Contact: Amelia Miller, 517-679-5688
GRAND RAPIDS — Kristin Kubiszak married into Farm Bureau, and soon found herself making a long-term commitment chairing the Van Buren County organization's Promotion and Education program, a role she's occupied now for the past eight years. For the depth, duration and dedication of her efforts, Kubiszak has earned Michigan Farm Bureau's 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award.
"I kind of got dragged into Farm Bureau and realized what a great organization it was," Kubiszak said. "So now, it's one of my passions. I love talking to kids about agriculture and feel like Farm Bureau has given me a good set of skills in what I do for my own job.
"My favorite project is going into the schools with Ag in the Classroom," a program that takes her into several local elementaries annually.
Kubiszak was honored as a "Champion of Change" at the White House in Washington, D.C., in August. The award recognizes outstanding leaders whose efforts help encourage and develop next generation of American farmers.
She works hard to share the story of agriculture in the community by putting more than 3,000 placemats with informational nuggets about different commodities in local restaurants during National Agriculture Week.
In the spring, Kubiszak was honored with a Monsanto Farmers Grow the Community Award, a grant she used to fund a Young Farmer bus trip to Fair Acres Dairy, an educational farm in Indiana. The tour inspired Young Farmer participants from three counties to join in and share ideas of how to share their farms with consumers.
In 2014, her farm was the recipient of the Van Buren County Farm Stewardship Award, which is given annually to one farm for positively impacting the long-term economic and environmental viability of agricultural production.
She also hosted a legislative dinner attended by more than 100 people at her farm. The turnout included county commissioners, state representatives and Congressional representatives to discuss agricultural policy and the industry's needs.
Kubiszak received the award Dec. 1 at MFB's 2015 Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids. Her prize package includes round-trip airfare to anywhere in the continental U.S., sponsored by the MFB Member Services Department.
MFB is the state's largest agricultural organization, representing the interests of 45,000 farmer members statewide.
NOTE: Click here for photos from the awards ceremony. For more information after Dec. 3, contact Amelia Miller at 517-679-5688.