert speakers, Growing Together attendees enjoy ample opportunity to learn from perhaps their most highly esteemed and trusted resources: each other.
 

Farm Bureau members from across the state will converge Feb. 18-20 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids next winter for MFB’s 2022 Growing Together Conference, where the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders Conference collide!

Open to regular members of all ages, Growing Together focuses on the common ground shared by Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Promotion & Education programs. Attendees will take home new ideas and resources to incorporate into their county programming — everything from reinvigorating youth programming and facilitation tips to human resource applications for your farm business and managing the ups & downs of rural life.

Keynote speaker Bruce Boguski will set the stage with a presentation about how to alter our belief systems and bolster confidence en route to success. Attendees will discover the advantages of a positive attitude and use that knowledge to change frustration and negativity into a ‘can-do’ environment.

Growing Together also offers members opportunities to network during tours, at receptions and during evening entertainment. This year, all Friday tours will converge at the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a private viewing and reception with heavy hors devours. Those looking to keep the evening going can participate in a virtual GooseChase scavenger hunt, completing challenges while enjoying downtown Grand Rapids, complete with prizes for the most points earned!

A pre-dinner reception on the second night will include a county leader reception where county Young Farmer and P&E chairs and co-chairs will be recognized for their leadership. Following that dinner will be an evening of casino fun, where the only required experience will be knowing how to have a fun, laid-back time with friends old and new!

In a new option, 2022 Growing Together attendees can choose between two Friday agendas: the Take Root Farm Succession and Estate Planning Seminar (at a discounted $50 rate) or the customary tour of regional agriculture sites.

Registration will be open Jan. 3-14. Contact your county Farm Bureau to reserve your spot and stay up-to-date at http://www.michfb.com/growingtogether

Farm Bureau members from across the state will converge Feb. 18-20 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids next winter for MFB’s 2022 Growing Together Conference, where the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders Conference collide!

Coming Events

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November2021
Tuesday
30
2021 MFB State Annual Meeting
187 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
The State Annual Meeting brings together delegates from across the state to conduct the vital grassroots policy work that drives the organization’s actions and positions throughout the year. Delegates from each district engage in policy resolution debate and deliberation and elect members to the MFB Board of Directors. The State Annual Meeting also serves as a time to connect and engage with members from across Michigan.
February2022
Wednesday
2
2022 Council of Presidents Conference
111 W Main St
Midland, MI
This is the annual conference for county Farm Bureau presidents.  The conference provides and opportunity to: * Meet peers from across the state * Help guide new county presidents as they take on their new role * Learn current state and national organization issues and develop leadership skills
February2022
Friday
18
2022 Growing Together Conference

Grand Rapids, MI
This exciting conference is bringing together the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders Conference.   Growing together is open to members of any age, and will provide new ideas, farm business resources, leadership development, and much more to Farm Bureau members!  Members who are interested in improving their communication skills, promoting Michigan agriculture, teaching school children about agriculture or furthering their farm business with the latest technologies should attend. Members involved in county Promotion and Education, Young Farmer or Communications programs are encouraged to participate.
February2022
Tuesday
22
2022 Lansing Legislative Seminar
333 E Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI
Michigan Farm Bureau’s Lansing Legislative Seminar provides an opportunity for members passionate about Farm Bureau policy and issues affecting agriculture to meet members with shared interests, concerns and goals. Participants will help demonstrate to legislative and regulatory leaders the significance of our member-developed policy and strength of our county Farm Bureaus and learn from expert speakers about proposals being considered in Lansing that would impact Michigan farmers and the food and agriculture economy.