Help

HelpAdvocate for initiatives to protect and sustain natural resources, statewide and in your community

Meet

Network with farmers locally and across the state and Influence elected officials, agency directors and policy makers

Learn

Access resources and current industry information

Discover what's happening in your local community

Save

SaveTake advantage of discounts in your own backyard
Receive discounts statewide on hotels, vehicle purchases and car rental

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


Even with COVID restrictions lifting, a better-safe-than-sorry approach to children’s activities at the fair still makes good sense this year.

A: Each equate to approximately six feet of distance. While you might not be planning to line up livestock to remind fairgoers of appropriate distancing; restrictions and guidelines are everchanging.

Making small adjustments to children’s county fair activities should set up your county Farm Bureau Promotion & Education activities for success no matter the restrictions at the time of your events.

Please consider these general tips:

  • Plan for volunteers to individually hand out materials as opposed to help-yourself distribution of flyers, handouts, trinkets or craft supplies, etc.
  • Limit activities or displays where objects are handled by numerous individuals throughout the day to avoid cumbersome cleaning responsibilities.
  • Prepackage craft supplies or trinkets for children so one child or one family gets a bag of items.
  • Seek donations of small packages of crayons (MI Soybean Promotion Committee) to hand out with a coloring page instead of a bin of crayons to be shared by children at the fair.
  • Consider using painter’s tape or similar to mark off stations or work spaces for children at activity tables or picnic tables.
  • Avoid activities such as sawdust penny hunts, corn boxes, play areas with shared toys, craft supplies, etc.
  • Host individual make-and-take craft projects instead of games or activities that involve groups of children using shared materials. (See below.)
  • Avoid make-and-take activities involving food such as making butter or ice cream in a bag. Instead consider individually packaged food giveaways such as cheese sticks, small milk cartons or fruit.
  • Provide volunteers with cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer so all children sanitize hands before participation and all tables and materials are cleaned following activity.
  • Order safety posters from the MFB print shop to remind visitors of proper health and safety protocols.

Activity ideas:

Questions? Contact Amelia Miller or Katie Eisenberger

Making small adjustments to children’s county fair activities should set up your county Farm Bureau Promotion & Education activities for success no matter the restrictions at the time of your events.

The third class of Michigan Farm Bureau’s Academy for Political Leadership convenes for the first time later this month, beginning a pandemic-adjusted schedule that will continue through September.

COVID-19 restrictions led the group to put off meeting meet in person until a time when they can, hopefully, convene in person.

Eight participants are scheduled to meet in June, July, August and September:

Nadene Berthiaume grew up on a small farm in Genesee County, earned her education credentials at Michigan State and worked as an ag teacher and FFA advisor. She’s now district administrator of the Saginaw Conservation District, following several years as an ag-tech instructor and program director at Baker College of Owosso.

While raising her family Berthiaume is building two small businesses: a farm accounting service and a small horse farm. Her lifelong passion for agriculture informs her efforts as an advocate for agriculture, outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation.

Maria Carlin farms with her husband in Shiawassee County, raising cash crops near Owosso and running a pair of related ventures: d’Vine Wines and Maria’s Garden. She’s a graduate of MSU’s vet-tech program with degrees in microbiology and business administration; he’s a fifth-generation cash crop farmer and environmental engineer. Both entertain political aspirations.

Currently a member of the Shiawassee County Farm Bureau board of directors, Carlin represents District 5 on MFB’s state-level policy development committees and has take part in both MFB’s Lansing and Washington Legislative Seminars.


Logan Crumbaugh grew up on his family’s farm in Gratiot County, growing corn, soybeans, wheat and sugar beets. He earned his agribusiness management degree from Michigan State and through Farm Bureau events has developed a passion for political involvement, including an itch to someday seek an elected office.

Off the farm he enjoys homebrewing, riding ATVs and snowmobiles, and exploring Michigan with his wife Morgan.


Byron Fogarasi is the fourth-generation owner of his family's centennial farm in Arenac County near Sterling, raising cash crops, hay and beef cattle with his wife Robyn and their children, Ryder and Rose. Combining childhood lessons learned from his grandparents with formal education in mechanical engineering and business administration, Fogarasi is deeply committed to ensuring future generations can embrace the farming heritage his forbears made possible for him.

A member of Arenac County Farm Bureau’s executive committee, Fogarasi is already politically active as a township supervisor, taking an active role in policymaking to maintain his community’s agricultural legacy.


Loren King comes from St. Joseph County, where he serves on the count Farm Bureau board of directors and helps his family raise corn and soybeans. Off the farm he works with digital media for an agricultural startup serving farmers with digital media technology including photography, videography and drones. 

His Farm Bureau involvement has him hooked on developing solid policy and advocating for farm-friendly legislation. In 4-H and FFA, and as an MFB policy intern, King has developed and fed his passion agricultural policymaking, and personally lobbied lawmakers in advocating for measures that benefit American farmers.


Brad Lubbers farms near Hamilton in Allegan County with his parents, wife Konni and their children Thomas and Noelle. Together they raise hogs on a 200-sow farrow-to-finish farm, in addition to 900 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat.

An active member of the Allegan County Farm Bureau, Lubbers has a deep resume of involvement in every corner of the organization, from candidate evaluation and policy development to the Young Farmer program and serving on the county board of directors, including as county president.

Allan Robinette is a fifth-generation fruit grower near Grand Rapids, and a member of the Kent County Farm Bureau. His family operates a popular agritourism destination where Allan works behind the scenes, growing apples, sweet cherries and peaches.

Robeinette’s Apple Haus includes operate a year-round farm market, cider mill, bakery and winery.

Ed Scheffler comes from a third-generation farm in northeastern Lenawee County he shares with his wife Wendy and their children Faith and Austin. A member of the Lenawee County Farm Bureau board of directors, he farms alongside his father, raising about 150 acres soybeans, 100 acres of hay and 80 acres each of wheat and oats.

By day Scheffler is Lenawee County’s deputy drain commissioner, a position that informs his volunteer work with the River Raisin Watershed Council’s farmer group promoting water-quality practices and public outreach.

At their June kickoff meeting all new Academy participants will spend time getting acquainted with each other and the program itself.

MFB President Carl Bednarski will speak to the need for farmers to be active politically.

Participants will take part in training mass-media interviewing skills, social media strategy and campaign material design.

Dist. 88 State Representative Luke Meerman, a dairy farmer from Coopersville and active Farm Bureau member, will share what he’s learned from campaigning and serving constituents.

MFB Legal Counsel Andy Kok will speak to the role of the judiciary and State Legislative Counsel Rob Anderson staff will walk participants through the process of how legislation really becomes the law of the land.

The program continues with subsequent sessions in late June and mid-August, and concludes with a mid-September session in Washington, D.C. (tentative, depending on the status of pandemic precautions there.)

MFB’s Academy for Political Leadership is designed for Farm Bureau members interested in politics and government. Some participants aspire to public office themselves or seek to learn how to support office-holders, while others simply want to learn more about how government works.

The academy takes place every other year in non-election years. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you or someone you know is interested in taking part in a future class.

MFB staff contacts: Matt Kapp, 517-679-5883, and Melissa Palma, 517-323-6740


The third class of Michigan Farm Bureau’s Academy for Political Leadership convenes for the first time later this month, beginning a pandemic-adjusted schedule that will continue through September.


Need extra hands at your district-level events this summer? Reach out to your future members: high school and college students.

Two sweet wins right off the bat: Your county Farm Bureau grows its volunteer pool (surely on your long to-do list) AND the students you involve experience our grassroots process firsthand.

For ways to utilize high school and collegiate members, check out this huge infographic below (click here to see and download a full-size version).

For help connecting with these groups, contact Katie Eisenberger, MFB’s High School & Collegiate Programs Specialist.

Need extra hands at your district-level events this summer? Reach out to your future members: high school and college students.

Coming Events

DateEvent
August2021
Wednesday
18
2021 Shiawassee County Member Pig Roast
475 Emma Dr
Corunna, MI
Drive-thru Member Pig Roast! Free Dinner to Shiawassee County Farm Bureau Members!
August2021
Tuesday
31
2021 Shiawassee County Annual Meeting
5703 W Bennington Rd
Laingsburg, MI
Meeting Highlights: County Award Winners | Policy Resolutions | Election of Directors | Bylaw Change