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Join us for the 4th Annual Southwest Michigan Farm Bureau Chili Cook-Off!!
Come and cheer on your favorite Young Farmer as they participate in the 2020 District Young Farmer Discussion Meet.
$10/person will be charged at the door - ages 10/under are free
(all proceeds will be donated to the Michigan Foundatoin for Agriculture)
Individual Chili Cookoff Entry Fee:
$10/entry (please provide a minimum of 5-6 quarts)
RSVP to attend and/or enter the cook-off or corn hold tournament by March 6
Contact Cass County Farm Bureau to RSVP or with any questions at 269-445-3849

Chili Cook-Off & Corn Hole Tournament

Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau News

Michigan Farm Bureau

    • Lansing Legislative Seminar
      • Lansing-Legislative_2019

        February 25, 2020 | Lansing Center, Lansing  

        Michigan Farm Bureau’s Lansing Legislative Seminar provides an opportunity for members passionate about Farm Bureau policy and issues affecting agriculture to:

        • Meet members with shared interests, concerns and goals;
        • Help demonstrate to legislative and regulatory leaders the significance of our member-developed policy and strength of our county Farm Bureaus;
        • Learn from expert speakers about proposals being considered in Lansing that would impact Michigan farmers and the food and agriculture economy.

        The event also features:

        • Presentation of the Excellence in Grass-roots Lobbying Award to a county Farm Bureau for outstanding local advocacy efforts.
        • Presentation of the Silver Plow Award, recognizing a legislator’s work in support of Farm Bureau policy. 

        Registration: January 24 - February 7, 2020  

        Contact your county Farm Bureau and tell them you're interested in attending Lansing Legislative Seminar.

        For detailed information about the 2020 Lansing Legislative Seminar click the "More Info" button below!  


      Lansing Legislative Seminar February 25th
      Byline Here

      Join us for the 4th Annual Southwest Michigan Farm Bureau Chili Cook-Off!!
      Come and cheer on your favorite Young Farmer as they participate in the 2020 District Young Farmer Discussion Meet.
      $10/person will be charged at the door - ages 10/under are free
      (all proceeds will be donated to the Michigan Foundatoin for Agriculture)
      Individual Chili Cookoff Entry Fee:
      $10/entry (please provide a minimum of 5-6 quarts)
      RSVP to attend and/or enter the cook-off or corn hold tournament by March 6
      Contact Cass County Farm Bureau to RSVP or with any questions at 269-445-3849

      Chili Cook-Off & Corn Hole Tournament

      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau to Host Free Educational Event "Medicare Made Easy"

      The public is invited to a free, on-hour educatoinl seminar, "Medicare Made Easy" on Friday, October 4th at Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau, 5950 Portage Rd., Suite A, Portage, Michigan at 1pm.

      The Seminar will cover what kind of insurance coverage people need as they age, how to avoid paying for coverage that isn't needed, Medigap, Medicare Advantage, enrollment periods, pre-existing conditions, Part D drug plans, and what questions to ask before signing up for an insurance plan. The seminar is presented by Lisa Robb, Medicare Plan Specialist with Michigan Farm Bureau. The seminar will include time for questions and answers. No products will be sold here; it's strictly educational. Seating is limited so please RSVP by calling (269) 342-0212 to reserve your spot.

      The public is invited to a free, on-hour educatoinl seminar, "Medicare Made Easy" on Friday, October 4th at Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau, 5950 Portage Rd., Suite A, Portage, Michigan at 1pm

      State News

      Michigan Farm Bureau

      Even as a global pandemic has brought much of our everyday lives to a screeching halt, we know farmers are still putting one step in front of the other (and we thank you!) As you are out and about on the farm this spring, remember your Farm Bureau organization is here for you.

      Michigan Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy has guided your organization for 100 years and this year is no exception. And as in each of those 100 previous years, we need farmer members like YOU to engage in our policy development process.

      Is there a policy idea you’ve thought of? Submit it here. Curious about what existing Farm Bureau policies say? Find the state and national policy books here.

      And when we’re all done social distancing, look for an invitation to a local meeting with your neighbors and peers to identify which issues in your part of the state need addressing in the form of Farm Bureau policy.

      To help jump start that process, check out the issue briefs on MFB’s website. We'll be adding to this page throughout the season, so make sure to check back.

      Thank you for your involvement in Farm Bureau and in keeping our policy book relevant so we can continue our role as the most credible voice of Michigan agriculture. Our policy book is built by putting one foot in front of the other, and it starts with members like you taking this first step!

      Even as a global pandemic has brought much of our everyday lives to a screeching halt, we know farmers are still putting one step in front of the other (and we thank you!) As you are out and about on the farm this spring, remember your Farm Bureau or
      Michigan Farm Bureau

      If that global pandemic has sidelined your usual ag-education efforts, here’s a healthy dose of resources for Promotion & Education volunteers itching to stay engaged in farm-friendly outreach.

      With most local ag-education outreach activities curtailed until further notice, county Farm Bureau Promotion & Education leaders are encouraged to push their creative envelopes outside the box. Here are a number of practical considerations compiled by your state staff for county Farm Bureau P&E programs to consider.

      Follow your school districts’ lead in maintaining your relationships and updating plans with local schools. Their priorities and schedules once classes resume may differ substantially from the norm. School staff and administrators may be slow to respond and uneasy about making plans — even for the 2020-21 school year.

      Consider creative ways to engage the schools/teachers to maintain those relationships and stay on their radar when it’s time to plan future events. If you already have supplies ready for Project RED teacher bags, consider donating them once school resumes, with a save-the-date for next year’s event. Or consider handing them out during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8. 

      If you had plans to read a book during National Agriculture Week, consider donating the books and lesson plans to the school or public libraries.

      Video ideas

      Create brief videos describing specific tasks, animals, implements or projects on your farm (like this one). Share them via social media or directly with teachers for use in classrooms when school resumes. Video tips:

      • Wear your “I am agriculture” shirt or a similar alternative.
      • Your recording location should well-lit (outside), have an interesting background and be free of wind and other background noise.
      • Use simple, everyday words — no ag-industry jargon!
      • Set up your phone/camera/tablet in a landscape (horizontal) orientation, and get close enough to fill the frame with you and the other subject matter (animals, equipment) you’re discussing.

      NOTE: Book-reading videos have become popular as a means of virtual learning, but posting them publicly violates copyright laws. Live reading videos (no history saved) or videos posted to private groups (like a classroom Facebook group) are sometimes allowable, but not recommended.

      Resources for future activities

      For more tips, information and practical resources, don’t hesitate to contact your MFB regional representative, state P&E committee members, or MFB staffers Tonia Ritter and Amelia Miller.

      e-Learning with Ag in the Classroom

      As teachers prepare to teach virtually over the next couple of months, MFB staff will be sharing standards-based materials to assist in this e-learning.

      Follow the Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom Facebook page for up-to-date online lessons, videos and activities for students in grades K-12.

      Lessons will connect agricultural concepts to plant and animal life cycles, nutrition, careers and more!

      If that global pandemic has sidelined your usual ag-education efforts, here’s a healthy dose of resources for Promotion & Education volunteers itching to stay engaged in farm-friendly outreach.
      Becca Gulliver

      “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine / You make me happy, when skies are grey / You’ll never know dear, how much I love you / Please don’t take my sunshine away…”

      Growing up, that was one of my favorite songs to hear my mom sing to me and my siblings. Now I enjoy hearing her sing it to my nieces and nephew, but thanks to coronavirus I haven’t been able to experience it lately. More isolated now than ever before, how do we find that sunshine — that light at the end of this tunnel?

      Enduring 2019 was hard enough; now the unanswered questions 2020 is asking only increases our stress. From market access and depressed prices to just making everyday ends meet, we are facing unprecedented new challenges.

      So: We. Are. STRESSED!

      Some stress is normal even in everyday situations; what makes the difference is how you handle that stress. During the first “Feed Your Soul” retreat for women in agriculture, Cultivate Balance founder Sarah Zastrow (a Midland County Farm Bureau member) talks about the responsibility ‘pie’ and how, with all the stress and pressure we face, we must first identify that small piece of the pie we can control: OURSELVES.

      We control how we react, respond and engage. Once we’ve identified our slice of the responsibility pie, we can learn to give ourselves some grace and finding the good — all vital to developing a healthy mindset.

      Three tactics MSU Extension recommends for developing a healthy mindset are: positive self-talkdeep breathing or meditation, and practicing acceptance of what we can control.

      Also consider integrating a gratitude practice into your daily routine. Keep a notepad next to your coffee pot to write down three good things from the previous day like Sarah does. Saginaw County member Amanda Sollman jots hers down in her planner throughout the day.

      Find a way to bring your entire family into the practice by sharing around the table at dinner. Share what you are #quarantinegrateful for on social media, like Ogemaw County member Elaine Palm.

      If you were at the 2020 Young Farmer Leaders Conference, you heard speaker Paul Long encourage us to ingrain healthy mindset practices by greeting others with “What’s good?” — challenging them to respond in the positive. MFB’s State Young Farmer Committee took that advice to heart; their weekly confabs are now “What’s Good Wednesdays.”

      Deep breathing or meditation can look different for everyone. If technology is your thing, there are breathing apps for your smartphone. A trick I picked up from a friend for when I’m so stressed I can’t focus — “brain fog” —is to look in a mirror and envision myself blowing that fog out of my head with each breath.

      Farmers we are constantly on the go, so how do you work such practices into your day? Find what works best for you.

      Another effective stress-management tool is physical exercise, which most farming already has plenty of. If you can’t work in a short walk, just take a moment after stacking hay bales. If you’re walking fields scouting for pests, take some time for your brain chemistry to do its job reducing stress before moving right onto the next task.

      More than anything, understand that you — that we — are not alone in this, and that it’s okay to reach out for help and just to talk with someone. Don’t hesitate to seek out a counselor or therapist when needed.

      A good starting point is MSU Extension’s Farm Stress Program, now equipped to connect farmers with online counseling resources. In many conversations with Barb Smith, director of the Barb Smith Suicide Resource and Response Network, she’s said how farmers sometimes care for their tractors better than they care for themselves. Don’t forget and don’t neglect you — the only piece of the pie you can control!

      As challenges come at us from every angle, and it gets harder to see light at the end of the tunnel, don’t forget that song my mom and so many others taught us:

      “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine… Please don’t take my sunshine away!”

      Becca Gulliver is MFB’s Regional Manager in the Saginaw Valley, serving Farm Bureau members in Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties.

      Farm stress resources

       

      The Agent Charitable Fund and Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan will donate $50,000 during the Million Meal Challenge and will match up to $50,000 in additional donations from members, clients and supporters.

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      June2020
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      Kalamazoo County Board Meeting
      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau
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      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau June 2020 Board Meeting
      July2020
      Thursday
      16
      Kalamazoo County Board Meeting
      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau
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      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau July 2020 Board Meeting
      August2020
      Thursday
      20
      Kalamazoo County Board Meeting
      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau
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      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau August 2020 Board Meeting
      September2020
      Thursday
      17
      Kalamazoo County Board Meeting
      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau
      Portage,
      Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau September 2020 Board Meeting