County News Archive

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. Hillsdale 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 President Kayla Lewis was voted as delegate chair joined by Bruce Lewis, Terry Finegan, Chris Brooks, Barney Traylor, Ron Oates, and Mark Kline.

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 President Lewis by email at [email protected] or by phone at (517) 282-6194. You can also contact our county manager Janelle Walworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (517) 437-2458.

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 Kayla Lewis, County President

Pictured: Member Scott Welden

On behalf of Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, I am excited to announce that Farm Bureau will be taking on Project R.E.D., rural education day for 4th grade students in Hillsdale County.

Project R.E.D. has been a part of the agriculture community in Hillsdale County, facilitated by the Ag Council, for almost 10 years providing 4th grade students with a variety of agriculture-based education and materials for their classrooms.

When the Ag Council announced they would no longer be able facilitate this program, I attended a few meetings to learn more. In August, I expressed my eagerness to continue this project to my fellow directors and proposed that our county farm bureau assume this role of facilitating Project R.E.D. moving forward. Without hesitation, the county farm bureau board of directors agreed and voted to accept the challenge!

While this year may continue to pose challenge with in-person activities, we are confident students will have a Project R.E.D. even if we move to transition it to a virtual format.

I will be working closely with volunteers who have helped facilitate on Project R.E.D. in the prior years to ensure we maintain the work as it has been done in the past.

We are very lucky to have great volunteers that have offered their support in volunteering with the event that served on Ag Council, but we will be looking for more!

Please be sure to watch our website hillsdale.michfb.com and Facebook page @HillsdaleCountyFarmBureau for updates about this activity.

If you are interested in volunteering, we have many opportunities available! Please contact me by email at [email protected] or by phone at (517) 282-6194. You can also contact our county manager Janelle Walworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (517) 437-2458.


Best Regards,

Kayla Lewis
President
Hillsdale County Farm Bureau

On behalf of Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, I am excited to announce that Farm Bureau will be taking on Project R.E.D., rural education day for 4th grade students in Hillsdale County.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Membership Captain Allison Grimm (Left) & County President Kayla Lewis (Right)


Allison Grimm (left), Sarah Headley (center) and children


2021 Fair Booth Hillsdale CFB & Hillsdale Conservation 


2021 Parade






































Hillsdale County Farm Bureau’s Membership and Promotion & Education Committees indulged in a variety of activities at the county fair held September 26th to October 3rd.

Promotion & Education Committee Chair Joe Draper wanted to do an activity that would provide educational materials to local elementary schools. Sunday through Wednesday of fair week, fair goers could walk through the Educational Exhibit and then head back to the county farm bureau booth to vote for their favorite school’s artwork. The voting display was created by Joe’s children. The fair theme this year was Together Again. “Thank you for everyone that participated” said Joe who is excited to announce that Camden Elementary is the recipient of the Farm Crates for their school.

Membership Captain Allison Grimm set the course for the rest of the activities.

The county farm bureau shared a booth with Hillsdale Conservation District in the new merchant’s building. The booth display provided fair goers with a Michigan Farm Fun Directory and more information about the county farm bureau. The display board showcased the Help, Meet, Learn, Save initiative. Each area demonstrated how members provided support in each of these areas including access to educational resources, developing leadership skills, advocating for agriculture, and connecting with legislators.

On Monday of the fair, members Barney & Teresa Traylor, George Pierce, Kayla Lewis, and Allison Grimm walked through the parade giving out candy and a “sheep” hot/cold pack for the kids. They were joined by Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Mike Neely, County Farm Bureau Manager Janelle Walworth and Michigan Farm Bureau Regional Manager Kim Kerr. “This is our second-year walking in the fair parade and I think it is a great way to get our name out there and promote to our local community,” said Allison.

After the parade, regular members (those involved in agriculture) could visit the county farm bureau booth for a free milk ticket. “I wanted to provide regular members with a member benefit and support a local agriculture industry,” said Allison who shared what inspired her to provide this opportunity. “When Allison first reached out to me, I thought it was a fantastic idea,” said Jennifer Lewis, treasurer of the Hillsdale County Dairy Promoters. “Other county farm bureau’s do a similar activity at their local fairs. Anytime you can give back to your members to make them feel appreciated, it’s a great thing.”

Many great conversations inspired ideas for the 2022 fair. Watch for updates on our county activities on our website hillsdale.michfb.com or Facebook page HillsdaleCountyFarmBureau.

Hillsdale County Farm Bureau’s Membership and Promotion & Education Committees indulged in a variety of activities at the county fair held September 26th to October 3rd.
By Allison Grimm, Membership Committee Captain















Through a partnership with the Hillsdale Soil Conservation District and Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, the 7th Annual Nutrient Management Field Day was held on Thursday, August 19th hosted by Jay and Kelli Williams of Stoney Ridge Farms in Waldron.

Attending participants had an opportunity during registration to visit with others, enjoy refreshments and tour the vendor expo.

This year’s keynote speaker was Rick Clark, fifth generation farmer from Williamsport, Indiana. Headlined numerous times in No-till Farmer, Rick is constantly improving a systematic approach to regenerative farming while striving to be a low-cost input producer. Rick’s farm is 100% No-Till, Non-GMO, and Cover Crops are utilized on all acres. Rick’s keynote session “The Benefits of Farming Green” kicked off the field day event. An additional afternoon breakout session was offered for those seeking a deeper discussion on related farming practices, including “Regenerative Organic with No Tillage.”

Multiple morning break-out sessions were offered:

  • “Regenerative Organic with No Tillage” Rick Clark from Williamsport, IN
  • “Considerations for Carbon Markets” Tess Van Gorder, Michigan Farm Bureau
  • “Farming for the Future” Clint Nester, Nester Ag LLC, from Bryan, OH
  • “How to Tell your Ag Story” Andrew Hasenick, Hasenick Farms from Springport, MI
  • “Water Quality Research in the WLEB” Bruce Cleland, Senior Project Manager Water Monitoring
  • “Water Quality Research in the WLEB II” Sarah Snarski & Mari Danz, USGS; Jay Williams from Waldron, MI
  • “Opportunities & Outreach for Young Farmers & Ranchers” Crystal Hepker, Farm Loan Manager at FSA
  • “Farm Safety: MIOSHA, I-9 Forms, COVID-19 Response” Nancy Nyquist & Ben Tirrell, Michigan Farm Bureau
  • “Building & Managing a Biological System” Tim Boring, Boring Farms from Stockbridge, MI

During the Young Farmer & Ranchers session, Young Farmer Committee Chairs Cody Birdsell and Jesse Rice offered two opportunities for attendees: a drawing for a toolbox that was won by Ethan Bognar and a Carhart sweatshirt for new young farmers who signed up for a county farm bureau membership during the event. We are proud to introduce our two new members, Ethan Bognar and George Pierce.

“While I attended the event today for the credits, I like to learn and hear from other farms”, said Owen Snyder, first time attendee and new member of Hillsdale County Farm Bureau.

During lunch Allison Grimm, Cody Birdsell and MFB’s Ben Tirrell provided updates on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).

Sarah Fronczak, MSU Extension gave an update about the St. Joe River Watershed Cost Share.

In the afternoon participants could attend the in-field agricultural drone applications by Williams Specialty Drone Services from Waldron, MI and Rantizo Inc. from Iowa City, Iowa or visit the USGS Automatic Sampling Station.

Field day concluded with an ice cream social sponsored by the Hillsdale County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee.

“I attended the Young Farmer & Rancher session and How to tell your Ag story session,” said Hillsdale Co Farm Bureau Director Jesse Rice. “While this was my first time attending the Hillsdale County Field Day, other county field days have focused less on conservation. I like the How to tell you Ag Story session but I don’t keep up on my personal Facebook page so I’m unsure how far I would get into some of the ideas shared by Drew at this time.”

The field day event provided participants with an opportunity to apply for 10 CCA credits, 6 Michigan RUP Credits, MAEAP (Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program) Phase 1 credit, and several prize drawings.

Jackson Co Farm Bureau Director, Jim Gillispie traveled to the county to attend the field day event. “I enjoy attending activities like this because you can always learn something.”

On behalf of the Field Day Committee, thank you to those that sponsored this year’s event: Stoney Ridge Farms, Cushman Creek Supply, Channel, Farm Bureau Insurance – Leininger Agency, Agronomic Solutions, Fulton Soil & Water Conservation District, Greenstone Farm Credit Services. Waldron Grain & Fuel, Edon Farmers, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Eagle Valley, The Nature Conservancy, Innovative Ag Management, Prattville Fertilizer & Grain, Paul Martin & Sons, KFG, Farm Bureau Insurance – Michael Neely Agency, Wells Equipment, Letherer Farms, Hillsdale County Dairy Promoters, Storehalder Farms, Belson Farms, Waldron FFA, Rantizo, Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, Hillsdale Soil Conservation District.

The event would not be possible without the support of multiple agencies and volunteers!

Visit the Hillsdale Conservation District website for next years Field Day event hillsdalecd.org.

Through a partnership with the Hillsdale Soil Conservation District and Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, the 7th Annual Nutrient Management Field Day was held on Thursday, August 19th hosted by Jay and Kelli Williams of Stoney Ridge Farms in Waldron.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Jesse Rice (left), Cody Birdsell (middle), Cameron Goble (right)-Young Farmer Ag Leader Award


Jesse Rice (left), Cody Birdsell (middle), Cole Dryer (right)-Young Farmer Employee Award


Jesse Rice (left), Cody Birdsell (middle), County President Kayla Lewis (right)-Young Farmer Excellence in Ag Award

Each year, Hillsdale County Farm Bureau honors local producers for their achievements and contributions to local agriculture. The county Young Farmer awards focus on those ages 18 to 35.

The Young Farmer awards are announced at the county annual, which was recently held on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at the Hillsdale County Fairgrounds.

Each recipient will receive their first year of membership paid by the county, first opportunity to attend the Growing Together Conference and a $25.00 gift certificate to and donated by Powers Clothing.

Young Farmer Chair Cody Birdsell and Co-Chair Jesse Rice announced this year’s Young Farmer award recipients:

Young Farmer Employee Award – Cole Dryer
Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award – Cameron Goble
Young Farmer Excellence in Ag Award – Kayla Lewis

The Young Farmer Employee Award recognizes farm employees and agriculture professionals for their contributions to the success and long-term profitability of their workplace including their leadership involvement in Farm Bureau, agriculture and the local community.

This year’s Young Farmer Employee Award goes to Cole Dryer.

Cole began working part-time for Evans Livestock, a dairy/beef/crop operation, in high school four years ago before transitioning to full time this year. During this time Cole juggled worked, school, and FFA. In FFA, he built Community Garden boxes for raised beds in the FFA garden using rough cut lumber from the farm. He has become very experienced on milking, feeding, crop management, and equipment maintenance for 500 head milking herd. In June he was promoted to employee management, supervising hay crews and his younger brother in the feed area.

 

The Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award honors successful young agriculturalists, who earn the majority of their income from a farm operation, for their outstanding leadership in Farm Bureau, farming and throughout the agricultural community. 

This year’s Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award goes to Cameron Goble.

Cameron has worked on a variety of farms throughout his school years and is currently employed at Buck Farms, a 2,000-acre row crop farm. He has been helping to manage the farm since about age 19.  He is very active and passionate about the ag community. Cameron has continued to educate himself by working with other local farmers to bring back experience to the farm. He has recently learned about the importance of MAEAP and worked with the farm owner to get the farm MAEAP verified. He has also implemented new technology on the farm and assists in making decisions.

 

The Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award is designed to recognize young farmers for their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau.

This year’s Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award goes to Kayla Lewis.

Kayla was appointed to the Hillsdale County Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 2018 and has since taken on a vast number of roles and responsibilities in a short time. In her first year she was appointed by her fellow directors as Vice President and in her second year as President. She was also appointed as County Annual Committee chair, all while managing her responsibilities on the farm and to her family. She also has attended almost every local and state activities including Washington Legislative, State Annual, Lansing Legislative, and Young Farmer Leaders Conference. Kayla has demonstrated extraordinary leadership within farm bureau and the agriculture community at a young age.

 

Jesse and Cody thanked each of the recipients for their contributions to agriculture.

Visit our website hillsdale.michfb.com and Facebook page @HillsdaleCountyFarmBureau for upcoming young farmer activities.

Each year, Hillsdale County Farm Bureau honors local producers for their achievements and contributions to local agriculture. The county Young Farmer awards focus on those ages 18 to 35.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

President Lewis (left) presenting Alice Hughes (right) with a $500 scholarship award.


The Hillsdale County Farm Bureau Board of Directors.


Vice President Chris Brooks


Young Farmer Chair Cody Birdsell


MFB Director Jennifer Lewis handing Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Brent Leininger the Key Club award.



First year County President Kayla Lewis delivered her first county annual on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

The meeting was called to order by County President Lewis.  The meeting began with several proposed policy resolutions, presented by Policy Development committee member Adam Lewis, which were approved for forwarding to the state policy development committee for consideration at the MFB Annual Meeting in December. Adam thanked his fellow committee members for their efforts in developing policy at the local, state and national levels: Denese Belson, Carleton Evans, Mark Kline, and Mark Geib.

The meeting recessed for dinner, provided by Gene Davis & Son’s Catering, including a delicious selection of BBQ chicken, brisket, salad, fruit, potato salad, cornbread, macaroni and cheese and a variety of fruit cobblers.

Getting back to county Farm Bureau business, President Lewis called the meeting to order asked members and guests to observe a moment of silence to remember the horrific event at the World Trade Center and Pentagon on this day 20 years ago.

President Lewis proceeded to welcome members and guests to the 2021 county annual meeting to share in the prior year’s accomplishments.

President Lewis introduced MFB National Legislative Counsel John Kran who gave updates on the national level.

President Lewis introduced State Young Farmer Member Paul Pridgeon who highlighted the importance of involvement to sustain the future of the agriculture industry.

President Lewis introduced the current directors and welcomed new members who joined Hillsdale County Farm Bureau from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

Vice-President Chris Brooks introduced several guests: Michigan Farm Bureau’s Jennifer Lewis & husband Bruce; MFB District 2 Regional Manager Kim Kerr; MFB Director of Field Operations Deb Schmucker & husband Brent; MFB Chief Operating Officer Scott Piggott; MFB National Advisory Counsel John Kran; Farm Bureau Insurance Managing Partner Nick Hurst; Conservation District Cody Birdsell; State P&E member Alysa Sanford, State YF member Paul Pridgeon; MFB Commodity Advisory Committee members Cami Marz Evans, Jennifer Lewis, and Stuart Welden; MSU Extension Sarah Fronczak

President Lewis thanked the following agencies for sponsoring today’s event:

  • $275 WHOLE HOG SPONSORS: The Udderside, Countryside Veterinary Services, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, County National Bank, Hillsdale Buick GMC, Kaeb Sales Inc, Nutrien Ag Solutions in Reading, American One Credit Union, Hudson Dairy, Farm Bureau Insurance, Michael Neely Agency, and Leininger Agency 6
  • $175 KING RANCH SPONSORS: R.W. Oates Farm, Ransom Chicken Farm, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Dauer Farm, Gene Davis & Sons Catering, and Wells Equipment
  • $100 BIN BUSTER SPONSORS: Bever Farms, Pleasant View Dairy, Brooks Farms, Finegan Farms, Birdsell & Rathbun Farms, Market House, Kohler Farms, Family Farm & Home, and Hillsdale County Dairy Promoters

Members were provided with a ballot to nominate and vote for their board of director representatives. The following members will serve the two-year term for 2021-2023:

District 1: Jesse Rice
District 2: Dan Easterday
District 3: Barney Traylor
At-Large: Kayla Lewis
At-Large: Mark Kline
At-Large: Joe Draper

In addition to electing directors and setting its own policy agenda for the coming year, Hillsdale’s 2021 Annual Meeting was also a chance to recognize several outstanding individuals for their service to local agriculture.

President Lewis introduced District 2 Director Jennifer Lewis who highlighted a lot of great efforts by Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, support for MAEAP and shared a video representing statewide programs. She also announced the Key Club recipients: Brent Leininger and Mike Neely. Key Club is a program designed to recognize Farm Bureau Insurance agents who write 5 or more regular members during the year.

President Lewis introduced Farm Bureau Insurance Managing Partner Nick Hurst who highlighted the Agent Charitable Funds and that Farm Bureau Insurance is once again on the Top 50 places to work list.

President Lewis introduced MFB Regional Manager, Kim Kerr, who highlighted the tremendous amount of work put forth by the board of directors and committee this year.

President Lewis introduced State P&E Member, Alysa Sanford, who highlighted state activities such as the farm science Lab and Growing Together Conference coming in 2022.

President Lewis introduced Promotion & Education Chair, Joe Draper, who highlighted the MI-OSHA incident reporting magnets for members, farm crates for schools, Agriculture in the Classroom, and Project R.E.D. (rural education day).

President Lewis introduced Young Farmer Chair, Cody Birdsell, who highlighted the young farmer session at the Field Day event, the national agriculture week drawing contest, and the young farmer discussion meet.

President Lewis announced the three $500 scholarship recipients: Alice Hughes, Matisyn Howell, and Heather Demkowski. She congratulated the recipients and thanked the following organizations that sponsored the scholarship: Waldron Grain & Fuel, Channel Seed, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Kohler Strawberry Farm, Bennett Seed.

President Lewis introduced Young Farmer Co-Chair, Jesse Rice who was accompanied by Chair, Cody Birdsell. Jesse announced this year’s Young Farmer award recipients:

Young Farmer Employee Award – Cole Dryer
Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award – Cameron Goble
Young Farmer Excellence in Ag Award – Kayla Lewis

Each recipient was presented with a $25.00 gift certificate donated by Powers Clothing.

President Lewis thanked all who attended and helped prepare for the county annual before adjourning.

Visit our website to review the approved policies and upcoming county activities at hillsdale.michfb.com.


  

Director and Promotion & Education Committee Chair Joe Draper                                        MFB Director Jennifer Lewis handing County President Kayla Lewis a gift.

                       
                                                                                                                                               House Representative Andrew Fink giving invocation.

First year County President Kayla Lewis delivered her first county annual on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Pictured Shooting: Cody Birdsell, Hillsdale Co Farm Bureau


Pictured Standing: Cody Birdsell, Hillsdale Co Farm Bureau


Female shooters show their guns before they take on the field.


Another successful young farmer discussion meet & trap shoot was held on Thursday, August 5th at the Big 9 Sportsman Club in Pulaski Township.

Hosted by Michigan Farm Bureau, Young farmers from Hillsdale, Jackson, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Branch socialized while enjoyed a meal from Davis & Sons Catering.

The discussion meet kicked off at 6:00pm with a briefing to contestants by Lenawee member Abby (Carpenter) Vittore on how the discussion meet will be administered.

Discussion meets simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each contestant. The competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Contestants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. Contestants are given two questions ahead of time that they will be discussing. Judges evaluate the contestants before selecting the finalist.

Hillsdale Contestant, Cody Birdsell, shares his experience during the discussion meet. “The biggest take away I got from the discussion meet was the ability to talk with other farmers on the topic, farm safety, and how we as farmers and farm bureau can be proactive in farm safety and do our best to keep farm accidents at a minimum. The factor that encourage(d) me the most to participate was the collaboration of young farmers and to establish relationships with other young farmers in farm bureau. I would encourage other young farmers to concern giving it a try next year. While I was pretty nervous going in, once the discussion started it went away and it was just farmers talking to other farmers. It definitely is a great leadership experience and helps with public speaking.” Cody has previously participated in the Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meets and currently represents Hillsdale Co Farm Bureau as the Young Farmer Committee Chair.

As the discussion meet begins, each contestant is asked to provide an opening statement before answering two questions 1) Studies show more farmers and farm families are experiencing stress and mental health issues. What can farmers, ranchers and Farm Bureau do to proactively promote good mental health in both themselves and their communities? 2) Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries. What can we, as young farmers and ranchers, do to create a more preventative, rather than reactive, approach to farm safety in our communities?

After the judges Noelle Nachreiner, Pat Butler and Lance Landis completed their evaluation, the finalists were announced. Join us in congratulating Dalton Hard (Branch), Bo Stemaly (Calhoun), and Jackie Sanford (Jackson)! Each participant was given a small prize for participating including Young Farmer coolers, playing cards, and pop sockets.  The finalists and alternates that are moving on to the preliminary round had the opportunity to select a prize which included a Yeti Rambler Colster, a Yeti Tumbler Mug, a Young Farmer Jacket, a Young Farmer Carhartt Hoodie, or a Bluetooth Speaker. The finalists will move on to virtual preliminary round before moving to the in-person Sweet 16 Round at the State Annual in November.

The evening wrapped up with a trap shoot where members competed 5 at a time aiming at clay pigeons that were sent into the air. Each round of trap includes 25 targets where each shooter fires at 5 targets from each of the 5 shooting positions. This opportunity was appreciated by many, with some even being their first time. The trap shoot contest was an excellent way to wrap up District 2’s Discussion Meet while showcasing members skills. Whether each member was experienced or not in shooting trap, fun was had by all.

Please visit Michigan Farm Bureau’s website for the 2022 discussion meet information or contact Megan Sprague, MFB’s Young Farmer Program specialist at [email protected].

trapshoot, discussion meet, hillsdale county, farm bureau, michigan farm bureau, leadership, agriculture
By Allison Grimm, Membership Captain & Hillsdale Conservation MAEAP Technician





Through a partnership with the Hillsdale Soil Conservation District and Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, the 2021 Nutrient Management Field Day has been scheduled for Thursday, August 19th from 8:30am to 2:30pm and will again be hosted by Jay and Kelli Williams of Stoney Ridge Farms, located at 14031 Broom Road Waldron, Michigan. Registration begins at 7:30am with refreshments and a chance to tour the vendor expo. Lunch will be provided, as well as 6 Michigan RUP Credits, 10 CCA Credits and MAEAP Phase 1 credit. There is no cost to attend this field day event, but registration is encouraged to the Hillsdale Conservation District.

This year’s keynote speaker is Rick Clark, fifth generation farmer from Williamsport, Indiana. Headlined numerous times in No-till Farmer, Rick is constantly improving a systematic approach to regenerative farming while striving to be a low-cost input producer. Rick’s farm is 100% No-Till, Non-GMO, and Cover Crops are utilized on all acres. Rick’s keynote session “The Benefits of Farming Green” will kick off the field day at 8:30am. A breakout session with Rick will also be offered later in the morning for those seeking a deeper discussion on related farming practices, including “Regenerative Organic with No Tillage.”

Additional break-out sessions will include “Considerations for Carbon Markets” with Tess Van Gorder, Associate Policy and Regulatory Specialist at Michigan Farm Bureau; “How to Tell your AG Story” with Andrew Hasenick of Hasenick Farms in Springport, MI; “The Teralytic Soil Probe” with Nester AG LLC of Bryan, OH; “Innovative Farmers Network” with Tim Boring, with the Michigan Agri-Business Association from Stockbridge, MI; “Farm Safety: MIOSHA, I-9 Forms, and COVID-19 Response” with Nancy Nyquist and Ben Tirrell at Michigan Farm Bureau; and “Opportunities and Outreach for Young Farmers and Ranchers with Crystal Hepker, Farm Loan Manager for USDA-FSA.

Lunch will be served at noon, with updates on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). Afternoon sessions will include in-field agricultural drone applications by Williams Specialty Drone Services of Waldron, MI and Rantizo Inc. from Iowa City, Iowa. The field day will conclude with an ice cream social sponsored by the Hillsdale County Young Farmers, 10 CCA, 6 Michigan RUP Credits, and prize drawings.

For more information on the 2021 Nutrient Management Field Day, please contact the Hillsdale Conservation District at (517) 849-9890 Ext. 3., email at [email protected], or visit www.hillsdalecd.org

The 2021 Nutrient Management Field Day has been scheduled for Thursday, August 19th from 8:30am to 2:30pm at Stoney Ridge Farms.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Pictured: District Presidents (Left to Right) Luke Lindsay (Branch), Kayla Lewis (Hillsdale), Andrea Boughton (Calhoun), Tom VanWagner (Lenawee) Jennifer Lewis (MFB District 2 Director)
Not Pictured: Jake Faist





Pictured: (Left to Right) Joe Ladd, Hayden Ladd, Cody Birdsell, Bruce Lewis, Kayla Lewis




Pictured: Jennifer Lewis (MFB District 2 Director)






Members from District 2 gathered at Hillsdale College Hotel and Conference Center to hear from several speakers about energy and carbon markets.

Jennifer Lewis, MFB Board of Directors, opened the meeting and introduced each of the speakers.

Shelby Myers is an Economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation with a focus on crop market, farm policy and sustainability markets. She and her team are responsible for tracking markets and examining the impact of various legislative regulatory initiatives on agriculture. She kicked off the agenda sharing insights on what to consider when deciding to install solar energy, what your contract could mean to you and next steps. She shared one contract that did not include what happens when the solar panels or windmills have reached their lifecycle posing the question, who is responsible for disposing of them?

Next up were four speakers talking about hot topics in energy.

Reka Holley-Voelker is the Manager of the Communications Section at the Michigan Public Service Commission where she oversees the Commission’s external communications and outreach efforts, advises on numerous policy issues and serves as the main point of contact for member of the Legislature and the Tribes. Her session focused on an overview of energy in Michigan.

Ryan Coffey Hoag with Michigan State University Extension where he works with elected and appointed government officials, non-profit and community organizations, state and federal agencies, private businesses, and other community leaders to provide education, facilitation, training and technical expertise for planning and zoning, community and economic development, grant writing assistance, GIS, and other agricultural, natural resource, tourism, and environmental issues. His session focused on siting, planning and zoning.

Jim Zook is the Executive Director for Michigan Corn. He has been involved in agriculture his entire life, growing up on a small form in Central, IL, raising corn, soybeans and hogs. He has spent his working career in the Fertilizer, Seed and Crop Protection business in Wisconsin; followed by working as a Crops Agent for Michigan State University Extension, Before his current position at Michigan Corn, he was instrumental in developing two of the give ethanol facilities in Michigan and managing the second one from construction through operations as its General Manager. His session focused on an update about Ethanol.

Dana Kirk is an associate professor in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University and a licensed professional engineer at the State of Michigan. He is the manager of the Anaerobic Digester Research and Education Center. He gave a virtual presentation on Anaerobic Digesters.

Members then submitted questions to ask of the four speakers.

Just before lunch, Allison Eicher, Assistant General Counsel at Michigan Farm Bureau, shared legal considerations to consider when signing carbon credit contracts.

Members recessed for lunch, prepared by Hillsdale College.

After lunch Kali Fox, Office of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, gave members some updates on legislation, continued broadband issues, Farm Bill 2023, rural development, and how the pandemic surfaced a importance for understanding agriculture in relationship to where food comes from, processing, and livestock markets. Senator Stabenow is Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and works closely with Ms. Fox on agriculture related topics due to her background in agriculture.

State P&E Alysa Sanford took the stage, joined by four members to as a panel to share their insights on energy & carbon credits. The members were Brian Pridegon (Branch), Ken Blight (Calhoun), Jake Faist (Jackson), and Jake Isley (Lenawee). Members had the opportunity to ask the panelists questions.

Michigan Farm Bureau’s Tess Van Gorder and Emily Reinart expressed the important of our farm bureau grassroots process and the importance of every member’s voice in agriculture. Resources were made available to support policy ideas.

Director Lewis’ closing remarks were her support of farm bureau’s policy development process sharing that it is very rewarding, and you learn a lot about agriculture.

If you’d like to learn more about upcoming events, policy development or more about the county farm bureau, please visit our website at hillsdale.michfb.com or call the county office at (517) 437-2458.

Members from District 2 gathered at Hillsdale College Hotel and Conference Center to hear from several speakers about energy and carbon markets.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager



Pictured: Matisyn Howell

Not pictured: Heather Demkowski
, Alice Hughes

Our scholarship program is in its third year and we are pleased to announce that we will be awarding a third $500 scholarship thanks to tremendous support of our community.

We are excited to announce the 2021 scholarship recipients! Please join us in congratulating Heather Demkowski, Alice Hughes, and Matisyn Howell.

Matisyn Howell is a graduate of Jonesville High School. She participated in Jonesville FFA and Winner’s Circle 4-H. She plans to attend Iowa State University this fall majoring in Agronomy. Her goals focused on becoming a Research Agronomist or Field Sales Representative.

Heather Demkowski is a graduate of Jonesville High School. She participated in the Michigan High School Rodeo Association. She is planning to attend Pratt Community College this fall majoring in Agri-Business. Her goals focused on becoming an Agronomist or an equine rehabilitation therapist.

Alice Hughes is a graduate of Jonesville High School. She participated in the Jonesville FFA Chapter, Boots “N” Jeans and Litchfield Four Clovers 4-H Clubs. She plans to attend Baker College this fall majoring in Veterinary Technology. Her goals focused on working in a veterinary clinic.

We would also like to recognize our sponsors for their support of our scholarship program. We are grateful for such wonderful community support. The scholarship opportunity is provided by Waldron Grain & Fuel, Channel Seed (Jay Williams), Bennett Seed Inc (Tom Marshall & Trent Thomas), Reading Nutrien Ag Solutions, and Kohler Strawberry Farm.

Please visit our website  for updates for the 2022 scholarship opportunity.

Our scholarship program is in its third year and we are pleased to announce that we will be awarding a third $500 scholarship thanks to tremendous support of our community. We are excited to announce the 2021 scholarship recipients!
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Pictured: Kayla Lewis, Hillsdale CFB President (left) and Shannon Rossman, Jonesville FFA (right)

Hillsdale County Farm Bureau was given the honor of presenting a Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) jacket to Jonesville FFA student, Shannon Rossman at last Thursday night’s board meeting to recognize her for being selected as a State FFA Star Finalist.

The State FFA Degree is the highest award FFA members can earn while they are in high school. To earn this award, students must have earned their Outstanding Junior Degree, worked 50 hours of community service, served in a leadership role within their chapter, productively invested at least $2,000, and worked at least 450 hours on their project since the time they were freshmen.

Typically, high school students receive the MFB jacket during a special VIP reception at the Michigan FFA State convention, held last April; however, the convention was virtual this year.

Shannon shared that her plans are to attend Iowa State University in the field of Animal Science.

On behalf of Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, congratulations to Shannon and all the Hillsdale County FFA students for their outstanding efforts in agriculture!

The list below outlines each student’s achievement.

AWARD

FIRST NAME

LAST NAME

FFA CHAPTER

Academic Excellence

Noelle

Fazekas

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Madison

Kimble

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Lily

Marshall

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Virginia

Moore

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Grace

Morts

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Shannon

Rossman

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Emma

Scholfield

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Jenna

Stanton

Jonesville

Academic Excellence

Grace

Stiverson

Jonesville

Agriscience Research Proficiency Award, State Winner

Alice

Hughes

Jonesville

Agriscience State Winner Animal Science VI

Jonesville

Agriscience State Winner Food Products Systems V

Jonesville

Agriscience State Winner Food Products Systems VI

Jonesville

Agriscience State Winner Plant Systems IV

Jonesville

Agriscience State Winner Social Systems III

Jonesville

Diversified Agricultural Production Proficiency Award

Cody

Blonde

Jonesville

Honorary State FFA Degree

Kim

Salisbury

Jonesville

National Chapter Award

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Cody

Blonde

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Noelle

Fazekas

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Madison

Kimble

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Lily

Marshall

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Grace

Morts

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Jenna

Stanton

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Shawna

Yoder

Jonesville

State Degree

Kayleigh

Adams

Jonesville

State Degree

Cole

Dryer

Jonesville

State Degree

Abby

Hawkins

Jonesville

State Degree

Rusty

Hollister

Jonesville

State Degree

Lila

Howell

Jonesville

State Degree

Alice

Hughes

Jonesville

State Degree

Lyndsi

Martin

Jonesville

State Degree

Braydon

McKitterick

Jonesville

State Degree

Emma

Scholfield

Jonesville

State Degree

Grace

Stiverson

Jonesville

State Degree

Cameron

Wright

Jonesville

State Degree, Agriscience Star Finalist

Shannon

Rossman

Jonesville

Superior Chapter

Jonesville

Outstanding Junior

Gannon

Willitts

Waldron

State Degree

Libby

Fee

Waldron

State Degree

Katie

Leininger

Waldron

State Degree

Chelseaa

Roberts

Waldron

State Degree

Kasie

Sheffer

Waldron


Below you’ll find the descriptions of the awards given.

Award

Description of Award

#SpeakAgMichigan Challenge (Chapter Award)

A Michigan Farm Bureau High School challenge encouraging FFA chapters to engage with consumers through monthly social media post themed challenges.

National Chapter (Chapter Award)

Recognizes FFA chapters who submit both section so the award application. Complete at least 15 activities: one for each of the five quality standards in each of the three divisions: Growing Leaders, Building Communities, and Strengthening Agriculture.

Superior Chapter (Chapter Award)

Recipients completed a portion of the National Chapter Application. Chapters need to conduct one activity related to each quality standard.

State Talent (No Band or Chorus in 2021)

Were selected to perform during the virtual State Convention.

Agriscience Fair (Group Award)

Recognizes students who are studying the application of scientific principles and emerging technologies in agriculture and natural resources.

Leadership Contests (Individual and Group Awards)

Leadership Contests develop college and career readiness skills. The competitive events serve as an outgrowth of instruction in the agricultural education classroom for FFA members in grades 7 to 12.

Academic Excellence (Individual Award)

High School juniors and seniors who earn a 3.5 or higher GPA.

Outstanding Juniors (Individual Award)

FFA members must have a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project, earned or invested at least $500, completed 250 hours, and serve 25 hours of community service.

Proficiency Awards (Individual Award)

Junior, Seniors, and college Freshmen members who have developed specialized skills they can apply toward their future careers in a specific focus area.

State Degrees (Individual Award)

Highest degree to earn in high school. Requirements include worked 50 hours of community service, served in a leadership role within their chapter, productively invested at least $2,000, and worked at least 450 hours on their project.


Hillsdale County Farm Bureau was given the honor of presenting a Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) jacket to Jonesville FFA student, Shannon Rossman.
By Allison Grimm, Membership Chair/MAEAP Technician




June in Michigan delivers one of the top three most popular fresh fruits in the country, strawberries!

Although most Michigan Strawberry production takes place on the west side of the state, strawberry farms are scattered throughout the entire state, including Hillsdale County.

Creek Valley Farm is owned and operated by Stan and Carol Smith, their daughter Stephanie, son Aaron and his wife Rhonda. Each family member works individually and together to bring fresh strawberries to customers. While Stan is the master mind of the strawberry platform at Creek Valley Farm, a lot has changed in the last nearly 43 years since he and Carol planted their first strawberry plants just before they got married in 1979. He stated that “they planted their first three acres of berries after his best friend from college convinced him to do so and he was working with a blind alley reference point.” The Smiths are now actively harvesting 10 acres of strawberries and recently planted an additional three acres earlier this spring for a total of 13 acres. Stan mentioned that the berries seemed to fit in well for their family’s farm operation since the berries require less acreage and there is little to no labor overlap with their row crops and livestock. The Smith’s also have water readily available at the farm for irrigation, which is used primarily for frost management and is a critical resource for raising strawberries.

Aaron spends most of his time managing equipment, fighting frost, and coordinating picking schedules, all of which has been assisted by advanced technology over the years. Aaron’s wife, Rhonda, assists with the picking schedule and acts as the farm’s harvest manager, teaching pickers proper harvesting methods and provides a sense of quality control from the field to the berry stand. Stephanie has become the farm’s media and marketing specialist in recent years, “everyone wants to know their farmer” she said, and social media is a great outlet to tell our story. She also stated, “each year more customers come from miles way to get our strawberries, some traveling as far as an hour and a half away!” Carol runs the “front office” at the farm, answering the phone and loading customers vehicles with fresh berries. Carol stated, “we want our customers to have fresh berries, so, our ideal shelf life is the same day.” All berries are marketed within 18 hours or less, with the majority being sold as retail at the farm.

Although Creek Valley is nothing less than a full family effort, the Smith’s also hire farm hands during berry season, including 10 pickers and two field supervisors. Sarah, a neighbor to the Smith’s, has been helping pick berries at the farm for 14 years. She is an assistant field supervisor, overseeing other pickers and directing those coming to pick their berries. The Smith’s also hire H-2A workers that spend approximately four weeks on the farm where they learn hygiene practices and proper strawberry harvesting.

With assistance from the Hillsdale Conservation District, Creek Valley Farm achieved verification in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). This process was an easy decision for the Smith family, as they “have been addressing sustainability a little better each year.” Stan said, “it lets people know that we’re doing the right thing.” Stan and Aaron both agreed MAEAP was an important reminder for detailed record keeping and documentation on the farm, and Aaron stated, “it refreshes our minds about things we have known but maybe forget.” MAEAP is a voluntary program aimed at helping farmers protect the environment by implementing and improving conservation practices. For more information about MAEAP or the Hillsdale Conservation District, visit www.MAEAP.org or www.hillsdalecd.org.

Creek Valley Farm officially opened for the berry season on June 7th and Stephanie said, “that’s about right.” Berry production is anticipated to last through the month of June, with the season typically ending around the fourth of July. Creek Valley Farm offers farm fresh already picked berries or you can come pick them yourself at the farm 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Saturday and 10:00am to 4:00pm on Sundays.

June in Michigan delivers one of the top three most popular fresh fruits in the country, strawberries!
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Hillsdale County Farm Bureau offered their first scholarship program in 2020 to area high school students. The scholarship came as a goal set by the county board of directors.

Scholarships will be awarded to a high school senior accepted by a post-secondary educational institution. Applicants must meet one of these criteria:

  1. A regular or associate member of Hillsdale County Farm Bureau
  2. The son or daughter of a regular or associate member
  3. An active FFA or 4-H member
  4. Applicants not meeting the above criteria may also be nominated by a regular Hillsdale County Farm Bureau member; a one-page letter of support must be attached to the completed application.

Applicants must also be a be a full-time student (12 credit hours or equivalent) for the fall of 2021, include a letter of recommendation, their current transcript and a nomination letter if applicable.

Kayla Lewis, Barney Traylor, Jesse Rice, Amber Kohler, and Chris Brooks currently serve on the scholarship committee. They evaluate applicants based on their leadership, community involvement, GPA and future educational and career plans.

This scholarship opportunity is brought to you by

  • Channel Seed-Jay Williams in Waldron, MI
  • Waldron Grain & Fuel in Waldron, MI
  • Bennett Seed Inc-Tom Marshall & Trent Thomas in Montpelier, OH
  • Nutrien Ag Solutions in Reading, MI

Applications must be submitted by June 1 by email, fax, or mail. Visit our website for application requirements at hillsdale.michfb.com.

                                              

Kayla Lewis, Barney Traylor, Jesse Rice, Amber Kohler, and Chris Brooks currently serve on the scholarship committee. They evaluate applicants based on their leadership, community involvement, GPA and future educational and career plans.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager


Pictured: Cody Birdsell, Young Farmer Committee Chairman




Pictured: Jesse Rice, Young Farmer Committee Co-Chairman








Hillsdale County Farm Bureau is excited to announce the appointment of Young Farmer co-chairs Cody Birdsell and Jesse Rice.

Cody grew up on a farm near Clayton and was active in FFA at Waldron High School before pursuing studies at Jackson College earning his degree in Agriculture Technology/Business. Previously employed at Stoney Ridge Farms LLC, Cody now works at the Hillsdale County Conservation District as a MAEAP technician, helping area farms minimize agricultural pollution risks.

Since joining Hillsdale County Farm Bureau in December 2018 Cody has participated in Jackson College’s Collegiate Farm Bureau, Nutrient Management Field Day, Ag in the Classroom, Family Rodeo Night, legislative discussions and several other local activities.

Jesse was raised on his family’s corn and soybean farm near Litchfield and was active in FFA at Jonesville High School. From there he attended Michigan State University, earning his degree in Crop and Soil Science. He’s now employed by Gary Cooper Trucking in Quincy, where he is responsible for spreading fertilizer and lime.

Jesse joined our county Farm Bureau in August 2019 and was soon appointed to represent Allen, Litchfield and Scipio townships for the board of directors. Since then he has attended the Young Farmer Leaders Conference and participated in the scholarship and county annual meeting committees.

After planting season, both Jesse and Cody will be planning activities for our Hillsdale County Young Farmers, including the District 2 Discussion Meet on Aug. 5 — mark your calendars!

Look for updates on our Facebook page, website and your email in-box.

Hillsdale County Farm Bureau is excited to announce the appointment of Young Farmer co-chairs Cody Birdsell and Jesse Rice.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Connecting with state and local officials is a goal this year for the Hillsdale County Farm Bureau (CFB) Board of Directors.

While the county and state farm bureaus do a lot to connect with legislators such as Lansing Legislative, a local setting gives the discussion a much deeper dive into concerns.

House Representative Andrew Fink visited with the Hillsdale CFB Board of Directors at their last board meeting for an update. Fink shared updates on MDARD licensing, MI-OSHA reporting, budget supplements, and DHHS executive order limits. The directors inquired about broadband, fine/fee increase from COVID-19 executive orders, carbon credits, and propane.

Fink later reached out to meet with local farmers in coming weeks. He will be visiting Pleasant View Dairy in Allen Township and Stoney Ridge Farms, Belson Farms, and Ladd Family Farm in Wright Township.

Last week, a small group of members visited with Congressman Tim Walberg to discuss relevant agricultural issues such as spending bills, capital gains and death tax, immigration, limited labor, broadband, energy, farm bill and term limits.

Barney Traylor, the newest member of the board, said he was glad to have attended to have a face to face opportunity to express concerns.

Did you know you can sign up to receive a text message from Farm Bureau when we need you to contact legislators about the agriculture industry? You'll only receive a message when it's of the utmost importance so text the phrase MIACT to the number 52886 today to join!

Discussion with local and state legislators is a key component to taking local concerns to state and national levels for further discussion and resolution. Contact the county office if you’re interested in local legislative discussions at (517) 437-2458.

Connecting with state and local officials is a goal this year for the Hillsdale County Farm Bureau (CFB) Board of Directors.
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager
            
Drawing by Lorelei Stemme, 5th grade




    

We shared in a prior story that we are celebrating National Agriculture Day along with March is Reading month with a contest!

Our Young Farmer Committee recently distributed a drawing contest to 5th grade students in Hillsdale County.

We are excited to share the winner of the drawing contest! Please join us in congratulating Lorelei Stemme from Hillsdale Academy!

Lorelei received an agriculture book, her classroom received a bundle of books, and her drawing will be featured as our program cover for our annual meeting scheduled for Saturday, September 11, 2021 at the Hillsdale County Fairgrounds.

In addition, Sand Hill Farms in Grass Lake has rewarded Lorelei with a cash prize of $25.00!

We would like to thank all of the student’s who participated in our drawing contest! We had 26 entries and many great drawings to choose from!

Learn more about what we’re doing and how you can help by visiting our website at hillsdale.michfb.com, Facebook page @HillsdaleCountyFarmBureau, email to [email protected], or by contacting the office at (517) 437-2458.


Pictured left to right: Mrs. Andaloro, Lorelei Stemme, and Kayla Lewis, Hillsdale CFB 
President

We are excited to share the winner of the drawing contest is ...
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

A farmer member-controlled grassroots organization. What is that?

The Policy Development (PD) Committee is a member-based committee who surfaces potential issues, debates and studies them, and then drafts them into resolutions that travel from the local level to state and/or national levels.

As the agriculture industry continues to face issues, the policy development committees seek feedback from their local agriculture leaders for the opportunity see them through for resolution.

In addition to surfacing new potential issues, the committee also reviews current state and national policies to ensure that current policies are adequate for the upcoming year. The state and national policies are available online at www.michfb.com.

Soon, county farm bureau’s will begin recruiting their policy development committees. Once the committee has finalized their proposed resolutions, they are presented to the board of directors which usually occur later in the summer.

After the board of directors approve the proposed resolutions, they move on for adoption at the annual meeting. Hillsdale County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 11, 2021.

Denese Belson, Wheatland Township, has been the policy development committee chair since 2016. “We start with ideas that farms have within the county and refine them to make applicable for local, state, or national policies.” The Hillsdale County Farm Bureau policy resolutions can be found on our website at hillsdale.michfb.com.

The adopted policies then move onto the state level and are presented at the State Annual Meeting where members across the state convene together for final adoption from members across the state. National policies are presented at the AFBF annual meeting.

If you would like to learn more, join the committee or submit an idea contact committee chair Denese at [email protected].

You can also submit a policy idea online at www.michfb.com/MI/policy-idea.

A farmer member-controlled grassroots organization. What is that?
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

In times like these, a little bit of celebrating is the drive moving us forward. Hillsdale County Farm Bureau (CFB) is taking that drive and sharing it with others! We are celebrating National Agriculture Day, March 23, with multiple activities!

Members of Hillsdale CFB are teaming up with Hillsdale Market House to place agriculture facts around the store March 21-27th. Members will also be available to answer questions for customers about where their food comes from early morning of March 20th. Come see us at Hillsdale Market House!

Hillsdale CFB is also celebrating National Agriculture Day alongside of March is Reading month with a drawing contest for 5th grade students in Hillsdale County. Watch our news feed in the coming weeks for the winner!

Hillsdale CFB teamed up with ProEdge Arena, a bull-riding arena in Hillsdale County, to offer $2.00 off entry vouchers towards the cost of entry on Saturday, March 27th. In addition, the arena is giving a one-time member benefit of an additional $2.00 off adult tickets! This opportunity is provided by the Membership Committee to celebrate our local agriculture leaders!

Finally, we encourage you to check out our Facebook page March 21st-27th because we will have different posts that you can share to help promote agriculture education!

Learn more about what we’re doing and how you can help visiting our website at hillsdale.michfb.com, Facebook page @HillsdaleCountyFarmBureau, or by contacting the office at (517) 437-2458.

In times like these, a little bit of celebrating is the drive moving us forward. Hillsdale CFB is taking that drive and sharing it with others! We are celebrating National Agriculture Day, March 23, with multiple activities!
By Janelle Walworth, County Administrative Manager

Leaders from Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee County Farm Bureaus held their first legislative briefing over lunch on March 3. With a directive from the five presidents, Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) staff gave members an agricultural update in a 60-minute zoom session.

The virtual meeting was hosted by MFB District Director Jennifer Lewis and companied by MFB public policy staff Rob Anderson, Rebecca Park, Ben Tirrell, Andrew Vermesch and Laura Campbell, Manager of the Ag Ecology Department. 

The group reviewed issues such as the governor‘s budget and impact on Agriculture, upcoming challenges of carbon credits, MI-OSHA  reporting rules for farms, roads, broadband, MAEAP funding and its importance to the Lake Erie Domestic Action Plan, Water Use Advisory Council report, continuing Livestock permit legal challenge, and how MFB and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) are closely watching the new administration's review of the federal Navigable Waters Protection Rule. 

New director of Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, Amber Kohler, shares “I personally found the information regarding the MAEAP program very informative. It’s wonderful to hear about how many of our Michigan farms are in the program, along with the volume of acres. Being good stewards of our farmland and the importance of it to our community is what farming is about. The budget discussion was also very informative regarding the conditions of our roads in Michigan and the funds allocated towards improving them. Another great topic was MI-OSHA regarding the changes in legislation, awareness, importance of safety, and reporting incidents.” Amber goes on to share, “Growing up on a dairy farm, safety around the farm was always front and center; mostly because there were six kids running around the farm. I can recall being constantly being yelled at to stay out of there, watch for trucks coming and going, don’t climb in or on that, and slow down”. Amber felt great empathy to hear of the family who lost their husband/father to an accident on the farm and the impacts of inadequate reporting within the timeframe requirements.” In closing, Amber said she “firmly believes something must change in the sequence of reporting accidents/deaths. The work that is being done in this area can truly impact every farmer in one way or another.”

Mark Kline, Hillsdale CFB Director said, “I found the legislative brief to be quite informative.  My biggest take away was on the Waters of the United States and the current administration’s efforts to reinforce the regulations from the Obama administration and the fact that those regulations cannot be reinstated due to Trump administration effectively blocking it. I believe Farm Bureau has very good people working on our behalf with our Government. 

MFB Director Lewis wrapped it up encouraging members to visit with their legislators as to how these topics impact their farm operation, industry, and family.

Kayla Lewis, Chris Brooks, Mark Geib, Jay Williams, Joe Ladd, Drew Godfrey, Terry Finegan, Andy Welden, Dick Storeholder, and Carson, Carleton, Cami Evans also attended the virtual meeting.

Contact your county farm bureau office to get involved at 517-437-2458 or visit us online at hillsdale.michfb.com.

Leaders from Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee County Farm Bureaus held their first legislative briefing over lunch on March 3. With a directive from the five presidents, Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) staff gave members an agricultural upd