Seventh-generation Branch County farmer Paul Pridgeon was
elected in 2020 to represent MFB’s Young Farmer program on the board,
succeeding Ottawa County apple grower Adam Dietrich. His ascension to the
post continues a family legacy of Farm Bureau involvement stretching back more
than 50 years.
As a member of the MFB Board of Directors in the early
1960s, his grandfather Dean Pridgeon was part of the leadership “revolution”
that shook up MFB’s highest echelons and saw Elton R. Smith installed as
president in December 1964, with his trusted ally Dean as his vice president.
A decade later Dean’s son Mike Pridgeon — Paul’s uncle — asserted
himself first as a Young Farmer and Branch County president, later as a
founding father of AgriPac, MFB’s political action committee.
To his undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University,
Pridgeon added an MBA from Michigan State. He briefly dipped his toe into the
corporate world, including a stint at Whirlpool, but soon answered the call to
return home to the family farm.
In partnership with his father Bill and brother Brian,
Pridgeon raises hogs and 4,500 acres of corn, soybean and wheat. Bill is deeply
involved in United Producers (formerly Michigan Livestock Exchange), and Brian
recently wrapped up his service on the Michigan Agriculture Commission.
In addition to the Young Farmer program, Pridgeon has been
active in Branch County Farm Bureau’s membership campaigns and in 2015
graduated from ProFile, MFB’s elite leadership development program.
Outside Farm Bureau, Paul devotes much of his time to
Crossroads Farm, a rural youth ministry serving young people across
He and his wife Nikki have three young children, ages 6, 4