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Top Story

Michigan Farm Bureau



Top– Delegate floor at AFBF

Bottom – Breakout session in 2019

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) will call Texas home Jan. 17 to Jan. 22. In its 101st edition, the AFBF Annual Convention & Trade Show offers farmers and agribusinesses opportunity to learn about industry-wide policies and perspectives. This year, 108 Michigan Farm Bureau members and staff will attend the event in Austin, Texas.

Included in the six-day show are educational workshops, keynote speakers and networking opportunities. Farmers and ag leaders use this show to sharpen skills and help set a policy agenda to deploy in the nation’s capital.

“From the workshops to the trade show, from the guest speakers to the Farm Bureau delegates whose votes will guide our work, every aspect of the 2020 AFBF Annual Convention and Trade Show is designed to bring the future of American agriculture into clear focus,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We come together each year to learn and grow as agricultural leaders. Our annual convention is also a time to renew friendships, share our challenges and celebrate our successes.”

A full agenda can be found here  Highlights include:

National Policies 

Once in Austin, Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors will advocate for the national-level policies Michigan members finalized at the recent state annual meeting in Grand Rapids, including industrial hemp production and dairy issues.

As the opportunity to grow and market industrial hemp continues to evolve, members have been providing input on what opportunities and regulations are necessary to support the growing industry. MFB’s recommendations call for more help from federal agencies regarding guidance, rules research and tools like crop insurance.

Acting on a recommendation from MFB delegates in 2018, an AFBF task force last summer examined the Federal Milk Marketing Order and other issues impacting the dairy economy. Specific dairy issues on the agenda include price reporting, discovery changes and pricing regulations to expand export opportunities.

Other policies close to Michigan’s heart include research into sugar beet juice as an alternative to road salt, and unfair trade practices that have hurt the state’s specialty crop industries, including tart cherries, asparagus and blueberries.

Young Farmers

A trio of outstanding Young Farmers will represent Michigan on the national stage in Austin.

Young Farmer Achievement Award winner Rich Baker of St. Joseph County; Excellence in Agriculture Winner Joe Ankley of Lapeer County; and Mecosta County’s Cora Okkema, winner of the state discussion meet, all received expense-paid trips to compete in this year’s AFBF national contests.

Top 10 in the Young Farmer Achievement and Excellence contests will be announced Saturday and Sunday evening, respectively.  

Also… 

Texas Farm Bureau is offering several agricultural tours (Saturday and Tuesday) during the 2020 AFBF Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. Most tours have sold out, but contact Experient (800-424-5249) with questions.

MFB President Carl Bednarski and staff will share an update on membership, Young Farmer contestants and other organizational activities at a special Michigan dinner Jan. 19 at Trinity Hall.

Also on Sunday, former AFBF President Bob Stallman (Texas) and AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Chair Paul Molesky (New York) will host a noontime fireside chat at the Convention Center.

Download the AFBF convention app for more information, and follow the event online via the hashtag #AFBF2020.

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) will call Texas home Jan. 17 to Jan. 22. In its 101st edition, the AFBF Annual Convention & Trade Show offers farmers and agribusinesses opportunity to learn about industry-wide policies and perspectives.

County News

Michigan Farm Bureau



Top– Delegate floor at AFBF

Bottom – Breakout session in 2019

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) will call Texas home Jan. 17 to Jan. 22. In its 101st edition, the AFBF Annual Convention & Trade Show offers farmers and agribusinesses opportunity to learn about industry-wide policies and perspectives. This year, 108 Michigan Farm Bureau members and staff will attend the event in Austin, Texas.

Included in the six-day show are educational workshops, keynote speakers and networking opportunities. Farmers and ag leaders use this show to sharpen skills and help set a policy agenda to deploy in the nation’s capital.

“From the workshops to the trade show, from the guest speakers to the Farm Bureau delegates whose votes will guide our work, every aspect of the 2020 AFBF Annual Convention and Trade Show is designed to bring the future of American agriculture into clear focus,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We come together each year to learn and grow as agricultural leaders. Our annual convention is also a time to renew friendships, share our challenges and celebrate our successes.”

A full agenda can be found here  Highlights include:

National Policies 

Once in Austin, Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors will advocate for the national-level policies Michigan members finalized at the recent state annual meeting in Grand Rapids, including industrial hemp production and dairy issues.

As the opportunity to grow and market industrial hemp continues to evolve, members have been providing input on what opportunities and regulations are necessary to support the growing industry. MFB’s recommendations call for more help from federal agencies regarding guidance, rules research and tools like crop insurance.

Acting on a recommendation from MFB delegates in 2018, an AFBF task force last summer examined the Federal Milk Marketing Order and other issues impacting the dairy economy. Specific dairy issues on the agenda include price reporting, discovery changes and pricing regulations to expand export opportunities.

Other policies close to Michigan’s heart include research into sugar beet juice as an alternative to road salt, and unfair trade practices that have hurt the state’s specialty crop industries, including tart cherries, asparagus and blueberries.

Young Farmers

A trio of outstanding Young Farmers will represent Michigan on the national stage in Austin.

Young Farmer Achievement Award winner Rich Baker of St. Joseph County; Excellence in Agriculture Winner Joe Ankley of Lapeer County; and Mecosta County’s Cora Okkema, winner of the state discussion meet, all received expense-paid trips to compete in this year’s AFBF national contests.

Top 10 in the Young Farmer Achievement and Excellence contests will be announced Saturday and Sunday evening, respectively.  

Also… 

Texas Farm Bureau is offering several agricultural tours (Saturday and Tuesday) during the 2020 AFBF Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. Most tours have sold out, but contact Experient (800-424-5249) with questions.

MFB President Carl Bednarski and staff will share an update on membership, Young Farmer contestants and other organizational activities at a special Michigan dinner Jan. 19 at Trinity Hall.

Also on Sunday, former AFBF President Bob Stallman (Texas) and AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Chair Paul Molesky (New York) will host a noontime fireside chat at the Convention Center.

Download the AFBF convention app for more information, and follow the event online via the hashtag #AFBF2020.

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) will call Texas home Jan. 17 to Jan. 22. In its 101st edition, the AFBF Annual Convention & Trade Show offers farmers and agribusinesses opportunity to learn about industry-wide policies and perspectives.
Farm Bureau Insurance

It's once again time to take seasonal inventory to help protect your homes and vehicles throughout another Winter in snowy Michigan. We've updated our annual Winter checklist to help guide you through your annual preparations and keep you standing tall even as temperatures plummet.

Your Auto

Colder weather creates its own requirements for car maintenance. These basic maintenance tips increase safety and decrease chances of a breakdown on a cold, winter road:

  • Charge it: Charge or replace battery as necessary.
  • Coolant: Replace and replenish antifreeze in the cooling systems. As a general rule, this should be done every two years.
  • Make sure heaters, wipers, and defrosters work effectively. Consider using winter wiper blades and cold weather washer fluid.
  • Kick the tires: Do you have enough tread? Are they properly inflated? Consider winter tires that provide more grip on icy roads.
  • Changing the oil: Changing the oil in accordance with your car’s maintenance schedule is one of the simplest ways to maintain and prolong the life of your vehicle.
  • Getting in tune: If your car is due for a tune up, get it done! Simple fixes like pings, hard starts, and sluggish performance can often become magnified problems during the winter months.
  • Get your brakes checked.

Your Home

It’s cold outside so you’re most likely keeping it warm inside! Here are a few things to add to your seasonal home checklist:

Heat

  • Open vents near the floor and close those near the ceiling for better air circulation.
  • Test your furnace and replace the filters.
  • Check the furnace, part II: Let a professional give your heating system a checkup.
  • Use solid fuel safely: Make sure stoves are UL approved and fireplaces are cleaned and maintained.

Attic Ventilation

  • Ensure attic insulation doesn’t cover ventilation vents in the eaves (also called soffits or overhangs). This helps prevent winter ice dams.
  • Make sure vents, eaves, and troughs are free of plants and debris.

Keep it Clean

  • Vacuum under and behind freezer and fridge. This can greatly improve efficiency of unit.
  • Chimney cleaned and checked: Increases ventilation and reduces fire hazard.
  • Trim low-hanging branches. Collected snow and ice could break branches and do damage to your roof, home,

Windows & Doors

  • Storm windows: If you have older, removable wooden storm windows, make arrangements to have them re-installed.
  • Replace or repair any broken window locks or latches.
  • Caulk around frames.
  • Repair any cracked or broken window panes.

Exterior

  • Keep gutters clean at all times.
  • Roof: If there are any signs of a leak or damaged shingles or flashing, have the roof checked. Make sure all culverts and exterior drains are free of debris.
  • Drain and coil all those garden hoses.

Snow Preparation

  • Shovel-ready: Make sure you have a working snow blower, shovels, and sidewalk salt on hand.
  • ·or pedestrians.
It's once again time to take seasonal inventory to help protect your homes and vehicles throughout another Winter in snowy Michigan. We've updated our annual Winter checklist to help guide you through your annual preparations and keep you standing ta
Michigan Farm Bureau

Macomb County Farm Bureau President Amanda Kutchey has been named Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) 2019 Presidential Volunteer of the Year for her volunteer involvement and leadership of local and state-level Farm Bureau activities. 

MFB President Carl Bednarski said the success of the grassroots farm organization, this year celebrating its 100th anniversary, depends on the commitment of dedicated volunteer leaders.

“Amanda epitomizes the volunteers who have built and sustained the state’s largest general farm organization over the last 100 years,” Bednarski said. “She has exhibited a commitment to Michigan agriculture through her volunteer efforts and is instrumental to the success of the Macomb County Farm Bureau, as well as playing a significant volunteer role at the state level.”

In nominating Kutchey for the state-level award, the Macomb County Farm Bureau said she “always finds time to volunteer and make a difference every day as a Farm Bureau member.”

Under Kutchey’s leadership, Macomb County Farm Bureau has seen a continued increase in membership involvement and engagement thanks to her direct and personal connections with members through phone calls, visits, texts and emails.

She’s also assisted in creating a number of new membership events and programming including farm safety and emergency preparedness training, and Project Rural Education Days, a program designed to promote agricultural awareness to the non-farm community.

Growing up in a Farm Bureau family, Kutchey began attending events at an early age with her parents helping work programs and sitting through meetings.

She always knew she wanted to be involved.

“Once I was old enough to get involved on my own, I understood why my parents picked Farm Bureau,” Kutchey said. “Through my volunteer efforts, Farm Bureau helps me reach my urban neighbors by helping them understand where their food comes from. It also helps us create policy to help legislators understand how their policies impact every one of our farms across the state.”

Kutchey recently co-chaired a 13-member statewide study committee tasked with reviewing the organization’s structure, programs and services. Those networking opportunities with volunteer members across the state have been the most rewarding, she said.

“Others may not grow or raise the same products as you, but they understand the trials and frustrations that can happen in any given season,” Kutchey added. “It allows for sharing ideas, successes and failures with each other while continuing to move forward to preserve the agricultural footprint in our state.”  

Kutchey will receive her Volunteer of the Year award at the 100th Michigan Farm Bureau Presidents Luncheon, Dec. 3, at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

“I’m truly honored to be selected to receive this award. Michigan Farm Bureau is full of so many deserving volunteers who put their time and energy into this organization,” Kutchey said.

 
Macomb County Farm Bureau President Amanda Kutchey has been named Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) 2019 Presidential Volunteer of the Year for her volunteer involvement and leadership of local and state-level Farm Bureau activities.

State News

Michigan Farm Bureau

The Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies is partnering with Talons Out Honor Flight to give Farm Bureau members who are veterans of World War II or the Korean War an opportunity to visit their respective war memorial in Washington D.C. and return to a welcome-home celebration May 9, 2020.  

The Family of Companies’ $25,000 pledge will allow for 24 veterans and 24 guardians to attend — two veteran-guardian pairs per district.

“This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our members who’ve served their country overseas in some of the most horrible conflicts of the 20th century,” said MFB President Carl Bednarski. “The Honor Flight is about commemorating them and their service, and our priority is on honoring the most senior of our member-veterans.

“As younger men and women, they were fortunate to survive wars halfway across the globe — then returned home to work the land and help build the greatest agricultural industry the world has ever known.”

All participating veterans must be accompanied by an able-bodied guardian, responsible for physically assisting veterans prior to and during the flights to and from D.C., and during visits to memorials and Arlington National Cemetery — an active, 18-hour day. (See preliminary agenda here.)

Guardians may not be spouses or significant others and must be between 18 to 70 years of age. To make the most of this rare opportunity, county Farm Bureaus are encouraged to find guardians who are also veterans themselves.

If a district has more than two nominees, they will be selected based on the order applications were received. County Farm Bureaus can sponsor additional veterans and guardians at a cost of $500 per person (totaling $1,000 per vet-guardian pair).

Separate application forms for veterans and guardians are under development and will soon be made available to county Farm Bureau offices.

Farm Bureau members who served in WWII or Korea are encouraged to apply directly to their county Farm Bureau. The county Farm Bureau must submit completed applications to [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

For more information, contact Nicole Guilford (517-679-5665) or Jeremy C. Nagel (517-323-6585).

The Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies is partnering with Talons Out Honor Flight to give Farm Bureau members who are veterans of World War II or the Korean War an opportunity to visit their respective war memorial in Washington D.C. and return
Michigan Farm Bureau

Michigan Farm Bureau’s marquee grassroots lobbying event, Lansing Legislative Seminar, is slated for Feb. 25, 2020 and promises an exciting day for members passionate about advocating for agriculture and Farm Bureau policy and learning about state legislative and regulatory issues.

Members interested in participating are encouraged to contact their county Farm Bureau before the Feb. 7 registration deadline.

While the main program begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Lansing Center, members looking to arrive early to the capital city have options for starting their day.

State Capitol Building Tours 

If you’ve never been inside Michigan’s historic capitol building — or it’s just been a while — a visit won’t disappoint! Lansing Legislative Seminar attendees can take a free guided tour of the landmark.

Tours depart the Lansing Center at 8:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.; pre-registration is not required. It’s a quarter-mile walk to the capitol, so dress for the weather.

AgriPac Fundraiser 

MFB’s political action committee, AgriPac, welcomes members to show their support for the organization’s efforts to elect farm-friendly candidates by attending a fundraiser at 10:15 a.m. Special guest and political speaker Patrick Haggerty promises to entertain attendees while imparting his insight into the 2020 election and his expertise on grassroots advocacy. A $50 minimum contribution is required; personal checks should be made payable to AgriPac and business checks should be made payable to FarmPac. Credit card payments will be accepted on-site. Pre-registration is encouraged and available here. 

Luncheon Program 

Lansing Legislative’s hallmark lunch program will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. in the Lansing Center ballrooms, starting with opening remarks from MFB President Carl Bednarski.

The organization has invited the state’s four most influential legislative leaders for a panel discussion: House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint).

One ambitious county Farm Bureau will also be recognized with MFB’s annual Excellence in Grassroots Lobbying Award. The recipient will receive a $500 grant and recognition plaque for outstanding efforts to inform and influence elected officials.

Issue Sessions and Networking Break 

That afternoon, members will choose breakout sessions to attend before and after a networking break (featuring MSU Dairy Store ice cream!)

Topics will include legislative or regulatory issues impacting farms and agribusinesses, including environmental policy and water use, state budget items pertinent to the farm sector, a 2020 election preview, grassroots advocacy and more.

Legislative Reception 

Starting around 4:30 p.m. state representatives, senators and dozens of other government and regulatory leaders will begin arriving for the legislative reception, where members will visit with elected officials and discuss current agricultural issues and Farm Bureau policy priorities.

Michigan Farm Bureau’s marquee grassroots lobbying event, Lansing Legislative Seminar, is slated for Feb. 25, 2020 and promises an exciting day for members passionate about advocating for agriculture and Farm Bureau policy and learning about state le
Michigan Farm Bureau

Do you know where the latest version of your membership card is?

Most of our members say they don’t carry the card or have an expired one in their wallet. As you can imagine, the membership packet and ID card are expensive items to produce. Each year, Michigan Farm Bureau mails more than 200,000 packets to members when they join or renew their membership.

In an effort to minimize some of those costs and provide timely member information, Michigan Farm Bureau will begin emailing the membership ID card to members with valid email addresses in 2020. The email will contain the same information and resources that are sent in the mailed packets but can be more easily accessed just by pulling up the email.

The email campaign will officially launch in early 2020.

So, next time you renew your membership, be sure to look to your email inbox. Your membership card will be right there waiting for you!

For more information, email our membership services department or call 517-323-6552.


 

Coming Events

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January2020
Wednesday
29
2020 Council of Presidents Conference
111 W Main St
Midland,
Open to all county Farm Bureau presidents
February2020
Wednesday
5
2020 Voice of Agriculture Conference
800 Harker Street
Port Huron, MI
Learn new tools for connecting with consumers via social media, direct outreach, school-based events or news media at the Voice of Agriculture Conference. Hear from keynote speakers who understand the challenges of working in agriculture. Meet Farm Bureau members from across the state to share ideas for county programming. Tour agricultural businesses and farms in Michigan’s Thumb region
February2020
Friday
21
2020 Young Farmer Leaders Conference
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd
Acme,
The Michigan Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leaders Conference is for young members between the ages of 18 and 35. This two-and-a-half-day conference unites 350 young agriculture leaders and industry experts, centers on these members’ professional and personal growth and addresses issues relevant to this generation, including leadership training, management skills and business/family relationships.
February2020
Tuesday
25
2020 Lansing Legislative Seminar
333 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI
Lansing Legislative Seminar provides an opportunity to learn from expert speakers on policy issues impacting agriculture, help legislative and regulatory leaders understand Farm Bureau policy, and share ideas and talk about local issues with fellow members.