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County News


2019 County Annual Minutes                                                                Approved | Denied

2019 Review of Financials                                                                      Approved | Denied

MFB State Annual Delegates selected by Board of Directors          Approved | Denied

 

Election of 2020 Shiawassee County Board of Directors

  • District 2 – Courtney Kingsbury

  • District 4 – Will Willson

  • At-Large – Bob Carlin (District 4)

  • At-Large – Tim Kiesling (District 3)

  • Promotion & Education Committee ChairHanna Dutcher

  • Young Farmer Committee ChairWyatt Demerly

     

County Annual Award Winners

  • Distinguished Service to Agriculture – Jamie Zmitko-Somers

  • Volunteer of the Year – Ken Deschepper

  • Agricultural Educator of the Year – Juliana Forbush

Door Prize Winners

  • Stihl Chainsaw – Gary Solgat

  • Toolbox – Richard Semans

  • Battery-operated Grease Guns – David Williams

  • Cooler – Anthony Chunko

  • Canopy – Carol Seidel

  • Cornhole Boards – Patricia Crothers

  • Murtle’s Handmade Chocolates Gift Card – Holli Denson

  • Murtle’s Handmade Chocolates Gift Card – Robert Misjak

  • Mancinos Pizza & Grinders Gift Card – James Laureta

  • Mancinos Pizza & Grinders Gift Card – Clifford Free

  • Family Farm & Home Gift Card – Sally Pajtas

  • Family Farm & Home Gift Card – Francis Osika

     

Policy Resolution -

  • MFB/CFB POLICY RESOLUTIONS

    • Submission#: 2020-78-1

As we evolve to a more and more digital society with added technology and complications from pandemic events we should question the value of the current library system.

 

Colleges and K-12 schools are quickly moving to on-line instruction to cope with a myriad of logistical issues. This form of education relies heavily on high- speed internet service.

 

Shiawassee County Farm Bureau supports a change in the Library Law that would allow municipalities to opt-out of a library system if the funds were diverted to support internet service for the residents.

 

Member Action:             Approved                    Denied   

 

    • 038-Agriscience, Food and Natural Resources Education and The FFA Organization

Title: High demand for Agriscience teachers

Submission#: 2020-78-5

 

Teachers provide the foundation to a student that often guides them down the road to success. The agricultural educators that provide direction to those students not only educating them on a host of agriculture issues also developing leadership abilities and helping them become successful members of their communities. Now it is time to provide those who are interested in becoming Agriscience, Food and Natural Recourse Education (AFNRE) teachers’ clear guidelines, facts and statistics on how to become an Ag educator.

 

Shiawassee County Farm Bureau supports:

 

MFB would expand and promote the development of Ag teachers by providing virtual resources for people interested in entering this field providing them the information needed to start on the path of becoming an AFNRE educator.

               

Member Action:             Approved                    Denied    ☐

 

    • 047-Agricultural Labor

Title: Pandemic Employer Liability

Submission#: 2020-78-4

 

Pandemic related guidelines, practices and procedures continue to rapidly evolve. These guidances, practices and procedures are recommendations at this point in time. They are not standards or regulations and therefore are not legal obligations.

 

Shiawassee County Farm Bureau supports the following:

 

1. Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as State and local public health authorities on how to best protect agricultural employees.

 

2. The MFB legal team continuing talks with Michigan Department of health and Human Services to assist them in decisions appropriate for agricultural employees and staff in regards to pandemic safety requirements and feasibility.

 

3. That H2-A workers qualify as employees under the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP).

 

4. Employers provide appropriate PPE and pandemic testing for employees and are provided financial assistance for such practices through federal grants.

 

5. Pandemic legal protections for businesses that are making good faith efforts to comply with ever changing requirements for worker safety.

 

6. Pandemic liability waivers.

 

Member Action:             Approved                    Denied   

 

    • 080-Nonpoint Source Pollution And Watershed Management

Title: Local Government

Submission#: 2020-78-2

 

Recently PFAS and related chemicals have become a concern to farmers in Michigan and the US. These are used in fire retardants and foams in addition to water proofing textiles these chemicals pose health concerns for humans and animals when these chemicals are applied to farm land in the form of bio solids from municipal treatment systems.

 

Shiawassee County Farm Bureau supports the following:

 

1. Ag land found to be contaminated by PFAS, PFOS and/or PFOA by scientific testing methods that exceed State or Federal agency safe standards be diverted to non food production uses while cleanup occurs. Solar and wind renewable energy generation being examples of possible uses.

 

2. Legislation establishing a program to provide funds to MDARD to purchase lands with legacy chemical contamination from owners. This will allow farmers the ability to recover losses and provide an exit from future litigation.

 

Member Action:             Approved                    Denied    ☐

 

    • 088-Wildlife Management

Title: Deer Damage

Submission#: 2020-78-6

 

Deer are a serious health concern to livestock a safety issue to the motoring public and a significant economic problem for crops. There are many programs in place to deal with the over population of the deer herd however, the current harvesting scenario is too late in the year to alleviate the earlier mentioned concerns.

 

Shiawassee County Farm Bureau supports:

 

An increase from 10 to 25+ crop damage/ nuisance permit tags available at the same time the current system allows from June 1 to September 1. This would be similar to the deer management assist permit available in the fall.

 

Member Action:             Approved                    Denied   

 

  • AFBF POLICY RESOLUTIONS

    • 505-Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Management

Title: Local Government

Submission#: 2020-78-3

 

Recently PFAS and related chemicals have become a concern to farmers in Michigan and the US. These are used in fire retardants and foams in addition to water proofing textiles these chemicals pose health concerns for humans and animals when these chemicals are applied to farm land in the form of bio solids from municipal treatment systems.

 

Shiawassee County Farm Bureau supports the following:

 

1. Ag land found to be contaminated by PFAS, PFOS and/or PFOA by scientific testing methods that exceed State or Federal agency safe standards be diverted to non food production uses while cleanup occurs. Solar and wind renewable energy generation being examples of possible uses.

 

2. Legislation establishing a program to provide funds to MDARD to purchase lands with legacy chemical contamination from owners. This will allow farmers the ability to recover losses and provide an exit from future litigation.

               

Member Action:             Approved                    Denied   


Final results of the 2020 County Annual Meeting voting and election ballots.

Eisenhower Office Building at The White House

By Robert Carlin



 Pictured from left to right are Bob Carlin - Shiawassee County, Todd Stubbs - Oakland County, Emily Calderone - Ingham County, Erin Humm - Gratiot County, Larry Walton - St. Joseph County, Chris Machiela - Allegan County, and Matt Nilson - Van Buren County. Not in attendance is Anders Swenson - Kalamazoo County.
All of this years Academy members are farmers or involved in Agribusiness. Each class member has enrolled in the Academy to gain a deeper understanding of the political process in our nation and how politics effect agriculture. At the White House the class discussed issues involving trade, marketing, immigration policy and financial sustainability. Suggestions were discussed on programs effectiveness for 2019.

Matt Kapp and Melissa Palma are the mentors and contacts for the academy. Without there dedication and help the Political Leadership Academy would not exist. A special thanks goes out to Sarah Black of MFB and John Kran of MFB for their help and support for the class in Washington D.C.


All of this years Academy members are farmers or involved in Agribusiness.

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

DateEvent
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.
March2022
Tuesday
15
2022 Washington Legislative Seminar
550 C St SW
Washington D.C., DC
The Washington Legislative Seminar updates farmers on national issues while providing members with a unique opportunity to experience our nation’s capital. The seminar provides opportunities for participants to make personal contact with members of Congress and other government leaders to advocate for legislation and/or regulation using Farm Bureau policy, which impacts Michigan agriculture.