This was the 95th annual Michigan Farm Bureau meeting. 95?! So long. This is only the seventh year we've gone. We've gone from knowing just a couple people to it feeling like it's one big family.
What an organization! As they state, the purpose of Michigan Farm Bureau is to "represent, protect, and enhance the business, economic, social and educational interests of our members." At the annual meeting, part of the program includes going through the process where farmer members adopt resolutions.
Farm Bureau is the governmental voice for farmer members. There's the county level, the state level, and the national level. In Michigan we have 48,552 members and 67 county Farm Bureaus.
We love our dairy farming organizations, but in this one, it's everyone together. Fruit farmers, vegetable producers, pig farmers, sheep ... it makes of a lot of involved people!
And we're ...
This year, our Michigan Farm Bureau president Wayne Wood is retiring. He did a great job (and is a super nice person) and there were nice tributes to him.
Our Governor Rick Snyder comes and speaks each year. He does a really good job. I thought back fondly to the first time I saw a Rick Snyder commercial (during a Super Bowl game, where we were instructed to go to onetoughnerd.com) and I immediately did, to check him out. We wanted to see his views on agriculture and there was nothing other than a heading with a vague paragraph.
Times have changed. Many years later, he's considered a friend of agriculture. Part of that is because he showed a real interest and willingness to learn. His talk was very well-received! And not nerdy.
We had a tribute to Dave Camp, some great young farmer awards won by friends Melissa Humphrey (from our county), Michael Noll (from our co-op), Kevin Thiel, and Ashley Messing-Kennedy.
Farm Bureau then held a fundraiser for Michigan Foundation for Agriculture where everyone could get together - right across the street at a dueling pianos place. Another great part about Farm Bureau is that we have a reason to see friends who live far from us ...
Again, it doesn't matter your role in ag. Whether it's part time, full time, supporter, selling Farm Bureau insurance, on any type of farm - we're all in it together, and it's a great way to be involved in the policy part of farming. And the people who we've met through it? Passionate, dedicated, outgoing people! I can see why this has gone on for 95 years ... and I hope to go until I'm at least that age.
If you want to know more about the farm, like the page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter@carlashelley, or get posts sent to you by email. Sign up - the form is on the right side of the page.