By Adrian Schunk
MASON — More than 60 young farmers, sponsors and guests gathered in Mason June 23 for an evening of competition, food, fun and fellowship at the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) Young Farmer Trap Shoot.
“The Trap Shoot is a great way to connect and network with other young farmers from around the state,” said Nate Clarke, chair of the state Young Farmer committee. “It’s competitive and fun for shooters of all skill levels. Everyone who participates really enjoys themselves.”
Drew Bordner of St. Joseph County and Kathleen Blust of Oakland County were the men’s and women’s winners, respectively, each taking home a Winchester SXP Black Shadow shotgun donated by Pheasants Forever, plus hunting gear donated by Jay’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s.
Jacob Bildner of Branch County and Katelyn Packard of Washtenaw County took home runner-up prizes compliments of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sweet Grass Farms and MFB Member Services. Other participants won prizes from Greenstone Farm Credit Services, the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, Sheridan Auction Services, Fowlerville Veterinary Clinic, Dairyland Seeds, Fowlerville Farms and First National Bank.
A Yeti cooler stocked with Michigan beef and beverages, was donated by MFB Health Services, Munsell's Poultry Processing, Heffron Farms and Farm Bureau Insurance. The cooler was also raffled to support local food banks through Harvest for All. Participants raised more than $740 over the course of the evening, which will be divided among the seven Michigan regional food banks.
MFB’s Young Farmer program develops new Farm Bureau and agricultural leaders and provides them with a better understanding of the organization’s philosophy and goals. The program identifies and serves the needs of young farmers, ages 18 to 35, to assist them in their personal and professional lives.
The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, positively contributes to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.
Adrian Schunk is studying communications at Michigan State University, and interning with MFB’s Center for Education and Leadership Development.