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Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is Coming Soon

Hundreds of farmers from across both peninsulas will convene in Grand Rapids Dec. 2-4 for Michigan Farm Bureau's (MFB) 95th Annual Meeting. Built around the organization's grass-roots policy development process, the event will define the organization's 2015 agenda and offer members an opportunity to reflect upon their accomplishments over the prior year.

By the week's end, the state's largest farm organization will be suited up with new leadership, a new policy slate and a renewed sense of purpose heading into 2015.

Policy & Issues

At the heart of MFB's annual meeting are policy deliberations through which delegates draft the organization's marching orders for the coming year. Approximately 450 delegates representing 67 county-level Farm Bureaus will consider 117 proposed resolutions consolidated by MFB's state-level policy development committee from more than 800 recommendations. Once adopted, those resolutions will define MFB's 2015 agenda. Approved national resolutions will be offered for consideration by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Policies comprise organizational stances and directives on issues impacting Michigan agriculture. Among other issues on this year's docket are technology, farm labor and fine-tuning Michigan's Right to Farm Act. (See related article.)

Young Farmers

MFB's Annual Meeting showcases the next generation of Michigan farmers with contests that have members ages 18-35 measuring their skills and accomplishments against those of peers from across the state.

Throughout the day Dec. 3, a field of 35 young farmers narrows to a quartet of finalists through four rounds of the state-level discussion meeta unique public speaking contest challenging contestants' knowledge of agricultural issues as well as the demeanor, tact and civility of their delivery.

Another group of 13 young farmers face off in four leadership competitions that weigh their agricultural skills and achievements:

  • Outstanding Young Farm Employee  Recognizes young farmers for their contributions to the success of the operations which employ them. Nominees are judged on their involvement in agriculture, Farm Bureau and their community.
  • Excellence in Agriculture  Honors young farmers who do not derive the majority of their income from a personally owned agricultural operation, but who actively contribute to and grow through their involvement in agriculture and Farm Bureau.
  • Outstanding Young Agricultural Leader  Recognizes successful young farmers for outstanding leadership roles in agriculture, Farm Bureau and their local communities.
  • Young Farmer Achievement Award  Honors outstanding achievement in the business of farming and leadership in the agricultural community, based on farm management ability and involvement in agricultural organizations.

Winners of the discussion meet and achievement and excellence awards advance to national-level competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 96th Annual Meeting, Jan. 11-14, 2015 in San Diego, Calif.

Member Awards

Luncheons and banquets will see county Farm Bureaus, individual members and non-member guests recognized for outstanding achievements across a broad spectrum of farm-friendly endeavors.

On exemplary Farm Bureau member will be named MFB's 2014 Volunteer of the Year, and several county Farm Bureaus will be recognized for outstanding work in four thematic areas: advocacy, innovation, involvement and leadership development.

Special guests will be recognized for outstanding efforts in agricultural education, promotion, communication and 4-H. Scholarship award winners will be honored, as will the recipient of this year's Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award.

Event Highlights

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will speak at the Dec. 2 annual banquet, then share the spotlight with the finalists and winners of MFB's 2014 Young Farmer Leadership Awards.

Rep. Kevin Daley and Rep.-elect Triston Coleboth endorsed "Friends of Agriculture"will speak with delegates at the Dec. 3 AgriPac breakfast.

Volunteering under their Harvest for All banner, Farm Bureau members Dec. 3 will help pack winter break bags for Kids' Food Basket. Once packed and delivered to those in need, the care packages will go home with needy children over their winter holiday break, providing meals they wouldn't otherwise receive outside school. These meals will serve nearly 5,800 elementary students in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon areas.

Board Elections

MFB's 2014 annual meeting will be the last for the organization's 16th president, Wayne H. Wood. The Sanilac County dairy farmer announced earlier this fall his intent not to seek reelection to the office he's held since 2000.

"I haven't found the words yet to describe how this feels, looking back over the past 14 years at the wheel of this great organization," Wood said. "I guess you could say I'm looking forward to looking back, in the wake of what will be my last annual meeting. For now, though, there's still work to be doneand I'll work through it, like a farmer."

Wood's successor will be chosen during delegate session Dec. 4, along with several other positions on MFB's board.

Incumbent board members up for reelection are:

  • Jennifer Lewis, dist. 2 (Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson and Lenawee counties)
  • Paul Koeman, dist. 4 (Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent and Ottawa counties)
  • Carl Bednarski, dist. 6 (Huron, Lapeer, Macomb, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties)
  • Mike Mulders, dist. 8 (Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties)
  • Pat McGuire, dist. 10 (Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw and Presque Isle counties)
  • Andrew Hagenow, at large
  • Doug Darling, at large

Other board positions to be filled include the Young Farmer program representative, Promotion and Education program representative, and Wood's at-large position

2014 Thumb Ag Reviews

Thumb Ag Review presentations will include:


Corn Trials: Hybrid trials; N studies; Fungicide Trial; Depth of planting; Planting Speed

Soybean Trials: Variety trials; White Mold Trial; Fungicide Trial; Depth of planting; Planting Speed; Foliar Fertilizer Trial; Soybean Cyst Nematode Study

Wheat Trials: Review of 2014 season and field trial results

Management: Managing Low Commodity Prices for 2015

3 RUP credits (1A, Commercial & Private Core) & CCA credits at each meeting.


2014 Locations, Dates, and Registration

Sanilac Co. - Sandusky

Friday, Dec. 12 - 7:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Registration Fee: $20.00 (includes breakfast at 7:30 a.m.)

Westpark Inn, 440 W. Sanilac Road, Sandusky, MI 48471

Saginaw County - Birch Run

Wednesday, Dec. 17 - 8:30 a.m. - Noon      

Registration Fee: $20.00 (includes lunch)

Taymouth Township Hall, 4343 E Birch Run Road, Birch Run, MI 48415

Lapeer County - Attica

Wednesday, Dec.17 - 5 - 9 p.m.      

Registration Fee: $20.00 (includes dinner at 5 p.m.)

690 Lake Pleasant Road, Attica, MI 48412

Tuscola County - Caro

Thursday, Dec. 18 - 8:30 a.m. - Noon      

Registration Fee: $20.00 (includes lunch)

Brentwood, 178 Park Drive, Caro, MI 48723

First Ever Dry Bean Conference Scheduled

The Dry Bean Outlook Conference is a new event, designed to look closely at the dry bean industry in terms of opportunities, trends and developments.  The event is designed for dry bean growers,  but the industry is also invited.  Because space is limited, preregistration is required, and there will be no registration at the door.  We encourage dry bean shippers to let their dry bean producers know about this program, and encourage their attendance.  From retail trends to food safety, production issues and market forces, this is an information packed event that every professional dry bean grower should attend.  Seating is limited, so act now and make sure you get this on your calendar!

When
Wednesday December 17, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM EST

Where

DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City - Riverfront
One Wenonah Park Place
Bay City, MI 48708

Seating is limited so we need your RSVP now.

 Registration will close on Dec. 12th, and there will be no "at the door" registration.

Questions Contact:

Michigan Bean Commission - (989) 262-8550 - jcramer@michiganbean.com

 

 

 

USDA Announces Cut-Off Date for Conservation Funds

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that Dec. 19 will be the first cut-off date for applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in fiscal year 2015. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance to farmers and non-industrial private forestland owners for protecting and conserving natural resources.

“Only farmers who submit applications by Dec. 19 will be eligible for the first selection of applications for fiscal year 2015 Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding. I encourage farmers seeking financial assistance for making conservation improvements, such as adopting conservation tillage, planting cover crops or installing windbreaks, to contact their local USDA Service Center,” said NRCS State Conservationist Garry Lee.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and non-industrial private forestland owners for adopting a wide variety of conservation activities. Conservation activities receiving financial assistance must be part of an agricultural or forest operation’s conservation plan. Producers should work with their local NRCS or conservation district staff to develop a conservation plan before applying for the program. Successful applicants enter into a contract with NRCS to implement conservation activities and are reimbursed for a portion of the cost.

During fiscal year 2014, Michigan farmers received over $18 million in conservation financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Examples of conservation activities eligible for financial assistance include nutrient management, pest management, prescribed grazing, seasonal high tunnels, cover crops, and forest stand management. Conservation financial assistance for organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production is available.

The 2014 Farm Bill and the new farm programs: What should I do ASAP?

The new farm bill has made some changes you need to know as you move into your planning for next year.  Click on the link below for more:

 

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/the_2014_farm_bill_and_the_new_farm_programs_what_should_i_do_asap

Interested In Being A 4-H Volunteer?

The need is there for more people to become involved in 4-H.  The link below will tell you more about this rewarding experience.

 

https://us-mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.partner=ftr&.rand=a3i31s3kpqrkm#mail

Applications Being Taken For Breakfast On The Farm For 2015

Know someone who whould like to host this event in 2015??  Click on the link below and learn more.

 

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/2015_breakfast_on_the_farm_host_farm_applications_due_soon

Proper Manure Management

This article from MSU is a must read for livestock producers:

 

http://Proper manure management is important for everyone, including small-scale livestock or horse farms

Dry Beans and Cancer

Click on the link below and check out the research regarding dry beans and their effect on cancer.

 

http://michiganbean.org/category/latestnews/

 

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