County News Archive

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.