County News Archive

Washtenaw's President, Joe Packard, at the Milan FFA Banquet

By Kathy Siler



WCFB President, Joe Packard, delivering his presentation.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Horning
via the WCFB Facebook page.
The Milan FFA Chapter held their annual banquet at Milan High School on Wednesday evening of April 10th. FFA advisor Tom Stahl along with about 50 students, families, and past FFA members were in attendance. On behalf of Washtenaw County Farm Bureau our president, Joe Packard, presented each of the five state award winners with a congratulatory card. During his brief presentation Joe encouraged and invited the students to transition their FFA leadership training into county and state Farm Bureau participation by becoming involved in the Young Farmer group. He highlighted multiple ways they can participate, including volunteering on various committees, participating in discussion meets, attending conferences, and networking and exploring job opportunities at the local, state, and national level through Farm Bureau participation.

Congratulations to these Milan FFA Chapter students who were recognized for their state awards at their Annual Banquet on Wednesday evening April 10th.




Outstanding Junior Awards:

John Bowerman
Carson Fuller

State Degrees:

Cassidy Bowerman
Mikayla Maurer
Ethan Schram

The Milan FFA Chapter held their annual banquet at Milan High School on Wednesday evening of April 10th.

Farm Safety Day

By Kathy Siler

Recent tragic events in our community, including the farming accident and death of Rex Hannewald, who was a dear friend to many in our own county, and the Sugar Shack fire at McLennan’s, are stark reminders of the dangers inherent in farming activities, especially when working with or around farming implements. Our family-focused Farm Safety Day on April 6 offered attendees the opportunity to learn about tractor safety, grain and wagon safety, animal safety, fire safety, first aid, and small equipment safety. We hope you and your family were able to join us for this timely and critically important event.

Our thanks to Jake and Blake, firefighters and EMTs, from Saline Area Fire Department for all the useful information they shared at our Safety Day. Attendees got a close look at rescue and fire-fighting equipment on the truck. The presenters reminded folks to Stop Drop and Roll if clothing catches fire. They also demonstrated how to safely and effectively use a fire extinguisher: PULL the pin out of the handle. AIM the hose at the base of the fire; not at the flames. SQUEEZE the lever. SWEEP the hose from side to side.

A debt of thanks to our Farm Bureau Insurance agents who
partnered with us for the Farm Safety Day.
Pictured: Lindsay Lumpford of the Lumpford Agency and
Rick Eder of the Rick Eder Agency.


The “Make a First Aid Kit” was a busy station at the Farm Safety Day. Contents included bottled water, gloves, 2 sizes of band aids, burn cream, gauze, and alcohol prep pads, as well as a “first aid kit” sticker to identify the container.

Some great photos from our Farm Safety Day courtesy of Cathy Koning. Thanks to all who attended and all the volunteers and presenters!



       


Our family-focused Farm Safety Day on April 6 offered attendees the opportunity to learn about tractor safety, grain and wagon safety, animal safety, fire safety, first aid, and small equipment safety. We hope you and your family were able to join us

Packard & Thelen shine on the Lucy Ann Lance Show!

By Kathy Siler


 Photo courtesy of the Lucy Ann Lance Show via the WCFB Facebook page.

Huge thanks to Lucy Ann Lance and the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce for helping to spread the good word about agriculture on Lucy’s talk show this morning with a great informative interview with Nancy Diuble Thelen and Katelyn Packard.

Great job ladies!

In case you were unable to “tune in” on the radio; here’s a link to the Lucy Ann Lance show for her great interview with Nancy Thelen and Katelyn Packard. Thanks again, Lucy, for supporting agriculture in our county!

http://www.lance-erskine.com/audio/040119/saline.mp3


Huge thanks to Lucy Ann Lance and the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce for helping to spread the good word about agriculture on Lucy’s talk show this morning

A million thanks!! We are THRILLED...

By Kathy Siler



Courtesy of the WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.



A million thanks!! We are THRILLED with the phenomenal response to our posts over the past two weeks celebrating farming and over a hundred years of agriculture in our county.

But wait! There’s MORE!! Thanks to grant funding from
Michigan Farm Bureau and additional financial assistance from our board, we are in the process of creating a more permanent, traveling display of our proud farm families’ photos and their narratives that will be exhibited at community venues and events such as fairs, local libraries, and educational presentations.

The are over 150 registered centennial
farms in our county.

Our initial goal was to reach out to and feature 15 centennial and sesquicentennial farm families during Ag Week. We nearly doubled that number! Profound thanks to ALL the families who shared their photos and stories!

What a great beginning!

So please stay tuned, and thank you again for the hundreds of likes and shares and heartfelt comments as we continue to celebrate our rich agricultural heritage.



A million thanks!! We are THRILLED with the phenomenal response to our posts over the past two weeks celebrating farming and over a hundred years of agriculture in our county.

Proud Farmer t-shirts debuted at Growing Together

By Kathy Siler



L-R: back row: Grant Reiff, Steve Thelen, Chad Fusilier, Nancy Kohler, Mason Trinkle, Matthew Noggle; middle: Katlin Fusilier, Joe Packard, Renee Luckhardt, Travis Fusilier; front: Nancy Thelen, Lynda Horning, Katelyn Packard, Emma Rose, Melissa Fusilier.

We debuted this year’s Washtenaw “Proud Farmer” t-shirts in February with a group photo at Michigan Farm Bureau’s Growing Together Conference in Grand Rapids. The conference brought together the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders.

It provided multiple tours, new ideas, farm business resources, leadership development and much more to the more than 500 members of all ages who attended. We were well represented by our leader/volunteer attendees!

 



We debuted this year’s Washtenaw “Proud Farmer” t-shirts in February

Looking at Luckhardt Farms

By Kathy Siler



Luckhardt Farms in Saline is owned by Eugene and Joann Luckhardt. Other family members involved in the farm are Gary, Renee, Alyssa and Ryan Luckhardt. The farm was

Founded on November 1, 1915

by Aaron and Rosena Luckhardt who purchased 160 acres from John George and Kate Steeb. Their son Alvin and his wife Martha raised 5 children all born on the homestead. Eugene Luckhardt, one of their sons, worked on the farm in a partnership with Alvin. Eugene and Joanna had one son, Gary L...uckhardt, who became a partner in the farm and family plumbing business. Gary’s family is active on the farm, and their son Ryan is the fifth generation to work on the farm.

In the early 1900’s, the farm animals included horses, milk cows, chickens and hogs. The family also grew corn, wheat, oats, timothy hay, clover hay and alfalfa hay. Currently the farm is raising sheep, steers and has a beef cow-calf operation.

Pictured in the family photo: L-R: Gary, Renee, Alyssa, Eugene, Joann and Ryan
#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100





Luckhardt Farms in Saline is owned by Eugene and Joann Luckhardt. Other family members involved in the farm are Gary, Renee, Alyssa and Ryan Luckhardt. The farm was founded

Horning Farms - 142 Years & Counting!

By Kathy Siler



Pictured: Back row: Earl, Diane, Lynda, Jeff; Front row: Mason, Katelyn Packard and Joe Packard
Photo courtesy of Kathy Siler via the WCFB Facebook page.

Horning Farms in Manchester is owned by Jeff and Earl Horning. Other family members involved in the farm are Diane, Lynda, Katelyn Packard, and Mason. Also involved on a part-time/as-needed basis are Joe Packard, Natalie Holbrook, and Ben Holbrook. The farm was

Founded by Gottlieb and Barbara Horning in 1877!

The sixth generation is part of the farm and three generations work together daily on the farm. We are a dairy farm. We also farm 800 acres, nearly all of which feeds our cattle. We grow corn, alfalfa, soybeans, rye, and wheat. Our farm started as a diversified operation with a little bit of everything. We had a larger sheep flock for many years. When a barn fire killed the flock in the 1960s a decision was made to shift into dairy instead and our first milking parlor was built.

#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100


Horning Farms in Manchester is owned by Jeff and Earl Horning. Other family members involved

Kuhl Farm in Chelsea is owned by Jerry and Jean Kuhl

By Kathy Siler



Photo courtesy of WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.

Kuhl Farm in Chelsea is owned by Jerry and Jean Kuhl. The farm was founded in 1865 by Arnold Henry Kuhl. “Over the generations the farm focused on raising various livestock (dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, chickens and pigs), straw and other crops.” The farm currently grows soybeans and corn.

In January, the The Washtenaw County Conservation District presented the 2018 “Walter Wolfgang Memorial” Conservation Farmer of the Year Award to Jerry and Jean Kuhl.
Read more about ...their farming practices and this well deserved award at the link:

http://themanchestermirror.com/…/jerry-and-jean-kuhl-conse…/

#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Kuhl Farm in Chelsea is owned by Jerry and Jean Kuhl. The farm was founded in 1865 by Arnold Henry Kuhl.

Happy 150 years to the Bross Farm family who are awaiting their official sesquicentennial sign!

By Kathy Siler



 Pictured R-L: Teresa, Gillian, Herman the family dog, Gary, Delaney, and Rachel Bross. Courtesy of the WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.
Bross Farms in Manchester is owned by Gary Bross. The farm was founded by Henry Bross March 3, 1869. Other people involved in helping on the farm are Rodney Hoeft and Rachel Bross. They currently grow corn, beans, wheat and hay, and raise sheep. In the past the farm grew crops and raised chickens, steers, pigs cows and sheep. 

#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100


Happy 150 years to the Bross Farm family who are awaiting their official sesquicentennial sign and updated photo! Bross Farms in Manchester is owned by Gary Bross.

Three generations currently work on the Lutzview Farm in Saline

By Kathy Siler



Pictured: Cassidy, John, Ruth, 2 yr old Martha, Chrissy, Katie, and Tammy. Photo courtesy of the WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.

Lutzview Farms in Saline is owned by John Broesamle. Other family members involved in the farm are wife Tammy, daughters Cassidy, Chrissy, Katie, John’s mom Ruth and daughter Martha (as much as any 2 year old can)
The farm was founded in 1882 by Jacob Lutz. Three generations currently work on the farm. The family grows corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, hay, apples, pigs, sheep and beef cattle. In the past the farm had dairy cows and raised barley. Ruth was recently honored with a Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award at the annual Washtenaw Dairy and Livestock Council's Agriculture Banquet. 

#
MIAgMonth

#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Lutzview Farms in Saline is owned by John Broesamle.

Bradbury Farms, Founded on July 1, 1834!

By Kathy Siler



 Photo courtesy of the WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.

Bradbury Farms in Dexter is owned by Archie Bradbury. The farm was founded by Paul D. Easton on July 1, 1834. The farm grows corn, soybean, wheat and oats. In 2015 during the Ag Banquet hosted by the Washtenaw Dairy and Livestock Council, Archie was honored with a Distinguished Service to Agriculture award.

#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Bradbury Farms in Dexter is owned by Archie Bradbury. The farm was founded by Paul D. Easton on July 1, 1834.

Braun Farm in Ann Arbor, owned by Brian Lloyd Braun

By Kathy Siler



Pictured: Brian Lloyd Braun. Photo courtesy of WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.

Braun Farm in Ann Arbor is owned by Brian Lloyd Braun. Another family member involved in the farm is Joyce M. Braun. John Boyle was the original owner in 1870. It was rented to John Braun in 1906 and he purchased the farm in 1907. Two generations currently work the farm. Ground is rented to a neighbor for popcorn, field corn, wheat, soybeans and a couple of large vegetable gardens. In the past, the farm grew pickets yellow dent corn, hay, wheat, oats, soybeans and vegetables. The farm also kept work horses, dairy and beef cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens.
 
#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Braun Farm in Ann Arbor is owned by Brian Lloyd Braun. Another family member involved in the farm is Joyce M. Braun. John Boyle was the original owner in 1870.

The Weidmayer Farm in Ann Arbor

By Kathy Siler



Pictured: Roger and Linda Weidmayer. Photo courtesy of WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.

The Weidmayer farm in Ann Arbor is owned by Roger and Linda Weidmayer. The farm was founded in 1906 by Fred and Mary Weidmayer. The farm is currently rented out to Ryan Rentschler who grows corn, soybeans and wheat. In the past, corn, soybeans wheat and hay were grown on the farm.
 
#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



The Weidmayer farm in Ann Arbor is owned by Roger and Linda Weidmayer.

Pleasant Valley Farm, Founded in 1873!

By Kathy Siler



Pictured L-R: Kyle Weidmayer, Karla (Weidmayer) Shankland, Keith Weidmayer, Sue and Dale Weidmayer and Kevin Weidmayer. Photo courtesy of WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.

Pleasant Valley Farm in Ann Arbor is owned by Dale and Keith Weidmayer. The farm was founded by Michael Dieterle on April 9, 1873. Two generations currently work the (dairy) farm and the family also grows corn, alfalfa, wheat and soybeans. In the past, the farm grew oats and raised cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. Dale was recently honored with a Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award at the annual Washtenaw Dairy and Livestock Council's Agriculture Banquet.

#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Pleasant Valley Farm in Ann Arbor is owned by Dale and Keith Weidmayer. The farm was founded by Michael Dieterle on April 9, 1873.

Parker Farms in Ann Arbor

By Kathy Siler



Pictured: Stan and Helen Parker and their daughters Tracy McLean and Michelle Paris. Photo courtesy of WCFB Facebook page via Kathy Siler.

Parker Farms in Ann Arbor was founded by Russell Parker on February 1, 1827. Stan and Helen Parker owned the farm for about 50 years and registered the farm’s centennial status sometime in the 1990s. Stan’s nephew Dan Trinkle is the current owner and works the farm; selling wood for timber. In the past, the farm produced corn, oats, wheat, hay and barley.

#MIAgMonth
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Parker Farms in Ann Arbor was founded by Russell Parker on February 1, 1827.

Huehl Acres Highlighted During #AgWeek

By Kathy Siler



 Pictured L-R: Dennis, Carol, Buddy the dog, Susan and Gerald. Photo courtesy of WCFB Facebook page.
Huehl Acres in Chelsea is owned by brothers Dennis and Gerald Huehl and their wives Carol and Susan. Other family members involved in the farm are sons Robert, Thomas and Nicholas Huehl. The farm was founded in 1839 by John Huhl who started with 40 acres. The “e” was added later to “Americanize “ the pronunciation. Denny and Jerry are the 5th generation to work the farm which has grown to 417.5 acres owned. The 5th generation works on the farm full time with help from the 6th... generation. The farm currently grows corn, soybeans, wheat and hay on 1500 acres. There are still some heifers being raised for beef. In the past, oats were grown along with a flock of ewes and lambs. The farm produced and sold milk until April 16th 2018 when the last of the cows left.
 
#MichiganAgMonth
#AgWeek
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100


Nixon Farms

By Kathy Siler



 Photo Courtesy of Kathy Siler, via WCFB Facebook page.


Nixon Farms in Dexter, Webster Township is owned by Ryan Nixon and Cherie Nixon (partners in the farm, Cherie’s husband Bill is deceased, Ryan is their son) In addition to Cherie and Ryan - Ryan’s sister Julie Nixon, his wife Julie Nixon, and his daughters Jenna and Tara Nixon. The farm was founded by Frank and Grace Nixon in November, 1919. It consisted of 160 acres. The family will be applying for centennial farm status in November, 2019. Currently three generations work ...on the farm – Cherie; Ryan and his wife Julie and his sister Julie; Ryan’s daughters Jenna and Tara. The family grows corn, soybeans, pumpkins, hay, and trees. In addition they make a corn maze each year and have an event barn. The family farms 330 acres in Washtenaw County, including their original 160 acres. In the past the farm has grown corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, and they raised dairy, hogs and had a cattle feedlot.

Photo L-R: Ryan, Julie (Nixon), Jenna, Tara, Cherie, Julie (Ryan’s wife)
#MIAgMonth #AgWeek #FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Nixon Farms in Dexter, Webster Township is owned by Ryan Nixon and Cherie Nixon

Our thanks to the Saline District Library

By Kathy Siler



 Photo Courtesy of WCFB Facebook page.

Our thanks to the Saline District Library for partnering with us to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Farm Bureau and over a century of agriculture in our county. The artful display features photos and narratives of some of the Saline area centennial and sesquicentennial farms. Ag products and the American Farm Bureau Foundation’s Book of the Year: Right This Very Minute by: Lisl H. Detlefsen are also displayed. In addition, the Farm Bureau has donated several Ag accurate books to the library. Huge Thanks to our Promotion & Education volunteer Donna Jedele for setting up this beautiful display.
#MichiganAgMonth
#AgWeek #FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Our thanks to the Saline District Library for partnering with us to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Farm Bureau

Celebrating 160 years this July: The Willard & Ruth Blumenauer Farm

By Kathy Siler



 Pictured is Ruth Blumenauer. Photo courtesy of the WCFB Facebook page.

Celebrating 160 years this July: The Willard & Ruth Blumenauer Farm in Manchester is owned by Willard & Ruth Blumenauer
The farm was founded on July 1, 1859 by John H. & Mary Schlicht.

Succession of farm ownership:
John H. & Mary Schlicht – 7/1/1859...
Louis & Sarah (daughter) Ernst – 3/24/1900
Theodore & Bertha (daughter) Blumenauer – 12/3/1918
Willard (son) & Ruth Blumenauer – 3/26/1959
The farm is currently operated by: Mark Blumenauer (nephew) & Sons (Dan and Mike); William Haeussler (son); and John Blumenauer (son)

The farm grows corn, wheat, soybeans and hay. In the past the farm produced corn, wheat, oats and hay and raised steers, lambs, pigs, chickens and rabbits.
 
#MIAgMonth
#AgWeek
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Celebrating 160 years this July: The Willard & Ruth Blumenauer Farm

Hammond Farms in Saline

By Kathy Siler



 Pictured L-R: Sara and Shaun Ford holding Autumn Ford, little guy Travis Ford, Tom, Dave and Diane Hammond, David and Beth Czuj, and little guy Mason Czuj.

Hammond Farms in Saline is owned by Tom and Diane Hammond. Other family members involved in the farm include David Hammond and nephew Tim Malinczak. The farm was founded in 1831 by David Hammond. In the past the farm grew corn. Two generations currently work the farm growing corn, wheat and soybeans.  

#MIAgMonth
#AgWeek
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100



Hammond Farms in Saline is owned by Tom and Diane Hammond.

#AgWeek Display in downton Saline

By Kathy Siler



Photo courtesy of Kathy Siler.
If you're out enjoying the sunshine in downtown Saline, be sure to check out our National Ag Week and Food and Agriculture Month display in the storefront window on Michigan Ave. The display highlights some Ag-facts, books, and an array of Ag products and commodities for passers-by to see. This year in honor of Farm Bureau’s 100 year anniversary we also shared photos of some of the many Saline centennial farm families that have been putting food on our plates for several gen...erations. They are a reminder of Saline’s rich agricultural heritage. The display will be in the window until the end of March. Huge thanks to the Girbach family for loaning us the space, and a big shout out to Brian Girbach for washing the windows and helping our Promotion & Education volunteers, Nancy Kohler and Kathy Siler, set up the display this year!

#MIAgMonth
#AgWeek
#FarmBureauProud
#MFB100


If you're out enjoying the sunshine in downtown Saline, be sure to check out our National Ag Week and Food and Agriculture Month display in the storefront window on Michigan Ave.

Ready and waiting for the baby's arrival...

By Kathy Siler



Photo courtesy of Kathy Siler.




Ready and waiting for the baby’s arrival... To celebrate National Agriculture Week (March 10-16) and Food and Agriculture month it's our annual tradition to welcome the first Washtenaw County baby born during Ag Week with a basket of baby clothes and nursery items donated to Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. Accepting the gift from Promotion and Education volunteer Linda Reilly (R) is Lacey Brown, Regional Development Coordinator, from the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Office of Development who will deliver the gift to the nurses on the Mother and Baby unit. Linda and her husband John raise poultry, cattle and hay on their centennial Clear Creek Farm in Chelsea. Thanks also to Kathy Siler for assembling the bin of baby items and taking the photo. #MIAgMonth #AgWeek #Ag #FarmBureauProud #MFB100



Ready and waiting for the baby’s arrival... To celebrate National Agriculture Week (March 10-16)

Washtenaw Farm Bureau members attend legislative seminar

By Marsha Chartrand, the Manchester Mirror



 

Lansing Legislative Seminar 2019 group photo L to R: 47th District Representative Hank Vaupel, Mike Bossory, MIchigan Farm Bureau District 3 Director Mike Fusilier, Kathy Fusilier, 22nd District Senator Lana Theis, Chad Fusilier, 52nd District Representative Donna Lasinski, Travis Fusiler, Nancy Thelen, Steve Thelen, Arlene DeForest, 53rd District Representative Yousef Rabhi. Photo courtesy of State Representative Donna Lasinski. Photo courtesy of Washtenaw County Farm Bureau.

Manchester farmers who are members of the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau attended the 2019 Lansing Legislative Seminar on February 26th. They had a chance to tour the Michigan Supreme Court and visit with Justices Megan Cavanaugh, Elizabeth Clement, and Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack. The Seminar includes more than Capitol tours, lunch speakers and ice cream. This year’s educational sessions included topics ranging from being a great farming neighbor, to understanding infrastructure issues, to the funding and economic priorities of state government.

Manchester farmers who are members of the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau attended the 2019 Lansing Legislative Seminar on February 26th.

Counties joining centennial celebration; local history plans blooming statewide

March 4, 2019 via MFB


MFB 100 Centennial
 

Local History Teams in more than 20 county Farm Bureaus will see funding awards soon as a result of the applications they submitted during the winter grant cycle.

Successful applications came from the following county Farm Bureaus: Arenac, Barry, Bay, Branch, Clinton, Emmet, Genesee, Hiawathaland, Hillsdale, Iosco, Iron Range, Jackson, Livingston, Menominee, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Sanilac, Tuscola, Washtenaw and Wayne.

Don’t see your county on that list? Not to worry: another application cycle is forthcoming later this year. (Look for details soon here in Farm Gate.)

Here’s a very small sampling (condensed!) of the plans our county Farm Bureaus have in store for celebrating their local agricultural heritage this year:

Tuscola

“For our first project we're building a portable display to take to local libraries and events. The display will highlight facts about agriculture in our community and the history of agriculture and Farm Bureau.

“The next project will be a float celebrating 100 years of agriculture at the Cass City Freedom Fest, Mayville Sunflower Fest, Kingston Days, Michigan Bean Fest and Caro Pumpkin Fest.

“The last project we have in the works is creating a 100-year celebration placemat to distribute to local restaurants during Ag Week, highlighting our rich agricultural history and fun facts about ag in our community.

“We are focusing on reaching our non-farming community by displaying fun facts in several different places where everyone goes. We hope to spread knowledge about agriculture and how important it is to not only our community, but our world!”

Arenac

“Our History Team will host an ice cream social during our county fair. We intend to set up a tent with historic documents and pictures, and have current and past board members available to speak with visitors. We will also have a smaller tent/table at our monthly farmers’ market, May-July, with invitations for the ice cream social.”

Hiawathaland

“We will develop a traveling display highlighting the history of Farm Bureau and agriculture in the central Upper Peninsula and make it available to historical museums in Delta, Marquette, Alger and Schoolcraft counties. Our members will research historical materials, building relationships with the local historical museums in our counties.

“Our history will also be shared with visitors to the U.P. State Fair Miracle of Life Exhibit.”

Barry

Barry County Farm Bureau plans a staged celebration, spring through fall, with various activities targeting different groups, from elementary student to members of local service clubs:

 

  • April: Farmer members in the Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival parade
  • May: Participation in the Barry County Farm Bureau Ag Awareness Day
  • July: Activities during at the Barry County Fair
  • August: Participation at the 2019 Hastings Summerfest and an extensive Farm Bureau birthday celebration at the county annual meeting

 

Iron Range

Placemats spotlighting farm facts specific to Iron Range Farm Bureau will be donated to local restaurants in Iron and Dickinson Counties in March. Also this month they’ll host a meet-n-greet social at Solberg’s Restaurant in Felch, where longtime members will be asked to share their reasons for joining and memories of their favorite activities. Some of that history will be gathered and shared on displays at the Iron and Dickinson County Fairs.

Members will also be encouraged to bring and share old photos and documents to illustrate the history of farming in the southwestern Lower Peninsula.

Ogemaw

Ogemaw’s celebration will focus on a tent exhibit at the Ogemaw County Fair in August, showcasing local agricultural history with photos and memorabilia. Members are collecting historical items, documents, newspaper articles and other memorabilia.

Iosco

Exhibits of historical photos and memorabilia will be on display at both the Iosco County Fair in July and the county Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in October. Visitors will be enticed by coupons for free ice cream or other seasonal treats.


And this was just a small sample! Keep reading Farm Gate for more coverage of Local History Team activities statewide.



Washtenaw County's Local History Team Awarded Grant!

Manchester's Joe Packard is new County Farm Bureau President


By Kathleen Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

http://themanchestermirror.com/2018/10/08/manchesters-joe-packard-is-new-county-farm-bureau-president/


During its September meeting, the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau board of directors elected Joe Packard as county president. Packard succeeds Grant Reiff, who stepped down from the board in September.

Joe was born in Midland, Michigan where both of his parents worked for Dow Chemical. When he was nine years old his folks moved him and his younger sister to a suburb of Rochester, New York. He graduated from high school in 2007 as a member of the National Honor Society, high school honor roll, and captain of the varsity swimming, soccer, and lacrosse teams. Joe continued his swimming career, competitively, while pursing a degree at Michigan State University with dreams he had since he was six years old of becoming a small animal veterinarian. Joe pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science. During his junior year, Joe realized that while he still wanted to work with animals; he was becoming less thrilled with the idea of spending an additional four years in vet school. Then, in 2012, with no idea as to which area of animal expertise he wanted to pursue, Joe took a study abroad trip to the Netherlands, focusing on dairy stewardship. Among his fellow students on that trip, he met a beautiful woman from a dairy farm in the Manchester area who loved talking about her passion for animal agriculture. Joe had no previous knowledge or background in agriculture, so the stories and experiences she shared captivated him. It was this woman’s passion for Agriculture promotion that sparked Joe’s realization that he somehow belonged in production agriculture. Four years later, in 2016, in the shadow of Beaumont Tower on MSU’s campus, Joe proposed to Katelyn Horning, the young woman who captured his heart in the Netherlands. They have been happily married and promoting Agriculture together for the past two and a half years.

Joe works for a dairy cooperative, where he services approximately 100 farms across southeastern Michigan, northeastern Indiana, and northwestern Ohio as a membership representative and milking systems specialist. He performs on-farm inspections to help milk producers maintain Grade A compliance, as well as troubleshooting milking systems to ensure that equipment is functioning, cleaning, and sanitizing properly. When his professional work allows, Joe enjoys assisting with farming activities on Katelyn’s family’s centennial dairy farm.

A member of Farm Bureau for just three years, Joe is already heavily involved at both the county and state level. He has served on the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for two years. He is also a member of the county Grant Writing and Awards Committee. At the state level, Joe is a member of the Grant Review Committee, and was recently appointed as one of two State Young Farmer Committee members serving District 3 that includes Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe, Livingston and Oakland countries. For the past three years, Joe has competed in the district and state Young Farmer discussion meet that addresses issues affecting farmers and Agriculture. He was selected as a sweet sixteen finalist his first year competing at the state level, and advanced to the final round this past year. He looks forward to continued success in this year’s state discussion meet.

Joe is deeply honored to be elected to the position of Washtenaw County Farm Bureau President, and vows to be a servant of the organization’s dedicated and hard-working members in Washtenaw County. He can always be reached through the county Farm Bureau office at 734-429-1420.



During its September meeting, the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau board of directors elected Joe Packard as county president. Packard succeeds Grant Reiff, who stepped down from the board in September.

2018 YF Leader Finalists

By Amelia Miller


LANSING - Michigan Farm Bureau has named Chad Fusilier of Washtenaw County, Blake Gordon of Sanilac County, Kristi Keilen of Clinton County and Kristin Kubiszak of Van Buren County as the 2018 Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award finalists.

The Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award recognizes young agriculturalists, ages 18-35, with at least partial ownership in a farming operation. Top candidates display outstanding leadership within the Farm Bureau organization, their own farms and the agricultural community. These individuals not only strive for success in their own farm businesses, they also are leaders within the agriculture industry.

Finalists will compete in an interview process on April 6 to select the statewide winner. Each finalist will receive a $400 cash prize and a jacket compliments of the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture. The winner will receive a lease on a New Holland compact tractor with a loader or a New Holland rustler 4wd utility vehicle from Burnips Equipment, a $1,000 AgroLiquid gift certificate and an expense paid trip to the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation FUSION Conference.

Chad Fusilier

Chad owns and operates a direct market produce and flower farm with a direct sales market located on a busy state road in Washtenaw County. Chad oversees all business and growing operations on the twenty-three acre farm. He raises and sells flowers, produce including winter squash, pumpkins, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, celery, melons, and other vegetables. In December, the farm market sells wreaths and pine garland. Chad uses social media to market his business, including a Facebook page with more than 6,000 followers. He currently serves as the president of the MSU Collegiate Farm Bureau. In this role, he has been instrumental in initiating a Career Workshop which has assisted nearly 80 students prepare for future job interviews or career fairs by organizing a panel of industry professionals to meet with these students. Chad plans to graduate from Michigan State University in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness management and horticulture.

Blake Gordon

Blake and his father raise red wheat, soybeans, corn and sugar beets on 1,050 acres in Sanilac County. Working together, the Gordons have added a grain drying facility, grain storage, and chemical storage. Blake has been the driving force to incorporate the use of precision technology including a John Deere 2630 monitor with auto-steer in the tractors and combine. He worked to help the farm earn Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) verification in both the cropping and farmstead systems. Recently, Blake worked with his father to make the decision to incorporate the business, preparing for the future generational transition of the farm. Blake is also an associate salesman for Pioneer. He serves as the Young Farmer committee chairperson for Sanilac County Farm Bureau. Blake holds an agricultural industries certificate from Michigan State University's Institute of Agricultural Technology.

Kristi Keilen

Kristi is a fourth generation dairy farmer milking approximately 450 cows three times per day on her family's Clinton County farm. The farm also grows grains and hay as feed for the cattle. Kristi manages the dairy portion of the farm, taking care of the calves, scheduling employees, and managing the accounting. Serving as the farm's nutritionist, Kristi has worked to increase milk butterfat and increase daily milk production. The farm holds MAEAP verifications in the cropping, homestead and livestock systems. Kristi has served in numerous roles within the Clinton County Farm Bureau, including currently holding the office of president. She initiated reviving the Project RED agricultural education event, hosting more than 300 students from just one school district alone. In dairy industry organizations, Kristi serves as a mentor to other young farmers. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and Agronomy from Michigan State University. Kristi and her husband, Matthew have one two year old son, Brody.

Kristin Kubiszak

Kristin manages three farm market retail stores as a part of her family's fifth generation blueberry farm. The family raises 400 acres of high bush blueberries as well as custom harvests an additional 500 acres for local growers. The farm is also part owner in another blueberry farm located in two western U.S. states. As manager of the farm markets, Kristin manages the u-pick customers, ten employees as well as inventory for all three locations. For Kristin, there is no off season, as the main retail store is open two days a week through the winter to provide customers with frozen blueberries and strawberries and the farm's own specialty agricultural products. While managing the farm markets, Kristin also takes on the role of educator, teaching her customers how their fruit has been raised. As the oldest of the fourth generation, Kristin works to be a role model for her younger siblings, working to sustain the family farm for generations to come. Kristin serves as chairperson of the Van Buren County Farm Bureau promotion and education committee. In this position she has been able to secure grants to plan an educational tour for farmers in her community. Kristin and her husband, Tylor, have two children, Molly and Tucker.

Michigan Farm Bureau's Young Farmer Award program honors deserving individuals in the categories of Young Agriculture Leader, Achievement, Employee and Excellence in Agriculture. All finalists and award recipients will be recognized at Michigan Farm Bureau's 99th Annual Meeting, November 26-29, 2018 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.



LANSING - Michigan Farm Bureau has named Chad Fusilier of Washtenaw County, Blake Gordon of Sanilac County, Kristi Keilen of Clinton County and Kristin Kubiszak of Van Buren County as the 2018 Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award finalists.

Farmers a Go-Go Celebrate Golden Anniversary

March 22, 2017
Farmers-A-Go-Go 2016 Anniversary

Celebrating 50 years: Ken and Bonnie Heiber, Dale and Sue Weidmayer, Ron and Peggy Diuble, Milton and Janet Weidmayer, Earl and Diane Horning, Mark Blumenauer and Rachel Bross, Ted and Carol Wheeler, Beverly Poet

The Farmers a Go-Go Community Action Group (CAG) met for their regular Friday meeting on November 18, 2016, and posed for a photo wearing our county's new, golden-yellow "Proud to Farm in Washtenaw County" T-shirts.  They quickly realized how coincidental the evening was to the group's history: It was exactly 50 years to the date of their inaugural meeting on November 18, 1966!

For over half a century this CAG group has faithfully met on the third Friday of the month from September to May. 

Much of that "serendipitous" November 2016 meeting was spent reminiscing over their group's scrapbook and rich history. The scrapbook, maintained and recently updated by Peggy Diuble, chronicles fifty years of the group's activities.

"There are newspaper articles of special honors given to many of our members over the years, and photos from Christmas potlucks when all our children were small," Diuble said. "We also had summer picnics during those years and some of those photos are in the book. We (even) dressed up for Halloween once."

The scrapbook also depicts restaurant "Christmas" dinner meetings and photos from their 40th anniversary Caribbean cruise. 

Farmers-A-Go-Go Original Group

First group photo: Dale and Mary Weidmayer, Doug and Diane Stark, Ted and Carol Wheeler, Milton and Janet Weidmayer, Ralph and Janet Diuble, Ken and Bonnie Heiber, Earl and Diane Horning, John and Sandy Bihlmeyer

Also preserved in the scrapbook are newspaper articles highlighting member's farming operations and documenting slices of local agriculture history. In the early eighties some of the members pioneered fledgling conservation practices with demonstration plots for chisel plowing and no till-planting methods that are common today.

Farm Bureau Community Actions Groups have always epitomized the importance of grass roots member involvement. In a 2007 article celebrating the group's 40th anniversary, Sue Weidmayer shared this:

"Through the years, the group has hosted guest speakers, instituted a fine system that puts money in our kitty, parlayed over discussion topics, written Farm Bureau county and state resolutions, participated in many Project REDs and discussion meets, served as officers and board members, and volunteered in various capacities in our organization."

Also saved in their scrapbook is a 2008 County Farm Bureau award-winning essay submitted by Diane Horning which captured the spirit that has sustained the group despite its changes over the years.

"We have always been there for each other through births, deaths, auctions and all our children's graduations and marriages… Simply put our group is family," Horning said.

We congratulate the Farmers a Go-Go CAG on reaching their historic 50 year milestone and appreciate all they have contributed, individually and collectively, to our organization over the years!



Farmers-A-Go-Go 2016 Anniversary Celebrating 50 years: Ken and Bonnie Heiber, Dale and Sue Weidmayer, Ron and Peggy Diuble, Milton and Janet Weidmayer, Earl and Diane Horning, Mark Blumenauer and Rachel Bross, Ted and Carol Wheeler, Beverly Poet

County Celebrates Silver Anniversary of Project RED

By Kathy Siler


The theme of our Sept. 21 county annual meeting was a celebration of the silver anniversary of Project RED (Rural Education Days).

Two schools, Whitmore Lake Elementary and Luther C. Klager Elementary in Manchester, have participated in Project RED since its inception a quarter of a century ago. Karin Villarreal, the new principal at Klager, attended our county annual meeting and accepted the recognition on behalf of her school.

Huge thanks to Jennifer Blumenauer for making and decorating the delicious cake! We managed to snap a photo of Nancy Thelen and Lynda Horning with the cake before the folks from The Movable Feast sliced and served it to more than 100 guests. Nancy and Lynda have been involved and committed to Project RED for all 25 years.

Several individuals were recognized for their involvement through the years: Else Heller, Earl and Diane Horning, Jeff and Lynda Horning, Jerry and Sue Huehl, Dennis Rice and Steve and Nancy Thelen.

We also honored several organizations involved with the Project RED program the entire time.

These include: Washtenaw County Conservation District, represented by Dennis Rice; Pittsfield-Union Grange, represented Joan Hellman; Saline-Ann Arbor Local of Michigan Milk Producers Association, represented by Jeff Horning; United Dairy Industry of Michigan and the Saline FFA, represented by Chrissy Polzin; Washtenaw County Farm Bureau, Washtenaw County MSU Extension and Washtenaw Farm Council, represented by Ron Diuble.

All of these individuals should be applauded for being dedicated supporters of Project RED for all 25 years.



The theme of our Sept. 21 county annual meeting was a celebration of the silver anniversary of Project RED (Rural Education Days). Two schools, Whitmore Lake Elementary and Luther C. Klager Elementary in Manchester, have participated in Project RE

25th Annual Project RED Attracts 2,000 Students

By Nancy Thelen


Project RED (Rural Education Days), which was started right here in Washtenaw County, celebrated its 25th anniversary recently with a local event that attracted 2,032 students, teachers and chaperones.

A special thanks goes to 348 volunteers who helped make it an outstanding program.

The event, sponsored jointly by Washtenaw County Farm Bureau, Michigan State University Extension and Washtenaw Farm Council, is part of a statewide program. The purpose of Project RED is to educate third-grade students about local agriculture and natural resources.

Students representing 21 private and public schools from the Ann Arbor, Saline, Ypsilanti, Whitmore Lake, Lincoln, Milan, Dexter and Manchester areas traveled to the Farm Council Grounds for this event.

Learning stations included:

•A tour through Michigan commodities.

•Growing corn.

•What's up with water?

•Farm animals.

•Dairy—"From Moo To You" and "A Taste of Michigan," featuring samples of ice cream, milk, dried cherries, blueberries, popcorn, honey butter, apples, potato chips, soy nuts and sunflower seeds.

Small grains, wool spinning, healthy eating, Michigan-made products, dairy products, an agriculture wheel with questions, as well as a display on wildlife skulls, also were featured in the showcase.

Each student and teacher received a goodie bag filled with information from various organizations and a tree seedling provided by the Washtenaw County Conservation District.

As in the past, this year's program would not have been possible without an outstanding group of dedicated volunteers and clubs, along with many local organizations and businesses, helping with various parts of the event.

Providing volunteers, resource people and group leaders were Manchester Future Farmers of America, Saline FFA, Milan FFA, MSU Master Gardeners, 4-H clubs, including Country Expressions, Paint Creek, Challengers, Leaders of the Pack, Saline 4-H Farmers, On Target, Brookville Horse Whisperers and Rogers Corners Herdsmen.

Other volunteers and supporters included: MSU Extension and Farm Bureau groups and members; local farm families; Conservation District; Pittsfield Union Grange; Washtenaw County Farm Bureau Insurance Agents; Saline-Ann Arbor MMPA; Chelsea Community Fair; Michigan Corn Growers; GreenStone Farm Credit Services of Ann Arbor; Huehl Acres; Horning Farms; Kellie Jordan; Coleman's Corn Wagon; Kurt and Kim Rose; Washtenaw County Dairy and Livestock Council; United Dairy Industry of Michigan: and Michigan Soybean Commission.

Animals and equipment were provided by: Joel Powers; Francis Cousino family; Justin Walz; Abbie Walkowe; Diane and Katie Tenerowicz; Bruce Breuninger family; John Broesamle family; Alex Young family; Carl Graham family; Andrea Taepke; John Russell; Shelley Frazier; Huehl Farms; Schaible Farms; Lutzview Farm; Don and Ryan Rentschler; 4-H Service Club; Sandy Tighe: Mark and Susan Schalk; and several spinners who provided ongoing demonstrations.

Resource people and station presenters included: Milan FFA; Manchester FFA; Saline FFA; Diane Tenerowicz; Jennie Breuninger; Amanda Breuninger; Zeke Breuninger; Katelyn Horning; and Erica Drake.

Jackie Martin facilitated and led the "Tour through Michigan Commodities" and was assisted by many high school-aged leaders from 4-H and FFA programs across the county. Each represented a region of Michigan and its agricultural products.

Many thanks to everyone who helped clean up. Thanks also to the MSU Extension staff, Farm Council staff and Farm Bureau board, which assisted, and to Farm Bureau co-chairs Lynda Horning and Nancy Kohler.



Project RED (Rural Education Days), which was started right here in Washtenaw County, celebrated its 25th anniversary recently with a local event that attracted 2,032 students, teachers and chaperones.

Don't miss being a part of Project RED's silver anniversary!


The 25th Annual Project RED (Rural Education Day) will be held April 22-24 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. This activity is sponsored by Washtenaw County MSU Extension, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau and the Washtenaw Farm Council, with support and partnership from many agricultural organizations, agribusinesses and individuals. We expect more than 2,300 students, teachers and parents from all over the county to participate in the program this year.

Thanks to the support of our local Farm Bureau Insurance agents, every project RED volunteer will receive a special t-shirt to honor our 25th anniversary. Schools who have attended all 25 years will also be recognized during the opening sessions. Third graders will also get to spin a wheel and try their skills at answering a question.

Volunteers are still needed to assist with the six sessions offered throughout the three days. Please contact any of the following by April 1 (or as soon as possible) and let them know you would like to help with the program: Kellie LeBlanc, MSU Extension office, 734-997-1678; Nancy Thelen, 734-944-6262; Nancy Kohler, 734-429-1471; or Lynda Horning, 734-428-8610.

Snippets from Project RED's 25-year silver history

In 1990, an enthusiastic group of Washtenaw County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education volunteers saw a need and had the vision to pursue an idea for educating area third-graders about the importance of farming and natural resources. The result was collaboration with Washtenaw County MSU Extension and the Washtenaw Farm Council which developed Project RED (Rural Education Days).

In 1992 the program was selected as the top county project in the U.S. during the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting. Washtenaw County's Project RED has become a model for similar programs and events across the state as a way to educate youth about agriculture and celebrate the contribution of local farmers and agriculture-related industries to our great state.

During Project RED's history, so far, we've reached more than 52,000 young people and 10,050 teachers and chaperones participate in the program along with 5,865 volunteers.

Original Organizers of Project RED:

•Susan Huehl, Farm Bureau P&E

•Holly Porter, Farm Bureau P&E

•Harold Trinkle, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau president

•Nancy Thelen, P&E and MSU Extension

•John Evert, MSU Extension

•Bill Ames, MSU Extension (Bill was involved until his death in 2009)

•Stan Poet, Washtenaw Farm Council

•THANK YOU to our Farm Bureau Chairs:

•1991-1993, Sue Huehl & Holly Porter

•1994-2000, Sue Weidmayer

•2001-2004, Beth McCalla

•2005-Present, Lynda Horning & Nancy Kohler



The 25th Annual Project RED (Rural Education Day) will be held April 22-24 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. This activity is sponsored by Washtenaw County MSU Extension, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau and the Washtenaw Farm Council, with support

Washtenaw bus tour highlights diversity of farming

By Michigan Farm Bureau

July 5, 2017

Thanks to the Schaible Family, Horning Farms and HillTop Greenhouse and Farms for graciously hosting visitors on May 31, 2017. The Washtenaw County “Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT” farm tour offered a glimpse into the area’s agricultural heritage. Highlights of the tour included visiting a local dairy farm, greenhouses, and a crop and sheep raising operation, followed by a luncheon at Weber’s Inn. Topics throughout the tour included GMOs, sustainable environmental practices, water quality, nutritious foods, local products and animal care. Support for the tour came from the United Soybean Board, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau and Michigan Ag Council. Thanks to all who planned, sponsored and participated in the successful bus tour event. Visit our Facebook page for more photos and video narrated by County Farm Bureau President Kathy Fusilier.

Farm Tour - Hornings   Farm Tour - Hill Top   Farm Tour - Schaible
Hornings   Hill Top   Schaible


Thanks to the Schaible Family, Horning Farms and HillTop Greenhouse and Farms for graciously hosting visitors on May 31, 2017.