First year County President Kayla Lewis delivered her first county annual on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
The meeting was called to order by County President Lewis. The meeting began with several proposed policy resolutions, presented by Policy Development committee member Adam Lewis, which were approved for forwarding to the state policy development committee for consideration at the MFB Annual Meeting in December. Adam thanked his fellow committee members for their efforts in developing policy at the local, state and national levels: Denese Belson, Carleton Evans, Mark Kline, and Mark Geib.
The meeting recessed for dinner, provided by Gene Davis & Son’s Catering, including a delicious selection of BBQ chicken, brisket, salad, fruit, potato salad, cornbread, macaroni and cheese and a variety of fruit cobblers.
Getting back to county Farm Bureau business, President Lewis called the meeting to order asked members and guests to observe a moment of silence to remember the horrific event at the World Trade Center and Pentagon on this day 20 years ago.
President Lewis proceeded to welcome members and guests to the 2021 county annual meeting to share in the prior year’s accomplishments.
President Lewis introduced MFB National Legislative Counsel John Kran who gave updates on the national level.
President Lewis introduced State Young Farmer Member Paul Pridgeon who highlighted the importance of involvement to sustain the future of the agriculture industry.
President Lewis introduced the current directors and welcomed new members who joined Hillsdale County Farm Bureau from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.
Vice-President Chris Brooks introduced several guests: Michigan Farm Bureau’s Jennifer Lewis & husband Bruce; MFB District 2 Regional Manager Kim Kerr; MFB Director of Field Operations Deb Schmucker & husband Brent; MFB Chief Operating Officer Scott Piggott; MFB National Advisory Counsel John Kran; Farm Bureau Insurance Managing Partner Nick Hurst; Conservation District Cody Birdsell; State P&E member Alysa Sanford, State YF member Paul Pridgeon; MFB Commodity Advisory Committee members Cami Marz Evans, Jennifer Lewis, and Stuart Welden; MSU Extension Sarah Fronczak
President Lewis thanked the following agencies for sponsoring today’s event:
- $275 WHOLE HOG SPONSORS: The Udderside, Countryside Veterinary Services, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, County National Bank, Hillsdale Buick GMC, Kaeb Sales Inc, Nutrien Ag Solutions in Reading, American One Credit Union, Hudson Dairy, Farm Bureau Insurance, Michael Neely Agency, and Leininger Agency 6
- $175 KING RANCH SPONSORS: R.W. Oates Farm, Ransom Chicken Farm, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Dauer Farm, Gene Davis & Sons Catering, and Wells Equipment
- $100 BIN BUSTER SPONSORS: Bever Farms, Pleasant View Dairy, Brooks Farms, Finegan Farms, Birdsell & Rathbun Farms, Market House, Kohler Farms, Family Farm & Home, and Hillsdale County Dairy Promoters
Members were provided with a ballot to nominate and vote for their board of director representatives. The following members will serve the two-year term for 2021-2023:
District 1: Jesse Rice
District 2: Dan Easterday
District 3: Barney Traylor
At-Large: Kayla Lewis
At-Large: Mark Kline
At-Large: Joe Draper
In addition to electing directors and setting its own policy agenda for the coming year, Hillsdale’s 2021 Annual Meeting was also a chance to recognize several outstanding individuals for their service to local agriculture.
President Lewis introduced District 2 Director Jennifer Lewis who highlighted a lot of great efforts by Hillsdale County Farm Bureau, support for MAEAP and shared a video representing statewide programs. She also announced the Key Club recipients: Brent Leininger and Mike Neely. Key Club is a program designed to recognize Farm Bureau Insurance agents who write 5 or more regular members during the year.
President Lewis introduced Farm Bureau Insurance Managing Partner Nick Hurst who highlighted the Agent Charitable Funds and that Farm Bureau Insurance is once again on the Top 50 places to work list.
President Lewis introduced MFB Regional Manager, Kim Kerr, who highlighted the tremendous amount of work put forth by the board of directors and committee this year.
President Lewis introduced State P&E Member, Alysa Sanford, who highlighted state activities such as the farm science Lab and Growing Together Conference coming in 2022.
President Lewis introduced Promotion & Education Chair, Joe Draper, who highlighted the MI-OSHA incident reporting magnets for members, farm crates for schools, Agriculture in the Classroom, and Project R.E.D. (rural education day).
President Lewis introduced Young Farmer Chair, Cody Birdsell, who highlighted the young farmer session at the Field Day event, the national agriculture week drawing contest, and the young farmer discussion meet.
President Lewis announced the three $500 scholarship recipients: Alice Hughes, Matisyn Howell, and Heather Demkowski. She congratulated the recipients and thanked the following organizations that sponsored the scholarship: Waldron Grain & Fuel, Channel Seed, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Kohler Strawberry Farm, Bennett Seed.
President Lewis introduced Young Farmer Co-Chair, Jesse Rice who was accompanied by Chair, Cody Birdsell. Jesse announced this year’s Young Farmer award recipients:
Young Farmer Employee Award – Cole Dryer
Young Farmer Agriculture Leader Award – Cameron Goble
Young Farmer Excellence in Ag Award – Kayla Lewis
Each recipient was presented with a $25.00 gift certificate donated by Powers Clothing.
President Lewis thanked all who attended and helped prepare for the county annual before adjourning.
Visit our website to review the approved policies and upcoming county activities at hillsdale.michfb.com.
Director and Promotion & Education Committee Chair Joe Draper MFB Director Jennifer Lewis handing County President Kayla Lewis a gift.
House Representative Andrew Fink giving invocation.