Washtenaw County Farm Bureau News

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.

From: michigangrown.org
and bcblueberry.com

"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!
#familyfarm
#farming
#womenfarmers
 #thankyoufarmers
 #farmwifelife
 #farmlife
 #farmfamilies
 #thursdaythought
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...

State News


In late May, Michigan Farm Bureau, alongside a coalition of commodity organizations and more than 120 farms, took historic action to challenge the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s permit regulating the state’s large livestock farms by filing an administrative appeal with the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules.

The undertaking has strong roots in your member-developed policy that – in many instances – conveys support for common sense and science-based regulation while admonishing regulations that are unfounded or overly burdensome. Your policy also carries messages that emphasize a need to balance environmental protection with economic realities. This balance is what ensures farms remain in business and that our natural resources are well cared for.

As county Farm Bureau members, you first demonstrated a grassroots response to the large livestock permit in December 2019 when the draft was published by the department. More than 800 farmers, and many commodity organizations, voiced their opposition by communicating the economic devastation the permit would have on Michigan agriculture because of its far-reaching impacts.

You responded, I believe, because you recognize that extending these regulations beyond livestock producers to the crop farmers that utilize their manure nutrients – among other ill-conceived provisions – sets a dangerous precedent for broader, future industry regulation that’s not based in science.

Michigan Farm Bureau isn’t giving up and we know you won’t either. The Michigan Milk Producers Association, Michigan Pork Producers Association, Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Dairy Farmers of America, Select Milk Producers, Foremost Farms and more than 120 individual permit holding farmers have united in this process to challenge the provisions with the goal of striking them from the general permit.

Through Michigan Farm Bureau, the coalition hosted two media roundtables on June 3 to proactively provide an opportunity for select media to speak with issue experts, including permitted farmers, to better understand large livestock farms and the impact the permit has on the agriculture sector.

We encourage you to utilize the resources below on the issue and share them with fellow Farm Bureau members. You can also continue following Michigan Farm Bureau publications for updates, as the administrative challenge process can go on for months.

Questions related to the legal aspects of the challenge can be directed to Allison Eicher at 517-679-5315 while questions related to the technical aspects of the permit can be directed to Laura Campbell at 517-679-5332.

In late May, Michigan Farm Bureau, alongside a coalition of commodity organizations and more than 120 farms, took historic action to challenge the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s permit regulating the state’s large livest
Megan Sprague & Amelia Miller


Function over form: Online meetings can be clunky, but they get the job done keeping people on task and in the good company of friendly faces. 

COVID-19 brought a whole new set of frustrations to the farming community, with in-person gatherings put on hold across Michigan. Even so, Farm Bureau members have found ways to connect virtually, sharing information, conducting business and checking in on friends and neighbors.

Young Farmers at the county, district and state level have been using video conferencing tools to update each other on topical industry issues and more light-hearted topics like new animal additions and quarantine hobbies.

Bridget Moore, District 7 representative on the state Young Farmer committee, brought county chairs together virtually via Zoom.

“Normally it’s important and enjoyable to talk with fellow farmers and friends, but during COVID it’s made us realize our farming friends and Young Farmer programs have become even more important to us,” she said. “Sharing what is positive in our lives has kept us uplifted and trending toward a summer of hope.”

The state committee’s District 9 representative, Jeff Dreves, has met remotely with his county chairs as well.

“Meeting virtually and being able to actually see people’s faces is a really interesting way for us to stay connected through this,” he said. “This truly shows us how strong we are as an organization, going to any lengths to discuss hot-button issues and see how everyone is doing.”

Promotion and Education volunteers are also taking advantage of virtual meetings. Several districts have hosted chair gatherings online to commiserate in the cancelation of spring events, to brainstorm virtual engagement opportunities for connecting with students and teachers, and to support each other as spring farming rolls along.

Counties have created videos for teachers whose students were unable to attend an in-person Project RED this spring. Teachers used these videos as a part of their virtual teaching. Other counties have delivered snacks to healthcare workers or shared agricultural information on Facebook to connect with their community.

Participants on District 3’s P&E chair call agreed a virtual meeting was in some ways easier than meeting in person: nobody had to drive, it took almost exactly an hour, and the planning was minimal. In an unsettling time, even meeting online provides some normalcy and the comfort of seeing familiar faces.

If you’re interested in hosting a virtual Young Farmer or Promotion & Education meeting, reach out to your MFB Regional Manager or your district’s representative on the state Young Farmer or Promotion & Education committees.

Megan Sprague and Amelia Miller manage MFB’s Young Farmer and Promotion & Education programs, respectively.

Young Farmers at the county, district and state level have been using video conferencing tools to update each other on topical industry issues and more light-hearted topics like new animal additions and quarantine hobbies.

Submit your Farm Bureau policy idea and be entered to win a LG TONE PRO HBS-780 Wireless Stereo Headset. 

Michigan Farm Bureau’s policy development process is time-tested and successful. It thrives on consistent and quality input from county Farm Bureau members like you.

You don’t have to join a committee, attend an event or even do extensive research to offer your input. Any member can weigh in on the more than 100 policies that guide Michigan Farm Bureau’s work to represent, protect and enhance the agriculture sector.

We’re looking to capture your ideas, whether they’re based on challenges you’ve experienced locally or statewide opportunities you see for the agriculture sector.

We're rolling out some prizes too: We'll be giving away a LG TONE PRO wireless stereo headset every two weeks through the end of July. 

All you have to do is take a few minutes and share your ideas for policy development via the electronic submission option.

To help members get discussion and ideas flowing, we’ve prepared briefs on emerging issues impacting the agriculture sector. Topics include:

Looking to learn more on how to engage in policy development? Contact your county Farm Bureau.

Submit your Farm Bureau policy idea and be entered to win a LG TONE PRO HBS-780 Wireless Stereo Headset.

Upcoming Events

DateEvents
July2020
Monday
20
2020 July WCFB Board of Directors Meeting
5095 Ann Arbor Saline Rd
Ann Arbor, MI
Generally, the WCFB Board of Directors meet on the fourth Monday of the Month, unless otherwise indicated.
August2020
Monday
24
2020 August WCFB Board of Directors Meeting
5095 Ann Arbor Saline Rd
Ann Arbor, MI
Generally, the WCFB Board of Directors meet on the fourth Monday of the Month, unless otherwise indicated.
September2020
Monday
28
2020 September WCFB Board of Directors Meeting
5095 Ann Arbor Saline Rd
Ann Arbor, MI
This is Washtenaw's Re-Organization meeting. The Board will vote on a new Executive Committee. Generally, the WCFB Board of Directors meet on the fourth Monday of the Month, unless otherwise indicated.