County News Archive

Chelsea Update

See the whole news article: Happy Belated 100th Birthday Al Ruhlig!
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Facts: Go Green! Beans!

✳️ Green Beans can be green (no surprise there), purple, yellow, or speckled.

✳️ As they grow, nitrogen is released into the soil, actually enriching the soil instead of stripping it.

✳️ They have been around since 5000 B.C., and grew wild in Central and South America.

✳️ Green Beans grown in both bush form and vine form. Bushes can reach up to 20 inches and vines can reach up to 10 feet long.

✳️ The bean pod used to have a long string that ran from end to end. It was genetically cultivated out of the plant in 1894 by botanist Calvin Keeney.

✳️ They grow from seeds, and reach maturation within 45 – 60 days.

✳️ They produce white, pink, and purple flowers. Their leaves are covered in tiny hairs, which trap bugs.

✳️Green beans are full of vitamins and minerals, and are a fascinating plant!

Adapted from:

Green Beans can be green (no surprise there), purple, yellow, or speckled.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Thanks for sharing your Ag Story, Lee Blumenauer!

“My favorite fair experience is actually showing the livestock at the fair. It is a team sport. I have learned how to care for and train livestock.”


“My favorite fair experience..."
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Thanks for sharing your Ag Story with us, Delaney Bross!

“Some of my favorite fair experiences were showing with my childhood friends and the friendly competition that came with it. Although some of our fair weeks have ended and others coming to an end the memories we made will last forever!

After the last nine years of showing I’ve learned to enjoy everything I do because just like the end of fair week there will always be that final goodbye.”

“Some of my favorite fair experiences were showing with my childhood friends..."
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Thanks for sharing your Ag Story, Luke Blumenauer!

“I enjoy showing my pigs and steers at the fair. I also like to spend time at the fair with friends and taking care of my animals.

I have learned a lot about showmanship. I have also studied the parts of the animal and the cuts of meat as well as the industry.”

"I enjoy showing my pigs and steers at the fair."
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Thanks Carli Kerns for sharing your Ag Story!

“It’s the whole package that makes raising livestock so fun! From raising and training the animals to being with your friends during the week of fair that creates lasting memories!

I have learned... Not to give up. Even though this year has been extremely tough I strive to do my best with what we have to work with.”

"It's the whole package that makes raising livestock so fun!"
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Another Ag story from Madelyn Ernst:

My favorite fair experience is the show. Showing my animals is like a feeling that you are happy that you get to experience. Being able to show off all of your hard work and determination into what you have made wonderful animals do is amazing.

I learned... That self feeding them makes you have a lot of a closer bond with them. In past years I’ve always put them on a feeder that they can eat whenever they want but this year I did it myself every morning at night and we’ve had a tight relationship.


It’s not too late! Submit your photos and stories at this link:

My favorite fair experience is the show. #ManchesterFairStories2020
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Don’t miss this great opportunity!

Deadline to apply is Monday, August 17! There are two $500 WCFB Scholarships available for high school graduates enrolled in a post-secondary school beginning in the Fall of 2020 whose parents or themselves are Regular members of the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau.

Download the WCFB Scholarship Application 
There are still two $500 scholarships available. Deadline is Monday, August 17!
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Thanks to Madelyn Ernst for sharing her photos and Ag stories! Be like Madelyn!

Click the link and submit yours!

“My favorite fair experience is when I can have the opportunity to show my animal(s). Honestly I feel like just that day can make you have more memories and a tighter bond with your animals.

I have learned that sometimes you can either get a calm animal or a more scared animal. Personally my pig Duke is really calm and chill. But my other pig Chloe is more shy and scared.”

“My favorite fair experience is when I can have the opportunity to show my animal(s)." #ManchesterFairStories2020
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Thanks to all the 4-H Youth Show folks who submitted photos and stories of Agriculture!

Thanks also to so many community members who supported their efforts with comments, likes and shares on our posts. We would like to continue sharing the wonderful experiences and hard work that youth in our county have put into their animal or agriculture projects with others! Just click on the link to submit photos and stories... from 4-H, or any of the other community fairs and we’ll do the rest!
Thanks to all the 4-H Youth Show folks who submitted photos and stories of Agriculture!
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau 

Friday Fun Fact: The Cool Cucumber

🥒 The phrase “cool as a cucumber” originated because cucumbers can be 20 degrees different between the inside and the outside temperature.

🥒 Cucumbers are members of the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes muskmelons, watermelons, pumpkins, and gourds

🥒 Botanically speaking, cucumbers are a fruit, but they are used as a vegetable. Similar to tomatoes. The plants are monoecious which means they produce both female and male flowers.

🥒 Sliced or pureed cucumbers can give an almost instant relief to sunburnt skin.

🥒 Michigan ranks 1st in the nation for production of pickling cucumbers and 4th in the nation for fresh cucumbers.

🥒 Cucumbers are generally harvested by hand, but pickling cucumbers are harvested by machine.

🥒 Cucumbers are 96% water; however, still are a great source of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Botanically speaking, cucumbers are a fruit?
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

You’re Invited to our county annual meeting!

Free to regular members! $15 at the door for all others (exact change/check only). RSVP by ‪September 10, 2020‬ to Ashley at ‪734-429-1420‬ or ‪[email protected]‬ if you will be attending our drive-thru meal option or sit down meal option to ensure we have enough boxed meals on hand. Catering provided by Weber’s Hotel! Come and enjoy some BBQ!

Click the link for all the details!

County Annual Meeting Details

Join us for some tasty BBQ, policy development, and the election of Board of Directors.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau 

Washtenaw County Farm Bureau was proud to support the 2020 4-H Virtual Auction!

We purchased the Reserve Champion Hog exhibited by senior Lee Blumenauer from Manchester. In addition, our county Farm Bureau provided add-on premium donations for 12 hog exhibitors whose families are current members of Washtenaw County Farm Bureau. Congratulations to all the 4-H members who participated in the 2020 Washtenaw County Fair & Learning Showcase. After processing, the 1lb packages of frozen mild sausage will be given to those who attend the county annual meeting.

Don't forget! Register for the County Annual to get your package of mild sausage!

This year we'll have a BBQ at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds - Pavilion B on Monday, September 21, 2020. Program starts at 5:00 p.m.
Call or email the County Office by September 10, 2020. Free for regular members. All others $15 at the door (exact change/check only).
734-429-1420 or [email protected] - Register Today!
We purchased the Reserve Champion Hog exhibited by senior Lee Blumenauer from Manchester.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Personally my favorite fair experience is by far showing my animal. It makes memories that I could never forget, and it is another great way to bond with my animal!

[I learned] That everyday changes with them. You could have a good day or a great day, but you could also have scary days. - Madelyn Ernst


Personally my favorite fair experience is by far showing my animal.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

My favorite fair experience this year was being able to practice with more than one animal in Dairy. I thought I would use a yearling that I showed last year but she was too big so I ended up using a heifer calf.

Something I have learned from my project, is to have more patience while working with different aged animals. Virtual fair wasn't the same but it was still fun! I'm glad I participated this year. - Lizzie Pantolin


My favorite fair experience this year was being able to practice with more than one animal in Dairy.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

My favorite part of fair week is showing my animals. I enjoy the friendly competition and working as a team with my animals in the show ring.

I have learned that you need to have patience and be calm with animals at all times. They need to be comfortable with you. They can tell when you are frustrated and upset. - Luke Blumenauer


My favorite part of fair week is showing my animals.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

Showing the market animals, my turkeys and the rabbits. I got to raise one turkey for the market and one was donated to a food bank. I also liked showing the goats. They are my pets. My chicken and my black and white rabbit are for showing at the 4-H fair. I do get eggs from my chicken.

I learned how to breed rabbits. I learned how to raise turkeys. I learned that taking care of animals takes a lot of time and hard work. - William Rogers


I learned that taking care of animals takes a lot of time and hard work.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

One of my favorite experiences has been showing my goats. I also show chickens and rabbits.

I have learned that it is a lot of hard work to memorize what you have to do for showmanship for rabbits and chickens. I have learned how to show my goat too. - Westin Rogers


One of my favorite experiences has been showing my goats.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

One of my favorite experiences is being a 4-H Ambassador during fair week. I love helping the superintendents hand out trophies and awards! I've learned that bigger is not always better when it comes to meat breed turkeys. Exercise is essential when raising a market turkey or chicken. - Rhea Warren


One of my favorite experiences
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

This year I raised a 48lb market turkey. I named him "Turkeyzilla". He was so big I had to walk him to the show ring for the auction because we couldn't lift him! I have learned that the right kind of feed can make a huge difference in how a turkey or chicken finishes growing. - Ethan Warren


This year I raised a 48lb turkey.
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

My favorite experiences has been working with my pigs and seeing each ones personality. I have learned how strong pigs are and how much fun they can be. - Dillon Neigebauer


My favorite experience
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

"I love every aspect of fair week; from the morning barn chores, to showing still projects, to being in the ring, and learning from watching older kids show! And the ice cream. This has been my first year raising a feeder calf and it has been an enjoyable learning experience. My Holstein bull calf, Sheldon, has grown quickly since I first stared bottle feeding him in March. I love showing Dairy; this year I showed a feisty, yet cooperative, Jersey Spring calf." - Harper Jane Adkins


I love every aspect of fair week
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau - Promotion & Education Committee

This year, many things in our lives are different. The 4-H Youth Show and most community fairs have either been cancelled or will look different than they have in the past.

Our Washtenaw County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee decided to share the wonderful experiences and hard work that youth in our county have put into their animal or agriculture projects with others in a virtual format.
We invited youth to share photos and a brief story about their current or past fair experiences. We hope you enjoy and support their efforts as we share their Ag stories over the next few weeks.
We will begin today with The 4-H Youth Show. We are also including a link to to the result/award page of the fair:


This year, many things in our lives are different.
Published by The Manchester Mirror and written by Marsha Chartrand.

Delivery at the CRC on Thursday, July 23 - Photo courtesy of The Manchester Mirror
Ethan Warren of Manchester, and his turkey - Photo courtesy of The Manchester Mirror
Rhea Warren of Manchester, with her turkey - Photo courtesy of The Manchester Mirror
The Manchester Community Resource Center (CRC) was the recipient of some very special gifts last week, thanks to the efforts of an annual 4-H community service program.

“During a normal year, some of our poultry kids raise chickens and/or turkeys as a community service project,” explained Christie Warren, parent to two 4-H’ers, Rhea and Ethan, who participated in this year’s project. “Due to COVID, we had to cancel the chicken project, but our turkey project was started in February so we were able to continue that one.” Each youth member who chooses to do the project gets either two turkeys or 10 chickens to raise. For the turkeys, one is raised for a food bank; the other can be kept or put in the 4-H auction. For chickens, five are raised for the charity and the remaining five can be kept or sold at auction. This year, all the turkeys were donated by Warren Farms of Manchester; the feed to raise them was donated by Dexter Mill; and pine shavings were donated by Patch Boys of Ann Arbor. “Our youth members do a fantastic job of raising the birds,” Warren said. “I’m very proud of them!” The five youth who participated this year are from different Washtenaw County 4-H Clubs. Ethan and Rhea are members of Silver Leaves 4-H Club of Dexter; Ethan and Eric Rice are from Paint Creek 4-H in Ypsilanti; William Rogers is a member of the Saline 4-H Farmers; and the S&L Bauernhof 4-H Club of South Lyon made it a club project and raised two turkeys. A total of six turkeys were donated to the Manchester CRC. The groups wanted to keep the donation local this year and chose the CRC as the recipient for the 131.3 pounds of turkey donated. CRC Director Laura Seyfried was thankful for the gift. “The turkeys came as a big surprise!” she said. “We were also really pleased that the donor was willing to ‘halve’ some of them so our clients would actually be able to fit them in an oven to cook them.

"I am sure they won't last long ... Roasted turkey is great any time of year!"

Visit the manchester mirror for more great stories!

The Manchester Community Resource Center (CRC) was the recipient of some very special gifts
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Fact: It’s just peachy!

🍑 Michigan doesn’t have bragging rights to peach production the way some warmer states do, however; Michigan proudly claims honors for a whole host of haven peach varieties developed right here in our state!

🍑 Red Havens have become the most widely planted and longest producing (from late July thru August) freestone peach in the world.

🍑 There’s an historical marker in South Haven where they were first grown around 1940 under the direction of Professor Stanley Johnson at Michigan State University's South Haven Experiment.

🍑 The life of a peach tree is about 15 years, and peaches don’t bear fruit during the first two years The trees produce some fruit the third year but bear the most peaches in years 4 to 15.

🍑 The United States grows 978,260 tons of peaches each year. That’s 1.9 billion pounds!

🍑 Peaches get their flavor from their variety, not their color.

🍑 Freestone is the most common peach variety (where the pit is easily removed), but other varieties include semi-freestone, white, clingstone and donut.

🍑 Peaches are packed with several major nutrients, including vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C and potassium.

🍑 One medium-sized peach contains just 38 calories. Peaches are an excellent source of fiber, good for blood sugar and naturally fat free.

Sources: (search Haven Peaches)

It's just Peachy!
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Great podcast interview with Katelyn Packard!

“Her main area of interest is taking care of the animals, including health management, making sure milking is going smoothly in the parlor, and raising calves. She’s heavily involved in promotion, 4-H, and Farm Bureau.”

Watch the podcast interview here!
Listen to Katelyn's podcast...
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Thursday Thought: In pursuing our noble work to feed others; we must pause to feed our own minds and spirit with gratitude and renewal.

"Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life." - Rumi

Gratitude and Renewal
Kathy Siler & Katelyn Packard, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Due to ongoing public health concerns with Covid 19, the District 3 Young Farmer Discussion Meet on July 18th was, by necessity, smaller this year. There was no shortage of enthusiastic participation, however, and we are grateful to everyone who made the event possible.

Special thanks to Horning Farms for not only hosting the event, but also for generously providing ice cream sandwiches for the group.


Participants moving on to state competition:

Grace Schmidt - Oakland County
Chris Heck - Monroe County
Melissa Fusilier - Washtenaw County
Alternate: Travis Fusilier - Washtenaw County

Thanks to the event Judges:

Patrick Conklin - Farm Bureau Insurance Agent
Jae Gerhart - Washtenaw County Local Foods Coordinator, MSU Extension
Nancy Thelen - District 3 Representative on the Michigan Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Committee

This year's topic was: Is big data a big solution or big exposure?

Technology tools are often cited as a method of increasing productivity and profitability, but there are liabilities that go along with technology. As young farmers and ranchers we are often first adopters. How do we ensure clear understanding of the risks and rewards of big data and smart farming?

The State-Level topics will be:

1. International trade is important to agriculture. We must continue working to build strong relations with existing customers while seeking out new trade partners to strengthen market stability. How can we enhance existing, and establish new and diverse foreign trading partners?
2. The increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters creates additional risk for farmers and ranchers. What tools and production practices can be engaged to reduce climate and weather risks?

A little info about this annual event:

Michigan Farm Bureau Discussion Meets simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems. Michigan Farm Bureau hosts Young Farmer Discussion Meets for 18- to 35-year-old members and Youth and Collegiate Discussion Meets to introduce young leaders to the organization.

Huge thanks to Hannah June Meyers our Michigan Farm Bureau Southeastern Michigan Regional Representative for helping to organize the District 3 Young Farmer Discussion Meet, and for capturing the informative discussion on a Facebook live video for those who couldn’t attend.
Here’s a great opportunity to see what a discussion meet is like!
This year's topic was: Is big data a big solution or big exposure?
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

🌾Wheat is a member of the grass family called Poaceae that produces a dry, one-seeded fruit commonly called a kernel.

🌾Wheat originated in the “cradle of civilization” in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, near what is now Iraq.

🌾The Roman goddess, Ceres, who was deemed protector of the grain, gave grains their common name today – “cereal.”

🌾Currently wheat is grown on over 540 million acres worldwide which is more than any other crop.

🌾One acre of wheat yields an average of around 40 bushels of wheat.

🌾Wheat was first planted in the United States in 1777 as a hobby crop.

🌾There are over 30 000 varieties of wheat that were produced via cross breeding of six basic types of the plant.
Wheat usually reaches 2 to 4 feet in height.

🌾Wheat is annual plant, which means that it finishes its life cycle in one year.

🌾It develops a head on a top of the stem which contains around 50 kernels. Color of the kernel depends on the variety of wheat. It can be red, blue, purple, brown or white.

🌾All types of wheat can be divided in two major groups: spring and winter wheat.

🌾Spring wheat is planted during the spring and harvested during the summer.

🌾Winter wheat is planted at autumn and harvested during the spring.
Wheat is ready for harvest when it becomes golden in color and completely dried out.

🌾A wheat kernel consists of 3 parts: bran (outer layer), endosperm (nutritive matter used for development of embryo) and germ (embryo).

🌾Whole wheat flour is produced by grinding of whole kernels (All parts). Production of white flour requires removal of the bran and germ.

🌾About 75% of all U.S. grain products are made from wheat flour.

🌾One bushel of wheat contains approximately one million individual kernels.
One bushel of wheat yields roughly 27 kilograms of whole wheat flour or 19 kilograms of white flour enough for around 73 loaves of bread or 210 servings of spaghetti.

🌾More types of foods are made with wheat than with any other cereal grain.
In fact, world trade in wheat is larger than for all other crops

🌾Wheat is used for the production of bread, pasta, cookies, breakfast cereals and fermented beverages.

🌾About 1% of human population cannot consume wheat-based products due to celiac disease resulting from intolerance to the wheat protein called gluten.

🌾Besides staple food, wheat is used in medical swabs, straw, particle board.

🌾Amazingly wheat starch is used in the paper industry and for the production of glue, adhesives, textile, plastic and building materials.

🌾Straws of wheat can be used for roofing, manufacture of hats and baskets.
Hair conditioners, body lotions and lip balms often contain wheat proteins.

🌾Wheat is used in the production of alcoholic beverages such as vodka, gin and whiskey. In fact, Ethanol produced from the wheat can be used as bio- fuel.


Wheat is a member of the grass family...
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Thursday Thought: Often it's the seemingly little things in life that bring the most joy!

"Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant - a seed - this plants the giant miracle. " - Ann Voskamp

seemingly insignificant
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Facts: 🔹Blueberries!!🔹

🔹People have been eating blueberries for more than 13,000 years.

🔹Blueberries were called “star fruits” by North American indigenous peoples because of the five-pointed star shape that is formed at the blossom end of the berry.

🔹A single blueberry bush can produce as many as 6,000 blueberries per year.

🔹Michigan ranks third in growing blueberries, producing an average of 92 million pounds with more than 30 different varieties.

🔹Michigan blueberries are grown, harvested and processed by 575 family farms.

🔹Michigan blueberry production contributes nearly $132 million to the state’s economy.

🔹More than 50 percent of Michigan blueberries are shipped to the fresh market, with the rest frozen, pureed, concentrated or canned for value-added products.

🔹Allegan, Berrien, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren counties comprise the state’s primary blueberry growing region.

🔹Michigan has more than 20,000 acres devoted entirely to blueberries

🔹Blueberries have only 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat.

🔹One serving contains almost 25% of the daily vitamin C requirements.


"Star Fruits?"
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Thursday Thought: Thank you farm families. Whether the farmer is a man or a women, we thank ALL who support their efforts!
Don't just thank a farmer...
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Wishing everyone a safe Fourth of July.

Enjoy a little history about early Fourth of July celebrations:

🇺🇸 In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speech making. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty.
Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. More history at the link:

Enjoy a little history...
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Fact: “Ain't nothin' sweeter than a watermelon dream
'Cept sittin on the front porch eatin' that peach ice cream” ~ Guy Clark (Watermelon Dream)

 We think of watermelon as a fruit because of its sweet flavor, but watermelon is actually a vegetable. It belongs to the cucurbit family, and is related to pumpkins, cucumbers and squash.

🍉 Watermelon is a health food! Watermelon has only 40 calories per cup, yet it has more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant which can reduce inflammation and destroy free radicals. Watermelon is also high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber.

🍉 Seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified. They’re actually a hybrid watermelon created by crossing a watermelon with 22 chromosomes with a watermelon with 44 chromosomes. The result is a sterile watermelon. These watermelons produce immature white seeds that are perfectly safe to eat. Seedless watermelons were first created over 50 years ago.

🍉Have you ever had a watermelon seed spitting contest? Jason Schayot is an expert watermelon seed spitter. He holds the world record for watermelon seed spitting at 75 feet 2 inches, set in 1995.

Compiled from:

"Ain't nothin' sweeter..."
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Facts: I say, “POTATO”!

🥔 The potato is about 80% water and 20% solids.

🥔 An 8 ounce baked or boiled potato has only about 100 calories.

🥔 The average American eats about 124 pounds of potatoes per year

🥔 The potato is the most important non-cereal crop in the world, and fourth most important crop overall. Only corn, wheat, and rice are more important. In the US, potato products are the second most consumed food overall, trailing only dairy.

Spud-tacular facts!
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Facts: STRAWBERRIES!

🍓 Michigan’s strawberry season starts in early June and can extend into mid July.

🍓The U.S. strawberry industry is primarily located in the southern and coastal areas in California. In 2017, the United States harvested strawberries from 52,700 acres located in 10 states: 38,200 acres in California, 10,700 acres in Florida, and the remaining 3,800 acres from Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, New York, ⭐️Michigan⭐️, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio (NASS, 2017).

🍓Okay, so we’re not among the highest strawberry producing states, but raise your hand if you think Michigan strawberries are the BEST!

🍓Michigan grows strawberries for both fresh and processed uses.

🍓Most of the fresh Michigan strawberries were picked by consumers at “u-pick” operations around the state.

🍓The average strawberry has 200 seeds on the outside of the fruit.

🍓Nutrition: Strawberries contain 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. They are an excellent source of potassium, which can help control blood pressure and fight stroke and they are an excellent source of fiber, which helps reduce total cholesterol levels.

Some "berry" good facts!
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Fact: Tomatoes!! 

🍅 🍅 “Wolf Peach” is the literal translation from the Greek (λύκοπερσικων) scientific name of tomatoes – Lycopersicon lycopersicum.

Are they fruits or vegetables?

Tomatoes are fruits (berries actually) if we speak botanically. However, they are commonly used as a “vegetable”. Tomatoes are the world’s most popular fruit. With annual production (2017) of 60 million tons, they remain the world’s most demanded and most popular “fruit”. Second spot goes to bananas and third to apples, followed by oranges and watermelons respectively in 4th and 5th spot.

(Adapted from National Geographic Kids and Wikipedia)
Wolf Peach?
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Fact: CORN!

  •  The ear or cob of corn is actually part of the flower and an individual kernel is a seed.
  • An average ear of corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows and there is actually one piece of silk for EVERY kernel.
  •  Corn always has an even number of rows on each cob.
Our facts are a little corny...
Kathy Siler, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Friday Fun Fact: Say CHEESE!!

Did you ever wonder why many cheeses are yellow or orange when milk is white?

Cheese can be colored with a coloring agent called annatto. It’s a natural food coloring that comes from Annatto (also known as the Achiote Lipstick tree) grown in the tropical regions of Central and South America. When the tree flowers, it produces spiky looking pods, which house annatto seeds and a vibrant red pulp. After the pods are ground, they’re then turned into an extract or a powder, used for coloring foods and, where it’s also grown, for lipstick... Annatto has no flavor in small amounts, like when coloring foods.
Cheese Coloring

Click Here - Read the original article!

Saline's community food pantry now has a cooler to store its dairy items.

Mamarow Farms and the Michigan Dairy Farmers donated a dairy cooler to Saline Area Social Service. They also donated $500 to Saline Area Social Service.

"This gift has already been valuable in helping us store many of our dairy foods, especially on hot days like today," said Anne Cummings, Executive Director of Saline Area Social Service.

Saline Area Social Service assists hundreds of low-income residents each week with a food pantry and other assistance.

People who need to use the food pantry, located at 224 W. Michigan Ave., can visit from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

You can support their efforts in several ways. Donate money by clicking here.

Saline Area Social Service is also accepting donations during those hours and from  10 a.m. to noon on Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Each week, SASS updates its list of needs on its website.

Here are the priority needs this week:

  • Sliced Cheese – Individual slices
  • Pre-packaged lunchmeat
  • Spam
  • Canned Corned Beef Hash
  • Canned Beef Stew
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Tissues

To volunteer for SASS, click here or call Lynn Strach at 734-476-7831 or [email protected].

Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

And.... that’s “A Wrap” for our Virtual Project RED (Rural Education Days).

Although it was far from our traditional event, we are extremely grateful for your response during this challenging time. Huge thanks to everyone who liked, commented on or shared our posts or participated in any way to make our 30th Project RED a huge success!
We’re sharing a celebratory photo of Nancy Thelen and Lynda Horning with our 25th anniversary cake to which we’ve added a victorious 30 years banner!
We hope to see you “in person” in 2021!
Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Thank you to everyone!
Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

From burgers and steaks to roasts, hot dogs, jerky and more... it's all about the beef and other byproducts!


Did you know...

Beef Cattle are typically ready to market weighing in at 1,000 to 1,300 pounds.

Grass-fed beef tends to be a little leaner but both grass and grain finished beef are natural sources of more than 10 essential nutrients including protein, iron, and zinc.

A market beef steer weighing in at 1,100 pounds will yield approximately 475 pounds of meat.

The leather from one cow hide is enough to make about 18 pairs of shoes.

We wouldn’t be able to hold our “in person” project RED (Rural Education Days) without our FFA and 4-H volunteers. (We miss you ALL!)
A huge thank you to Sydney Masters for this informative video about raising Beef Cattle on her family farm.
You might be surprised to see how calm and curious those big animals can be.

Raising Beef Cattle - Video 1

Raising Beef Cattle
Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

We hope you enjoy these facts about pigs!


Pigs can't sweat and are susceptible to many of the same illnesses as humans. So, many pigs live inside barns to regulate temperature and reduce contact with outside germs.

A female pig is called a sow. One sow will have 8 to 12 piglets in one litter. it takes approximately 6 months for a piglet to grow to market weight of 240 to 280 pounds.

Pigs wear earrings! Most livestock, including pigs, wear ear tags. These tags identify the pig, its owner, its age, and many contain an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip!

Farmers use computers to keep track of how much the pig eats, drinks, weighs, and other health records by scanning the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip.
Pig Facts
Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Thanks for joining us for our Sunday edition of Virtual Project RED (Rural Education Days).
We’re signing of until tomorrow with some fantastic facts about veggies.


Enjoy some vegetable facts! 
  • Michigan ranks in the top four states to raise asparagus, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green beans, pumpkins, radishes, squash, tomatoes for processing, and turnips!
  • During the growing season, visit a local farm market or farmer's market to purchase fresh locally grown veggies.
  • Many Michigan vegetables are processed and sold by common brands such as Gerber, Red Gold, Heinz, Bush's, Bird's Eye, and more!
Fantastic facts about veggies!
Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Welcome to a Sunday Fun Day of Virtual Project RED (Rural Education Days). A is for Michigan Apples!


Enjoy some Michigan Apple Facts:
  • To have Michigan apples year-round, apples, are stored in a controlled-atmosphere room where computers monitor the temperature and oxygen levels to keep apples from spoiling.
  • Apples naturally brown when cut or bruised. Apples with higher levels of Vitamin C brown less. Coating sliced apples with lemon juice can slow the browning process.
  • Farmers use a trellis system of posts and wire to help apple trees to grow straight, provide support, and allow greater sunlight into the canopy. This makes them easier to prune and harvest while growing more apples.

We celebrated Earth Day
by watching this video of 
#MIapple growers planting apple trees! What did you do in honor of #EarthDay2020? Thanks for the video, Steve and Missy from the Fruit Ridge! It takes an apple tree approximately 3 years before it starts producing apples.

Planting Apple Trees - Video 1

Did you know?
Apple Blossoms are Michigan’s official state flower. After apple trees are pruned some apple growers chop up the brush and use it for mulch in the orchard.

A is for Michigan Apples!
Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

B is for Blueberries and Michigan reigns as the number 1 producer of high-bush blueberries in the country!


Enjoy these facts about blueberries:
  • Blueberries contain lots of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese which helps the body process cholesterol, carbohydrates and protein.
  • Blueberries can be picked by hand or a large machine can drive over the bushes and shake all the berries free.
  • Michigan raises more high-bush blueberries than any other state!
  • Most blueberries you find at the store grow on bushes that can grow up to 12 feet tall.
B is for blueberries!
Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Welcome to our Saturday edition of Virtual Project RED (Rural Education Days)!
Watch Amie Frank demonstrate a STEM seed experiment.

(STEM stands for lessons based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

Amie Frank STEM - Video 1


Enjoy these interesting facts about soybeans:
> Plants need nitrogen to grow. Soybeans have special structures on their root to generate their own nitrogen, meaning these plants use less fertilizer from other sources.
> Soybeans are the most digestible and highest quality plant source of a complete protein, meaning soybeans naturally contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of an organism.
> As early as the 1930s Michigan's own innovator, Henry Ford, experimented with using soy-based materials for industrial purposes such as ingredients in car parts, paints, plastics, and fuels.

And speaking of Soybeans: Don’t forget to complete the Scavenger Hunt Quiz to be entered into a drawing for this book!
Description: Famous car-maker and businessman Henry Ford loved beans. And he showed great innovation with his determination to build his most inventive car--one completely made of soybeans.

With a mind for ingenuity, Henry Ford looked to improve life for others. After the Great Depression struck, Ford especially wanted to support ailing farmers. For two years, Ford and his team researched ways to use farmers' crops in his Ford Motor Company. They discovered that the soybean was the perfect answer. Soon, Ford's cars contained many soybean plastic parts, and Ford incorporated soybeans into every part of his life. He ate soybeans, he wore clothes made of soybean fabric, and he wanted to drive soybeans, too. Award-winning author Peggy Thomas and illustrator Edwin Fotheringham explore this American icon's little-known quest.
(Description from Amazon)

Soybeans are so amazing we should call them “wonder beans”! Inside their fuzzy pods are small golden beans! Hundreds of things can be made using soybeans from animal feed to foods for us like soy-milk, candy, tofu, bread , salad dressing, and frozen desserts. You might be surprised to learn that crayons, newspaper ink, your mom's lipstick, as well as soap and candles can also be made from soybeans. And soybean oil can be processed into bio-diesel fuel to run school buses.

Farmers in Michigan have already started planting soybeans. Click the link and watch the video!

Planting Soybeans - Video 2

Here’s a cool video of a Michigan farmer harvesting soybeans. Those dry soybean plants sure create a lot of dust!! The video was partially sponsored by (Ferris State University)

Harvesting Soybeans - Video 3

We weren't kidding about all those uses for soybeans!
Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

The animal barn is always a favorite place for Project RED (Rural Education Days) visitors, and getting to meet a horse is one of the exciting moments. This morning we’ll be learning more about horses. Enjoy these photos of horses and their owners from past Project RED events.


Enjoy these facts about horses:

  • Horses can live to be 25 to 30 years old. Taking riding lessons at a local riding stable is a great way to enjoy equine without investing in long-term horse ownership!
  • A horse's small intestine is 50 to 70 feet in length and has the capacity of about 15 gallons of digesting food. A horse drinks 5 to 10 gallons of water per day.
  • Michigan is home to more than 1,000 miles of state-designated equestrian trails and more than 20 horse-friendly campgrounds!
A few years ago the MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center had to think quick when it came time to raising an orphaned foal they named “Orphan Annie”. The filly’s mother experienced Dystocia, which means slow or difficult labor or birth, and for that or other reasons she was unable to nurse Annie. Watch the video to see how they figured out a way to feed her, and how a horse named Uncle Bentley helped teach Orphan Annie horse behaviors.

Orphan Annie Horse - Video 1

Thanks for joining us for Day 5 of our Virtual Project RED (Rural Education Days). We’re “galloping” off until tomorrow with one last video all about horses designed just for kids. Did you know that most of the time horses sleep standing up?

Horses Designed for Kids - Video 2
Click to watch me neigh neigh...
Kathy Siler, Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Did You Know?

In addition to clothing, wool has been used for blankets, horse rugs, saddle cloths, carpeting, insulation and upholstery. Wool felt covers piano hammers, and it is used to absorb odors and noise in heavy machinery and stereo speakers. Ancient Greeks lined their helmets with felt, and Roman legionnaires used breastplates made of wool felt.What do you have that’s made from wool?


The John Heller family of Gottlieb Farm is one of the sheep farmers in our county. They sent us some farm photos and sound clips of their children: Bohdan, Annika and Caleb. We made this little video and set it to music. We hope you and the Heller family enjoy this little tour of their farm.

Gottlieb Farm Sheep - Video 1

Here are some facts about sheep:

  • Washtenaw County ranks #1 in the state for sheep!
  • Like cattle, sheep are ruminants. This means they have four stomach compartments, allowing them to regurgitate their food and chew it again for further digestion of high fiber feed such as corn and hay.
  • Sheep naturally produce lanolin, an oily substance that allows their wool to be water resistant. Lanolin is washed off wool once a sheep is sheared and used to make lotions, cosmetics, leather treatments, and more!
  • Shearing is like giving sheep a haircut. Clothing made from wool is breathable, moisture wicking, and naturally odor-resistant.
(If you are participating in our Commodity Scavenger Hunt Quiz, be sure to read our infographics to help you find the answers. )
Don't be sheepish... check us out!
Project RED Committee, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau

Top: Past ice cream "scooper" at Project RED!
Middle: Matthew attending Project RED in 3rd grade.
Bottom: Matthew as a sophomore in High School!
This is “Very Dairy Wednesday” at virtual Project RED (Rural Education Days). Thank you to Katelyn Packard for helping us learn more about dairy farming. Let's meet the calves, learn what cows eat, and see how they are milked!

Meet the Calves - Dairy Video 1

What Cows Eat - Dairy Video 2

How Cows Are Milked - Dairy Video 3

In a typical (in person) year, more than 300 volunteers (we miss you all) help make Project R.E.D. (Rural Education Days) an outstanding program for the nearly 2000 students, teachers and chaperones who participate. A favorite activity is the “Taste of Michigan” tour which features samples of ice cream, milk, dried cherries, blueberries, popcorn, honey butter, apples, potato chips, soy nuts, sunflower seeds and more! The ice cream cone table is always a favorite stop! Enjoy a “vintage” photo of a volunteer, feeding eager visitors from years past.


It’s “Very Dairy Wednesday” snack time! Although we can’t offer you an ice cream cone, Matthew can show you how to make “Ice Cream in a Bag”. Matthew is a sophomore at Saline High School. He’s a Project RED “alum” who attended the event with his Heritage Elementary 3rd grade class eight years ago. (See the recipe below and be sure to shake your bag for about 5 minutes)

Ice Cream In A Bag - Dairy Video 4

* 1 cup half and half (or whole milk or a mixture of both) You can also use chocolate milk
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup kosher or rock salt (regular salt is okay too)
* Ice cubes
* 1 quart-size resealable bag
* 1 gallon-size resealable bag

In quart-size resealable bag combine half and half or milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Close bag and seal tightly.Fill gallon-size resealable bag about half-way with ice cubes. Add salt. Place sealed quart bag inside gallon bag, sealing the gallon bag shut.Shake bags for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and turned into ice cream. (You can wrap the bag in a towel so your hands don’t get too cold while shaking it.
NOTE: Quickly rinse off the small bag of ice cream before opening it so you don’t get any salt in your delicious homemade ice cream.

Explore a "Very Dairy Wednesday"