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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


Rebecca Gulliver has been the Saginaw Valley Regional Manager for the past four and a half years. She has just recently transitioned into her new position based at the home office: Member Engagement and Field Training Specialist, which includes the Community Action Group program.

CLICK… CLACK… CLICK… CLACK…

Twenty-one steps are taken before turning sharply with the click of the heel to face east for 21 seconds exactly, then turning to face north for 21 seconds, followed by 21 steps down a black mat before repeating the process for an hour until a uniformed relief commander appears to announce the ceremonial changing of the guard. For 24 hours a day, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment stand watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Looking back to my first trip to Washington, D.C., between my junior and senior years of high school, I remember the impact watching that ceremony had on me. The entire D.C. experience humbled me, helped me appreciate the opportunities I enjoy, and quite honestly fired me up, thinking of how entitled our society has become in the midst of so much selflessness showcased through the time-honored memorials in D.C.

If you are not familiar, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a white marble monument overlooking the nation’s capital from Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1921, it has been the final resting place for our nation’s unidentified servicemen and women — a place of mourning and reflection on the meaning and the cost of military service. Depending on the time of the year, the changing of the guard happens either every hour or every half hour, but it all comes down to tradition and paying respect to those who served our country.

Community Action Groups are a special tradition within our Farm Bureau Family. Personally, after I came on staff almost five years ago, attending my first CAG meeting was when it all came together — I felt like I finally understood what Farm Bureau was all about. I cherish that memory and look forward to being able to work in this capacity and with our organization’s time-honored tradition.

For those of you I haven’t yet had the honor of meeting, I am Rebecca Gulliver. For the past four and a half years I’ve been the Saginaw Valley Regional Manager, and just recently transitioned into my new position based at the home office: Member Engagement and Field Training Specialist, which includes this program.

Before Farm Bureau, I worked as the agriscience academic assistant at North Huron Schools, helping high school, junior high and elementary agriscience students with FFA. I graduated from Michigan State University in 2015 with a degree in agriscience, food and natural resources education and recently graduated from Northwood University with a master’s in organizational leadership. In my free time, I enjoy painting, crocheting, being the best aunt I can be to four nieces and a nephew, and playing with my dogs Harper and Hudson.

I look forward to getting to know each of your groups, and using the lessons I have learned through my experiences to give selflessly and serve our Community Action Groups to the best of my ability.

Community Action Groups are a special tradition within our Farm Bureau Family.

Attendees to MFB’s 2021 Annual Meeting can expect a smaller sea of delegates, as many are expected to take advantage of options to participate virtually — one of the silver linings of the pandemic-forced learning curve we’ve all been navigating since March of last year.
 

Michigan Farm Bureau’s 2021 Annual Meeting is taking shape as a hybrid affair, incorporating several familiar in-person activities and elements of last year’s virtual proceedings.

Pandemic precautions in 2020 made it necessary for an almost entirely virtual annual meeting, and feedback from members who took part was mixed. Most missed the camaraderie and efficiency of in-person interaction, but that sentiment was tempered by the undeniable convenience “phoning it in” meant for those living and farming long distances from Grand Rapids.

Barring the unforeseen, this year’s format will borrow from 2020 an early virtual kickoff event in early November for dispensing with reports and other formalities, followed by in-person district meetings the following week.

Those 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 largely resemble our familiar, in-person annuals, but in a condensed, two-day format that will incorporate means for delegates to join the proceedings without coming to Grand Rapids. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 will be packed with Young Farmer discussion meets, the Ag Art Gallery, Promotion & Education content and more.

The agenda below isn’t final but is close enough to offer a good idea of what this year’s MFB Annual Meeting will look like. And it is not too early for interested members to let their county Farm Bureau leaders know they want to take part!

DRAFT AGENDA: MFB 2021 STATE ANNUAL MEETING 

Wednesday, Nov. 3

Virtual Kickoff: 7-8 p.m.

  • Welcome 
  • Business session call to order 
  • Approval of 2020 annual meeting minutes 
  • Officer reports 
  • Rules Committee report 
  • Credentials Committee report 

Tuesday, Nov. 9 & Wednesday, Nov. 10 

District Meetings: in person within the district; times TBD

  • Nominations & elections of district director (odd districts only) 
  • At-large director candidates to join virtually for introductions and Q&A 
  • Policy review

Tuesday, Nov.30

State Annual Meeting Day 1: in-person at Amway/DeVos, Grand Rapids

  • 9 – 11 a.m. • Young Farmer Discussion Meet registration, contestant & judges briefing 
  • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. • Young Farmer Discussion Meet Sweet 16 – Round 1 
  • 12 – 1:30 p.m. • Discussion meet participant lunch 
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. • Young Farmer Discussion Meet Sweet 16 – Round 2 
  • 2 – 9:30 p.m. • MFA Ag Art Gallery showcase & voting 
  • 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. • Opening delegate session (Hybrid delegation) 
    • Welcome 
    • Scheduled polices 
    • Young Farmer Discussion Meet Final Four announcement 
  • 5 – 5:30 p.m. • P&E Showcase sneak peak (for non-delegates) 
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. • Reception 
    • P&E Showcase of County Activities of Excellence & 2-3 stations from state P&E committee 
    • Young Farmer Excellence Award presentation 
    • Sponsor exhibit space 
  • 6:30 – 9 p.m. • Leadership Banquet 
    • State Young Farmer committee Introductions 
    • Young Farmer Discussion Meet finals 
    • State P&E committee introductions 
    • Foundation introduction & kick-off for Art Gallery 
    • Recognition of county P&E activities and announcement for Ag Week 2022 
    • YF Awards – winners and finalist recognition 
    • Ag in the Classroom (Farm Science Lab & FARM Crates) and Educator of the Year 
    • Young Farmer Discussion Meet winner announcement 
    • Distribute P&E t-shirts

Wednesday, December 1 

State Annual Meeting Day 2: in-person at Amway/DeVos, Grand Rapids

  • 7:15 – 8:45 a.m. • Breakfast 
    • State AgriPac committee recognition 
    • AgriPac keynote speaker 
  • 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. • MFA Ag Art Gallery showcase & voting 
  • 8 – 8:30 a.m. • High School & Collegiate Discussion Meet registration & briefing
  • 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. • High School & Collegiate Discussion Meet round 1 
  • 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • Delegate session (hybrid delegation) 
    • Nomination and elections of district, YF, P&E and at-large directors 
    • Scheduled polices 
    • Block voting 
  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. • High School & Collegiate Discussion Meet round 2 
  • 10:45 – 11 a.m. • High School & Collegiate Discussion Meet final six announcement 
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • High School & Collegiate Discussion Meet final six round 
  • 12:45 – 2:30 p.m. • Lunch 
    • Key Club recognition 
    • Agent Charitable Fund recognition 
    • High School & Collegiate Discussion Meet winners announced 
    • Presidential Volunteer of the Year 
  • 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. • Closing Delegate Session (hybrid delegation) 
    • Block voting 
    • High School & Collegiate Discussion Meet contestants observe 
  • 4 – 7 p.m. • Ag Art Gallery Silent Auction 
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. • Friends of Agriculture Reception 
    • Incorporate elected Friends of Agriculture as a showcase event 
    • AgriPac pin sales 
  • Sponsor exhibit space 
  • 6:30 – 9 p.m. • Annual Banquet 
    • Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award 
    • President’s Address 
    • MFA Ag Art Gallery live auction (popular vote winners & best in show) 
Michigan Farm Bureau’s 2021 Annual Meeting is taking shape as a hybrid affair, incorporating several familiar in-person activities and elements of last year’s virtual proceedings.

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

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