Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced appointments and reappointments to several state-level agriculture commodity boards. Among those selected, 14 county Farm Bureau members were appointed to board positions to guide research, promotion, and outreach efforts for their respective commodity organizations.
Michigan Asparagus Marketing Advisory Board
Oceana County Farm Bureau member Kevin Burmeister, of Shelby, is a third-generation grower responsible for 37 acres of production on his family’s fruit and asparagus farm. Burmeister holds other agricultural leadership positions, including managing chemical application and hiring personnel through H-2A programs for Lakeshore Farms, Inc. He is reappointed to represent growers-at-large through Nov. 13, 2026.
Cass County Farm Bureau member Scott Hassle, of Decatur, is responsible for asparagus production on his family’s large fruit, vegetable, and grain operation. Hassle has extensive experience on both the Michigan Apple Committee and Michigan State Horticultural Society. He holds an associate degree in agribusiness from Michigan State University. Hassle is reappointed to represent southern Michigan growers-at-large through Nov. 13, 2026.
Oceana County Farm Bureau member Nick Oomen, of Hart, is a third-generation farmer. Alongside his dad, he grows asparagus, tart cherries, and vegetables. They freshly pack, market, and ship their own asparagus. Oomen holds an agricultural industries certificate from Michigan State University. He is reappointed to represent growers-at-large through Nov. 13, 2026.
Mason County Farm Bureau member William Schwass, of Scottville, along with his brother, son, and nephew operate a large vegetable and grain operation. With almost 40 years of experience in the vegetable industry, Schwass has expanded his family farm across multiple counties. He holds a diesel and heavy equipment certificate from West Shore Community College. Schwass is reappointed to represent growers-at-large through Nov. 13, 2026.
Oceana County Farm Bureau member Steve Riley, of Mears, is responsible for asparagus production on his family’s fruit and vegetable farm where they recently built a new 25,000 sq. ft. asparagus receiving station. Riley has a strong commitment to the industry and to his community, as evident in his positions on the local school board and his church’s deacon board. He is appointed to represent growers-at-large through Nov. 13, 2026.
The Michigan Asparagus Marketing Advisory Board seeks to promote the production and consumption of asparagus grown in Michigan, as well as to assist in the agricultural research and development of asparagus farming.
Michigan Bean Commission
Tuscola County Farm Bureau member Stephen Ewald, of Unionville, is reappointed to represent growers-at-large through Dec. 31, 2026. Ewald, president of Ewald Farms, Inc., and chair of the Organic Farmers of Michigan Board, is a member of the Farm Produce Insurance Authority and chairman of the Bean Commission’s Production Research Advisory Board.
Ted Bauer, of Reese, is the fifth-generation owner of Laracha Farms and is reappointed to represent district 2 through Dec. 31, 2026. In addition to overseeing the production of dry beans at his farm, Bauer serves as chairman of the Bayside Beans labor board. He holds an associate degree in agribusiness from Michigan State University.
The Michigan Bean Commission is headquartered in Frankenmuth, the heart of the growing area. The primary objectives of the Commission are research and promotion. There are more than 2,300 growers registered with the Michigan Bean Commission who are dedicated to bringing consumers the highest quality dry beans and who are recognized worldwide as industry leaders.
Michigan Blueberry Commission
Van Buren County Farm Bureau member Becky Hotovy, of Hartford, is the COO of First Pick Farms LLC where she manages daily operations. Prior to this she was a manager at Borden Processing. Hotovy is appointed to represent district 1 through Dec. 31, 2026.
The Michigan Blueberry Commission is housed within MDARD and was created through the farmer-initiated process outlined in the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act. The Commission was created with the goal of improving the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan blueberry industry by supporting research, education and promotion.
Michigan Dairy Market Program Committee
Ogemaw County Farm Bureau member Jeremy Beebe, of Whittemore, is a first-generation dairy farmer and owner of Double B Dairy, LLC. Beebe is a State Delegate of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, the same organization that named him the runner-up for the 2018 Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperator. He holds a certificate in animal science and dairy management from Michigan State University. Beebe is reappointed to represent the Michigan Milk Producers Association through Dec. 31, 2026.
Osceola County Farm Bureau member B.J. Eisenga, Jr., of Tustin, is the manager and owner of Midget Mountain Dairy, LLC where he leads a 200-head dairy operation. Eisenga has been responsible for herd and crop management at his farm for almost 30 years. He handles various roles including overseeing finances and coordinating employee recruitment and training. Eisenga is reappointed to represent the Dairy Farmers of America through Dec. 31, 2026.
Hillsdale County Farm Bureau member Carol Marz-Evans, of Litchfield, is manager of Evans Dairy Farm. Prior to this role, she was the quality assurance manager at ConAgra Foods. Marz-Evans is a member of the Michigan Shorthorn Breeders Association and Hillsdale County Dairy Promotion Board. She was also named the Outstanding Youth Dairy Cooperator by the Michigan Milk Producers Association. Marz-Evans is reappointed to represent the Michigan Milk Producers Association through Dec. 31, 2026.
Clinton County Farm Bureau member Bryan Hull, of Fenwick, is the owner of Hull Dairy Farm, LLC. He and his wife milk 215 cows and farm 500 acres of corn, hay, and wheat, as well as raise replacement heifers. Hull has been on the Michigan Dairy Marketing Committee since 2006 and a board member of the Untied Dairy Industry of Michigan since 2000. He is reappointed to represent the Dairy Farmers of America through Dec. 31, 2026.
Branch County Farm Bureau member Brian Preston, of Quincy, is a member of Preston Dairy, LLC. In addition to his family’s farming business, Preston is heavily involved in the Michigan Milk Producers Association, serving as their Local and District Chair. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management from Michigan State University. Preston is reappointed to represent the Michigan Milk Producers Association through Dec. 31, 2026.
The Michigan Dairy Market Program Committee works in conjunction with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan to promote the sale of dairy products and to educate consumers, health professionals, and educators about the dairy industry and the nutritional benefits of Michigan's dairy products.
Michigan Soybean Committee
Washtenaw County Farm Bureau member Nathan McCalla, of Ann Arbor, farms alongside his father and brother. They grow a crop rotation that includes 900 acres of soybeans, as well as corn, wheat, pumpkins, and hay on the farm dating back to 1912. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from Michigan State University. McCalla is appointed to represent District 3 through Sept. 23, 2026.
St. Joseph County Farm Bureau member Sara Trattles, of Colon, is Vice President of Agribusiness Lending at GreenStone Farm Credit Services. She grows 450 acres of soybeans, as well as corn, seed corn, and alfalfa on her farm. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management from Michigan State University and a master’s of agribusiness management from Kansas State University. Trattles is appointed to represent District 1 through Sept. 23, 2026.
The Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee develops procedures relating to the soybean marketing program and recommends amendments to the marketing program. The Committee prepares the estimated budget required for the proper operation of the marketing program, develops methods for collecting and auditing the assessments, and collects and assembles information and data necessary for proper administration of the marketing program.