Missaukee County Farm Bureau tried to host an in-person county annual meeting, but thanks to COVID and other conflicts couldn’t make quorum. So, on to plan B: More than 240 committee report and ballot packets were mailed to regular members.
At that point it started to look like the same disappointing story of so many other events this year: no in-person meetings, minimal participation via mail or Zoom, the absence of human connection with friends we all look forward to... But Missaukee’s story took a turn for the positive.
While the county annual was not like others before, one of those mailed packets landed in the mailbox of regular member Shelby Norman. A Farm Bureau member for more than 50 years, Shelby took particular interest in the Promotion and Education Committee’s annual report.
Two new concepts stuck: the new FARM Crate monthly subscription lesson boxes and an agricultural implement reading program at the local library. The P&E report moved Shelby into action.
“Sometimes it’s up to grandparents to help make these agricultural connections,” Shelby said. “I’ve served on our county Farm Bureau board and was a 4-H leader. Agriculture is in my heart and it’s a blessing to see my grandkids and great-grandkids grow up around it too.”
Thanks to Shelby and her husband Larry, their great-grandchildren’s Lake City kindergarten and fifth-grade classes will be receiving FARM Crates for October, November and December.
But Shelby’s generosity didn’t stop here.
Missaukee County’s Promotion & Education committee is also partnering with the Lake City Public Library to showcase books about agricultural implements. While children’s story times might look a little different now, books about agricultural equipment help reinforce harvest road safety with the adults, too.
Shelby noticed a void in the implement lineup: there was no water well-drilling equipment.
Through her connections with local irrigation businesses — including the well-drilling operation her own family’s run since 1904 — Shelby is working to augment the library’s story-time resources with books about water and models of drilling equipment.
“After we received our county annual packet in the mail, I called three county Farm Bureau board members and our CAM to compliment how well they prepared the materials,” Shelby said. “Us older leaders need to be supportive of the ones coming up, and when I talked to our P&E chair, I knew I wanted to help.”
To send FARM Crates to schools in your community, contact your county Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education committee to be incorporated into their outreach efforts. November and December crates must be ordered by November 20 through the Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom online store.