County Farm Bureaus nationwide have until Sept. 1 to apply for the 2019 County Activities of Excellence (CAE) program administered by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Up to 24 county Farm Bureau activities from across the nation will be selected to display in the IDEAg Trade Show at AFBF’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Convention, next January in New Orleans.
Interested county Farm Bureaus will find award information, applications and CAE archives online at www.fb.org/cae.
Michigan’s county Farm Bureaus have a solid track record in the County Activities of Excellence program.
Branch County Farm Bureau won CAE honors in 2012 for their mobile exhibit trailer. They purchased and designed a mobile ag education exhibit to engage and inform both farm and non-farm community members about current issues affecting the industry, taking it to community events and local school districts. Informational content promotes farm safety, ag career awareness and information about how food gets from the farm to the grocery store.
Two Michigan counties earned berths at the IDEAg Trade Show for similar projects.
Ingham County Farm Bureau’s "Circle of Life" exhibit at the county fair showcased young animals and common livestock varieties giving birth to their offspring. The exhibit also included demonstrations on animal health, yarn and butter making and the water cycle—all helping offer the public accurate information about agriculture and raising awareness about where food comes from.
Livingston County’s “Beginning of Life” exhibit strove to educate visitors about animal welfare by demonstrating proper care and nutrition in a barn setting. Mother animals and their newborns were on display as well as incubators with hatching chicks and an animal nutrition display organized by local 4-H clubs.
Cass County Farm Bureau won recognition for its County Crop Tour, an interactive “crop walk” at the county fair that proved an effective means for connecting the general public with local farmers and the crops they grow.
County Activities of Excellence applications are only accepted online via the CAE webpage; no paper or PDFs. Applicants must create a unique user account online, with a unique email address. Multiple county Farm Bureaus working together on an activity may apply jointly but must appoint one county as the application user.