LANSING, MI – Since 1956, Michigan Farm Bureau has presented its Distinguished Service to Agriculture award – the organization’s highest honor - to deserving individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the state's agricultural industry.
Described as “authentic” by MFB President Carl Bednarski during the opening session of the organization’s virtual 101st state annual meeting on Nov. 4, Troy Bancroft, co-founder and CEO of AgroLiquid, was named recipient for 2020.
“For the past 45 plus years, Troy Bancroft has demonstrated a passion for agriculture through his business and his involvement in local and national agriculture programs and organizations,” Bednarski said. “With a focus on responsible nutrient management and improving plant nutrient utilization and response, he has witnessed the evolution of the agriculture industry and understands what it means to be a great leader.”
Bancroft’s leadership is the driving force behind AgroLiquid’s 900-plus acre research farm in Clinton County, dedicated to the study of crop nutrition for today’s farmer. The research station boasts over 2,000 individual plots where Troy he can be found lending a hand planting, harvesting and scouting.
“I’m truly humbled by this award,” Bancroft said. “It’s a distinct honor to work with Michigan Farm Bureau, and I’ve worked with many of you over the years to promote the agriculture industry. One thing we’ve learned this year is that ag is essential, and that ag is adaptable, and we’re so grateful for those two things.
“In 1983 we incorporated when my father-in-law started the company. Today, it’s with great pride to have my three sons working alongside me and watch them grow in the industry.
“Reflecting on the influence of Farm Bureau, they protect the farmer while promoting and enhancing agriculture,” Bancroft continued. “I have to admit, early on, I wasn’t involved. I was raising my family and growing a business. When I looked up, I saw the influence Farm Bureau had, developing policies, promoting sustainable agriculture, and encouraging young people.”
Bancroft’s commitment to research-proven knowledge and fundamental belief in the importance of responsible nutrient management that drives him to focus on mentoring youth and his community in environmental stewardship and agricultural education.
Caleb Stewart of Stewart Farms in Bannister is not only well-aware of Troy Bancroft’s overall impact on agriculture but to the Clinton County Farm Bureau.
“Troy has been a mainstay here in this area,” Stewart said. “He’s always been a big part of Clinton County Farm Bureau. You can’t think of a county event without having Troy and AgroLiquid involved. Beyond farming, he volunteers to be a judge for Young Farmer events, he sits on steering committees, shows up to county board meetings - he’s there for all facets of it.”
Bancroft developed a nonprofit foundation aimed at educating consumers on current agricultural issues and the development of an agricultural educational center at AgroLiquid’s headquarters named the IQhub. The center is the home for agricultural history, current and future innovations and career exploration for the young and the young-at-heart.
Bancroft’s passion for mentoring youth has him involved in Boy Scouts of America, 4-H and FFA at the local, state and national levels. He believes being a part of these programs allows him to positively impact the future of today’s youth through giving of his time, talent and scholarships to help youth reach their goals.
“As we think about the future of agriculture, when we think about the young people, and the grit and determination they must have, we try and support some initiatives with Farm Bureau like the Farm Science Lab that takes ag into the classroom,” Bancroft said.
“We also support Farm Bureau’s Educator of the Year award, for so many times these educators are mentors for young people. I remember those who taught and mentored me, as I needed it so much. So now I – we – must continue with the next generation because I – and we – believe in the future of agriculture with a faith not born of words but born of deeds,” Bancroft concluded.
Watch the video presentation of the DSA Award.