Help

HelpEducate consumers about how their food is grown and create awareness.
Advocate for legislation that helps temper the regulatory climate for the agriculture industry

Meet

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

Learn

Access resources and current industry information

Discover what's happening in your local community

Save

SaveTake advantage of exclusive member discounts and savings . 

Receive discounts statewide on hotels, vehicle purchases and car rental

Top Story

F.A.R.M. Science Lab Visits the Upper Peninsula

FarmScienceLabThe Farm, Agriculture and Resources in Motion (FARM) Science Lab will be coming the U.P. in August 2018.  It will make its debut at the UP State Fair, where it will be available to visit on August 16-20.  Visitors to the fair will be able to walk through the 44-foot mobile classroom and complete a mini-version of one of the lessons that students will complete.

Following the fair, during September, and into October, the lab will travel to schools around the UP, providing hands-on science lessons to K-6 students.  We need your help to make the FARM Science Lab a success in the UP. We will need teams of 2-3 people, in at least three shifts, to work at the lab at the fair.  Second, we will need teachers to teach the lessons.  Teachers will received 2 days of training prior to the lab going to schools. Third, we will need drivers who can move the van from one school to another.  The drivers do not need a CDL, but do need to be comfortable driving a  van behind a pickup.  The pickup was donated by Ford.  Teachers and drivers will be paid for their work.  If you know of someone, please contact Marsha Wainio, at 906-542-3858.


The Farm, Agriculture and Resources in Motion (FARM) Science Lab will be coming the U.P. in August 2018. It will make its debut at the UP State Fair, where it will be available to visit on August 16-20.

County News

Wainio attends tours, keynote address and breakout sessions

Roy at VOA

“This was the best farm tour yet,” raved Roy Wainio, our delegate to the 2018 Voice of Agriculture, held January 18-19th, at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids.  Roy enjoyed a tour of Carbon Green BioEnergy, which makes ethanol and other byproducts from corn.  Then it was off to Swiss Land Dairy, a family-run affair with over 2000 cows and calves. The tour included a visit to a new facility, where 500 cows are milked with robots.  The tour ended at Founders’ Brewery, in downtown Grand Rapids.

Michele Payn provided the keynote address during breakfast, giving attendees strategies for telling their own agriculture story to consumers, for connecting with the public.  During the District Luncheon, State Promotion and Committee member Marsha Wainio and F.A.R.M. Science Lab Administrator Michele Blodgett, gave an update of the planned visit of the lab to the U.P., and asked for members’ assistance to register schools, and to recruit teachers and drivers.

Breakout sessions about using social media, goal setting, classroom visits, and reaching out to consumers provided attendees with lots of ideas for work at the county level.  The closing keynote speaker, Natalina Sents, provided an uplifting address about farming.  During a year-long journey, Ms. Sents visited farms in all 50 states, asking each farmer, “Why do you farm?”  The love for the land, the continuation of generations on the same farm, the passion for feeding people came through in the personal stories. 


“This was the best farm tour yet,” raved Roy Wainio, our delegate to the 2018 Voice of Agriculture, held January 18-19th, at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids. Roy enjoyed a tour of Carbon Green BioEnergy, which makes ethanol and other byproduct

Delegate duties to Governor address

Ed and Carl McBroom served as delegates to the 2017 Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, held again at the Amway Grand Hotel/Devos Center in Grand Rapids.   Most of their time was spent on the delegate floor, working with other delegates to update existing Farm Bureau policies and adopt new ones.  Once again, environment, energy, and infrastructure issues took the most attention.  Election of new directors to the MFB Board and approval of committee chairpersons was also on the docket.  Carl also participated in the Discussion Meet. 

 

Governor Snyder gave his last address as Governor during the President’s Luncheon.  He thanked MFB members for their support during his tenure.  Then he turned the podium over to State MFB President Carl Bednarski, who officially welcomed everyone to the conference.  Following the first delegate session and cocktail reception, it was time to put our hats and boots on for the Foundation Night Out party.  Funds raised at the party are used by the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture for promotion and education activities. 

 

Former Michigan Governor, John Engler, was the keynote speaker at the Agri-Pac Breakfast. Engler credits MFB for helping him narrowly defeat incumbent Governor James Blanchard in 1990.  He encouraged members to consider running for local, state and federal offices, and provided some tips to win elections.  District Breakfasts and a final delegate session closed out the meeting.  Marsha Wainio, State Promotion and Education Committee member, also was in attendance at the meeting.


Ed and Carl McBroom served as delegates to the 2017 Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, held again at the Amway Grand Hotel/Devos Center in Grand Rapids. Most of their time was spent on the delegate floor, working with other delegates to update ex

Food and Friends


All members are invited to attend the Membership Meet and Greet, Thursday, April 5, 2018, at Mike’s on Main in Norway, 6:00p.m. Come and enjoy some pizza and wings, and engage in lively conversation with your friends and neighbors. Shannon Sanders at 779-1774 or Marsha Wainio at 542-3858.
All members are invited to attend the Membership Meet and Greet, Thursday, April 5, 2018

State News


“Dale’s an example of a traditional county Farm Bureau board member: Their world is their county — they’re dedicated.”

This article has three simple goals:

  1. Honor the memory of an active Farm Bureau member — one specific man — whose years were recently cut tragically short.
  2. Honor the unsung style of member he was: the strictly local kind, content to do good work in their familiar, comfortable corner of a much larger universe.
  3. Encourage county Farm Bureaus to do more of #2.

The ‘larger universe’ here is the greater Farm Bureau organization, with its award plaques, stage walks and grip-n-grin photos, all in the name of recognizing the indispensable work of outstanding members and counties. In an organization reliant on the efforts of volunteers, recognizing those efforts is essential.

The ‘one specific man’ in this case never saw any of that, simply because he neither sought nor desired it. He is — was — Dale Frisque, who died Aug. 5 at the age of 59, the sole casualty of a fire at the cedar mill where he’d worked his whole adult life.

That mill is in the center of Menominee County, anchoring the south end of Carney, where Dale grew up, attended high school and was the third generation to work his family’s farm. He inherited Frisque Hilltop Farms in the wake of his father’s death, and completed its transition from dairy to beef, hay and oats.

“That was my grandparents’ farm — the farm my mother grew up on,” remembers longtime Menominee leader Pete Kleiman, a first cousin of Frisque’s.

“Dale never did get married; he stayed on the farm with his mother, raised hay, corn, oats to feed the beef… Some chickens, ducks… Sold round bales in the winter to horse people.

“Kind of an old-fashioned farm, really.”

Wasn't Like That

He joined Farm Bureau in 2001, launching an impressive track record of involvement in membership events, annual meetings and other activities central to the organization.

“I was the one who talked Dale into running for the county board in the first place,” Kleiman said. “We were looking for somebody from that area; it’s hard to find folks there.”

With a regular job in town and the farm only a couple miles away, Frisque was busy but always nearby and ready to help.

“He was kind of a homebody and involved in the community as best he could — the Lions and the church and sports clubs.”

And he brought that same sturdy reliability to the Menominee County Farm Bureau board, Kleiman recalls:

“He wasn’t a board member who… Y’know some people come onto a board with an agenda and ‘Once I get done what I want to get done, I’m gone.’

“Dale wasn’t like that. He showed up every month and he was willing to offer his opinion about how to proceed with something and if he didn’t think it was a good idea, he’d say so.

“He was just never going to be that person to serve on a state committee — that just wasn’t something he wanted to do. But when we did Breakfast on the Farm we could always count on him to be there on the weekend to help out.”

Plenty to Do 

The same held true at the mill, where Dale knew every facet of the operation and could always be counted on, even when it meant stepping away for a bit.

“At the mill when things slowed down and they needed somebody to take a week off, Dale was always willing to take a voluntary leave because he always had plenty to do back on the farm,” Kleiman said.

The mill was Peterson Brothers when he started there as a teenager, then Gilbert & Bennet, then Superior Cedar after a group of its own employees bought the place. Over the years it dealt in pulpwood and fence posts and bark mulch — mountains of mulch, feeding city folks’ garden beds by the semi load.

And in an instant, innocent sawdust turned into a lethal inferno.

Most Don't Know

News of Dale’s loss came promptly the next morning, Aug. 6, straight into the gut of MFB’s state staff convening online for an informal weekly meeting. The messenger was Craig Knudson, our seasoned Regional Manager in the Upper Peninsula.

“Most of you probably don’t know him,” he started, before announcing the loss in the succinct, economic way we do when those left behind are still wondering how and why.

That Frisque’s name was unfamiliar even to longtime MFB staffers came as no surprise to Knudson, who’d shepherded Dale’s involvement for almost two decades.

“Dale’s an example of a traditional county Farm Bureau board member: Their world is their county — they’re dedicated,” Knudson said, his voice growing bolder, more insistent.

“You won’t see them at State Annual Meeting, but they’re dedicated to the county Farm Bureau at the local level.

“That’s where Dale fit in.”

Moral of the Story

Our society rewards ambition and glorifies ladder-climbing heroes striving for greatness that skeptical observers may dismiss as out of reach. On the flip side of that, we can overlook those of more moderate aspirations: “Big fish in a small pond” is not a compliment.

The message for county Farm Bureaus is simple: Be sure to support your quiet journeymen, low-profile workhorses and behind-the-scenesters who get things done outside the limelight.

An industry that values humility can’t forget to honor the humble.

The ‘larger universe’ here is the greater Farm Bureau organization, with its award plaques, stage walks and grip-n-grin photos, all in the name of recognizing the indispensable work of outstanding members and counties. In an organization reliant on t

The Emmet County Farm Bureau’s member-appreciation event, a drive-through dinner hosted by the Petoskey Culver’s restaurant, earned it District 11’s Champion of Excellence honors in Grassroots Innovation. Pictured above are Emmet leaders Ben Blaho (left) and Bill McMaster

Michigan Farm Bureau recently announced the winners of this year’s Champions of Excellence Awards, acknowledging county Farm Bureaus’ efforts toward engaging their membership and their innovative means of doing so.

Altogether this year 37 county Farm Bureaus applied for a total of 45 Champions awards in two updated categories: Grassroots and Involvement, each going above and beyond creating innovative and effective member programming.

Counties were also evaluated on their involvement statistics throughout the recently concluded membership year.

Here are our 2021 Champions of Excellence winners, by district:

Grassroots

  • District 1: Cass County Farm Bureau
  • District 2: Jackson County Farm Bureau
  • District 3: Washtenaw County Farm Bureau
  • District 4: Ionia County Farm Bureau
  • District 5: Clinton County Farm Bureau
  • District 6: Lapeer County Farm Bureau
  • District 7: Mecosta County Farm Bureau
  • District 8: Isabella County Farm Bureau
  • District 9: Mason County Farm Bureau
  • District 10: Gladwin County Farm Bureau
  • District 11: Emmet County Farm Bureau
  • District 12: Iron Range Farm Bureau

Involvement

  • District 1: Berrien County Farm Bureau
  • District 2: Calhoun County Farm Bureau
  • District 3: Oakland County Farm Bureau
  • District 4: Kent County Farm Bureau
  • District 5: Shiawassee County Farm Bureau
  • District 6: Lapeer County Farm Bureau
  • District 7: Osceola County Farm Bureau
  • District 8: Saginaw County Farm Bureau
  • District 9: Mason County Farm Bureau
  • District 10: Huron Shores Farm Bureau
  • District 11: Cheboygan County Farm Bureau
  • District 12: Iron Range Farm Bureau

One state-level winner in each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced at MFB’s 2022 Council of Presidents’ Conference, Feb. 2-3 in Midland.

Congratulations to all of these outstanding county Farm Bureaus for their exemplary work throughout the 2020-21 membership year!

The ideas and events submitted through the Champions of Excellence Awards process will be shared with all county Farm Bureaus so everyone can strive toward the greatness our winners have achieved.

Michigan Farm Bureau recently announced the winners of this year’s Champions of Excellence Awards, acknowledging county Farm Bureaus’ efforts toward engaging their membership and their innovative means of doing so.

Beyond all the tour hosts and expert speakers, Growing Together attendees enjoy ample opportunity to learn from perhaps their most highly esteemed and trusted resources: each other.
 

Farm Bureau members from across the state will converge Feb. 18-20 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids next winter for MFB’s 2022 Growing Together Conference, where the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders Conference collide!

Open to regular members of all ages, Growing Together focuses on the common ground shared by Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Promotion & Education programs. Attendees will take home new ideas and resources to incorporate into their county programming — everything from reinvigorating youth programming and facilitation tips to human resource applications for your farm business and managing the ups & downs of rural life.

Keynote speaker Bruce Boguski will set the stage with a presentation about how to alter our belief systems and bolster confidence en route to success. Attendees will discover the advantages of a positive attitude and use that knowledge to change frustration and negativity into a ‘can-do’ environment.

Growing Together also offers members opportunities to network during tours, at receptions and during evening entertainment. This year, all Friday tours will converge at the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a private viewing and reception with heavy hors devours. Those looking to keep the evening going can participate in a virtual GooseChase scavenger hunt, completing challenges while enjoying downtown Grand Rapids, complete with prizes for the most points earned!

A pre-dinner reception on the second night will include a county leader reception where county Young Farmer and P&E chairs and co-chairs will be recognized for their leadership. Following that dinner will be an evening of casino fun, where the only required experience will be knowing how to have a fun, laid-back time with friends old and new!

In a new option, 2022 Growing Together attendees can choose between two Friday agendas: the Take Root Farm Succession and Estate Planning Seminar (at a discounted $50 rate) or the customary tour of regional agriculture sites.

Registration will be open Jan. 3-14. Contact your county Farm Bureau to reserve your spot and stay up-to-date at http://www.michfb.com/growingtogether

Farm Bureau members from across the state will converge Feb. 18-20 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids next winter for MFB’s 2022 Growing Together Conference, where the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders Conference collide!

Coming Events

DateEvents
February2022
Wednesday
2
2022 Council of Presidents Conference
111 W Main St
Midland, MI
This is the annual conference for county Farm Bureau presidents.  The conference provides and opportunity to: * Meet peers from across the state * Help guide new county presidents as they take on their new role * Learn current state and national organization issues and develop leadership skills