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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Board Elections

Running for the MFB Board of Directors

Farm Bureau offers countless opportunities for members to play an active role in steering the organization, the highest level being service on the Michigan Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

This year there’s one vacancy to be filled and seven incumbent directors up for reelection, including two at-large positions, open to qualified candidates from anywhere in the state:

At-large Director Doug Darling (Monroe County) isn’t seeking reelection.
At-large Director Paul Pridgeon (Branch) is up for reelection.

Board Member Job Description
Wide shot of the MFB board standing on stage at the 2022 State Annual Meeting against a colorful backdrop.

The following incumbent district directors are also up for reelection; these seats are open to qualified candidates only from these respective districts:

Dist. 1 — Brigette Leach (Kalamazoo) 
Dist. 3 — Mike Fusilier (Washtenaw) 
Dist. 5 — Stephanie Schafer (Clinton) 
Dist. 7 — Mike DeRuiter (Oceana) 
Dist. 9 — Ben LaCross (Northwest Michigan) 
Dist. 11 — Pat McGuire (Antrim)


Meet the Candidates

Portrait of MFB board candidate Doug Bontekoe.

Doug Bontekoe

Marion, MI | Osceola County Farm Bureau

Raised in a barn is an accurate statement. I grew up living in our dairy barn office as our family home was being built. I am a 4th generation dairy farmer for Bontekoe Farms in Osceola County. I have over 20 years of farming experience. met my wife, Amy, while attending CMU. We've been married 23 years and have 4 amazing children. Our family farm is currently transitioning from milking cows and into crops, specialty crops being garlic and mushrooms, and custom raising heifers.

What experiences or qualities do you have that would make you a good addition to the MFB board of directors?

My earliest Farm Bureau memory is sneaking into my grandparents “Chat and Chew” meeting to enjoy the cookies. I grew up with my parents and grandparents talking about Farm Bureau policies and programs.

Here are some of my qualifications:

  • Farm Bureau member for over 20 years
  • County Farm Bureau board member and a delegate to the state annual
  • Selected to represent Osceola County to meet with Legislators both locally and nationally
  • Served on the dairy policy development committee
  • Served as the Director at Large for the Michigan Holstein Association
  • Marion Township Supervisor
  • Wexford-Missaukee ISD Parent Advisory Committee
  • Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency Board member — administering $20 million in grant programs
Candidate Profile Video
Portrait of MFB board candidate Paul Pridgeon

Paul Pridgeon

Montgomery, MI | Branch County Farm Bureau

I'm part of a seventh generation hog and crop farm with my brother Brian, father Bill, and my uncle Mike. We operate a farrow to finish swine operation, while also growing 4,500 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat to support the hog operation.

My wife Nikki are raising our three daughters Anna (9), Maddie (7), and Morgan (5). Outside of Farm Bureau, I devote much of my time to Crossroads Farm, a rural youth ministry serving young people across south-central Michigan.

What experiences or qualities do you have that would make you a good addition to the MFB board of directors?

I have been active in Branch County's membership campaigns and graduated in 2015 from MFB's leadership development program ProFILE in 2015. I also served on the MFB state Young Farmer Committee, including a term serving as chair representing the Young Farmers on the MFB Board.

In 2021, I was elected as an at-large director to the MFB Board, learning more about organization and the strength of our great insurance company. I also served as a member of the board's MSU Relations Committee to share agriculture's concerns and believe many of MSU's leaders desire a strong relationship with MFB for the benefit of Michigan agriculture.

I have enjoyed serving you for the past two years. It is my hope that you will continue to give me the opportunity to learn more about the Farm Bureau family of companies and work for you.

Candidate Profile Video
Portrait of MFB board candidate Abe Pasch.

Abe Pasch

Beal City, MI | Isabella County Farm Bureau

A fourth-generation dairy farmer, our family owns and operates Pasch Dairy, milking 325 cows, and farm 1,400 acres, growing corn and alfalfa for our cows as well as wheat and soybeans.

My wife Misty and I raised four children, Kelsey (22) a grad assistant at Kansas State, Lauren (21) a senior at Central Michigan, Jacob (17) a senior and Allison (15) a sophomore at Beal City High School.

I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Agribusiness Management.

What experiences or qualities do you have that would make you a good addition to the MFB board of directors?

During my 20 years of Farm Bureau involvement, I have served as past county president and currently serve as a board member. I have also served as Membership Committee chair, the Promotion & Education Committee chair, the Policy Development Committee chair and on the county Candidate Evaluation Committee.

At the state-level, I am an MFB ProFILE graduate, and served on the statewide MFB Policy Development, and State Young Farmer Committee.

I also currently serve on our township's Board of Review and, as a member of the Knights, of Columbus, I serve as a trustee for the Knights of Columbus Council.

I look forward to being able to serve Michigan agriculture as an at-large director at Michigan Farm Bureau.

Candidate Profile Video
Portrait of MFB board candidate Greg Shooks.

Greg Shooks

Central Lake, MI | Antrim County Farm Bureau

I am a fourth-generation farmer on my family’s centennial farm that spans over 1,100-acres, raising cherries, wine grapes and small grains. In addition to Shooks Farm Co., my brother Rob and I also own and operate a winery — Cellar 1914, and Shooks Ag Warehouse allowing local growers to pick up chemistry, seed and fertilizer. We also operate a receiving station where we weigh, store and dewater cherries for cherry processors.

My wife Jenny and I are also the proud parents of three daughters.

What experiences or qualities do you have that would make you a good addition to the MFB board of directors?

I've had many opportunities to serve the agriculture industry and the Farm Bureau organization as a county board member, county Young Farmer Chair and on the State Young Farmer Committee, State Policy Development Committee, MACMA Study Committee, MFB Farm Bill Task Force; AFBF Issues Advisory Committee, the MFB Cannabis Task Force Ad-Hoc Committee, and on the Michigan Cherry Committee.

Locally, I've been on the Central Lake School Board for 12 years — six as Board President, serve as a deacon for Belltower Reformed Church, a member of the Central Lake Lions Club, and as President of the Cedar Ridge Home Owners Association.

I have a passion and dedication for preserving and protecting the rights of Michigan agriculture while creating new opportunities for the industry that Michigan Farm Bureau has fought hard for.

Candidate Profile Video

Nov. 29-30

Attend MFB Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, where the election takes place with the assembled county Farm Bureau delegates as the electorate. Contact your county Farm Bureau office if you’re interested in representing your county at the state annual meeting.


A colorful map of Michigan broke into MFB districts with the odd-numbered districts labeled.

Directors in even-numbered districts will be up for reelection next year, as well as the position of president, who serves at-large.

Contact Andy Kok for more information.