By Jenna Kingsley
MFB’s state-level Promotion and Education committee convened their quarterly meeting virtually on June 9, even as COVID-19 continued to cause countless cancellations statewide. Topics included various events, policy considerations and goal updates, as well as a far-reaching discussion about how to promote educational experiences during this virtual meeting time. They worked to fulfill their mission of being the voice for agriculture while educating consumers about Michigan agriculture.
First the committee revisited goals from their last meeting in March, evaluating progress in the areas of state annual meeting, county committee connections and the Growing Together conference:
The state-level Policy Development committee consists of 21 members, including one each from all 12 MFB districts, two at-large, three Young Farmer representatives, one Promotion & Education representative and three from the MFB Board of Directors. This year’s P&E representative is Cathy McCune.
Cathy and MFB Grassroots Policy Outreach Specialist Emily Reinart joined the state P&E committee meeting to explain the policy-development process and the importance of Farm Bureau members’ participation in it.
They explained how policy recommendations from individual members, commodity advisory committees and local groups ascend through county or district-level resolution teams and annual meetings to the MFB annual, Dec. 1-3 this year in Grand Rapids. From there the process continues to the national level at the AFBF Annual Meeting and Convention the following January.
If you are or know a student in a two-year, four-year or post-graduate program at Michigan State University, check out the Marge Karker Scholarship application here. This scholarship is open to any student studying agriculture after completing their first year. Applicants must have a 2.6 or better GPA on a 4.0 scale. Students or their parents must be Farm Bureau members in good standing. Applications are due Oct. 1; contact Amelia Miller (517-679-5688) with any questions.
Whether you’re planting, feeding livestock, spraying or fixing machinery, make sure to snap a picture to post to social media. The #StillFarming hashtag links your post to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Promotion & Education showcase, sharing what’s going on in agriculture and raising awareness of our vital industry. This campaign has already reached more than 65 million people and continues to grow!
Mark your calendars for the 2020 high school discussion meet, and keep your eyes peeled for more information coming soon.
Next year’s Growing Together Conference will take place Feb. 19-21 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. Growing Together happens every other year, and combines the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders conferences with tours, workshops and fun for Farm Bureau members looking to get the most out of our Young Farmer and Promotion & Education programs.
Also the popular live auction will benefit the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, while contributions toward Harvest For All will help combat hunger statewide.
For more information about Promotion & Education activities at the district or state level, reach out to your respective state P&E committee member.
Jenna Kingsley grew up on a Livingston County dairy farm and is interning this summer with MFB’s Center for Education and Leadership Development. She’ll soon graduate from Iowa State University, where she studies agriculture and life-science education.