Dave Mumby schools a group of visiting Young Farmers who just toured his Mendon Seed plant during a recent Young Farmer Leaders Conference.
Dave Mumby has taken the helm of the St. Joseph County Farm Bureau as its new skipper, succeeding longtime president Sara Trattles. A relative newcomer to the organization, Mumby jumped in with both feet when he saw Farm Bureau fight to preserve agricultural water rights during the Granholm administration.
“I got involved and found myself testifying before a state legislative committee,” he recalls.
Suddenly Mumby found himself sitting at the proverbial table, beside like-minded peers and issue experts, sharing his experiences and having his voice heard in forums where it really mattered. It was his first real contact with the organization and it left a mark.
“Farm Bureau really impressed me,” said Mumby, who
Water use is a hot button in Mumby’s part of the state, where irrigation makes it Michigan’s seed-corn hub. His own Mendon Seed Growers has a hand in that business, producing seed on a David scale compared to the industry Goliaths operating in the same neighborhood.
“I bought the seed business from dad in 1999,” Mumby said. “We produce seed for family-owned seed companies. We do about 1,500 to 2,000 acres per year.”
(And speaking of family, Mumby and his wife Deanna have two grown children, Nathan and Danielle.)
As a seed corn producer, Mumby was a natural choice for MFB’s state-level GMO Task Force, convened in 2016 to provide recommendations to the board regarding communication, advocacy and educational efforts related to biotechnology.
Back at the local level — and assuming life resumes some shade of ‘normal’ with warmer weather — Mumby hopes to also resume pursuing some of his priorities for the St. Joseph County Farm Bureau. That includes recasting the county annual meeting into a more approachable, casual affair, and moving it to a time of year when more members are able to attend.
“Late August works well with the schedule here — after detasseling and before harvest,” he said.
Until then, his county Farm Bureau is in the same boat as all the others: a crowded boat patiently waiting for some post-corona wind in its sails.
“We had to cancel our Harvest For All event, which stung, but it was just the right thing to do,” Mumby said, adding that he and his board and program leaders have stayed in touch over the phone and on social media.