Seventh-generation Branch County farmer Paul Pridgeon was elected in 2021 to fill a vacancy on the MFB Board of Directors following the retirement of longtime Vice President Andy Hagenow. The move followed his year (2020-21) representing the organization’s Young Farmer program on the board. Pridgeon’s elevated Farm Bureau involvement continues a family legacy stretching back more than 50 years.
As a state director in the early 1960s, his grandfather Dean Pridgeon was part of the “revolution” that shook up MFB leadership, resulting in Elton R. Smith’s installation as president and his trusted ally Dean as his VP. A decade later Dean’s son Mike Pridgeon — Paul’s uncle — asserted himself as a Young Farmer, county president, and went on to help found MFB’s political action committee, AgriPac.
To his undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University, Pridgeon added an MBA from Michigan State. After trying out the corporate world, including a stint at Whirlpool, Paul answered the call to return home to the family farm, where he raises hogs and 4,500 acres of corn, soybean and wheat in partnership with his father Bill and brother Brian.
In addition to the Young Farmer program, Pridgeon has been active in Branch County Farm Bureau’s membership campaigns and in 2015 graduated from ProFile, MFB’s elite leadership development program.
Outside Farm Bureau, Paul devotes much of his time to Crossroads Farm, a rural youth ministry serving young people across south-central Michigan. He and his wife Nikki have three young daughters.