Michigan agricultural leaders celebrated "Great Lakes, Great Farms and Great Food” at the 14th annual Ag Day at the Capitol, March 13 in Lansing. A highlight of Food and Agriculture Month, the event is designed to put the diversity of Michigan agriculture into perspective for legislators.
Prior to a midday showcase under the capitol dome, FFA members and food and farming representatives delivered baskets of Michigan-produced edibles and informational material to the offices of state legislators and other government officials.
Receiving special recognition during the event were Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) board member Brigette Leach and Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau President Kelly Leach. The mother-daughter duo is featured in the 2018 Michigan Agriculture magazine’s cover story, honoring women in the industry. Brigette and Kelly own and operate their family’s multigenerational farm, Avalon Farms of Climax.
Brigette attributes the farm’s success in part to their involvement in the state’s largest farm group.
“Farm Bureau has been a huge part of our business and personal life,” Brigette said. “In a male-dominated industry, Farm Bureau made it easier for us to find our place in it all and build our leadership and communication skills.”
Showing gratitude for another female ag leader, Jamie Clover Adams was commended for her dedication and service after recently stepping down as Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development director to accept a new position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Jamie has been instrumental in strengthening the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, fostering trade partnerships and increasing agricultural processing opportunities,” said MFB President Carl Bednarski.
Rounding out the program was Lt. Governor Brian Calley, who shared his appreciation for Michigan farmers and took time to visit the displays of this year’s participating organizations:
Dairy Farmers of America
GreenStone Farm Credit Services
Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program
Michigan Agritourism Association
Michigan Apple Committee
Michigan Aquaculture Association
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
Michigan Association of Conservation Districts
Michigan Cattlemen's Association
Michigan Cherry Committee
Michigan Christmas Tree Association
Michigan Corn Growers Association
Michigan Farm Bureau
Michigan Farmers Market Association
Michigan Food Processors Association
Michigan Horse Drawn Vehicle Association
Michigan Meat Association
Michigan Milk Producers Association
Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association
Michigan Pork Producers Association
Michigan Potato Industry Commission
Michigan Sheep Processors Association
Michigan Soybean Association
Michigan State University AgBioResearch
Michigan State University Extension
Michigan State University Product Center
Michigan Sugar Company
Michigan Vegetable Council
Michigan Wheat Program
The Blueberry Store