Former Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association (MACMA) and Michigan Farm Bureau leader Robert Braden passed away Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 at age 96.
Mr. Braden joined the Farm Bureau staff in 1961 when he was appointed Field Services Director of the Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association (MACMA). His commitment and strong leadership helped guide the new affiliate during its first 10 years and resulted in MACMA becoming the most successful Farm Bureau marketing association in the country.
In 1971, Mr. Braden was named Administrative Director of Michigan Farm Bureau. During his service, he led changes that included the development of the first Promotion and Education program in the country. Mr. Braden retired from his service to the farmer at Michigan Farm Bureau in 1987. In that same year, he received the highest honor of the organization, the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award.
After retirement, Mr. Braden and his wife Doris continued their adventure in agriculture, growing asparagus on their family’s centennial farm near Byron, MI. Mr. Braden’s commitment to farming, farmers and the agriculture industry left indelible marks. When asked for advice to help staff connect with our members, below are some of his pearls:
“Mr. Braden’s service is the consummate example of professionalism and respect,” said Scott Piggott, Chief Executive Officer of Michigan Farm Bureau. “I will cherish our visits. Sharp as a tack and a voracious reader, he asked great questions and was quick to compliment. Michigan’s farmers benefit every day from his leadership and so will future generations.”
Visitation will be Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a Masonic Memorial Service at 7 p.m. Funeral services will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, 2019, at 11 a.m., with visitation prior from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Both visitation and funeral will take place at Byron First United Methodist Church, 101 S. Ann St., Byron, MI, 48418.
In 2014, Mr. Braden created an endowment within the Michigan Foundation of Agriculture for the benefit of Young Farmers, Promotion & Education and Leadership programming. Donations can be made to this endowment in honor of this service.