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Farm Bureau recognizes Partners in Advocacy graduates, including Mason County's Seth Earl

From left to right are Jason Fellows, Idaho; Eileen Jensen, New York; Laura Haffner, Kansas; Rachel Harmann, Wisconsin; Ben Menges, Arizona; Dana Stewart, Arkansas; Russ Kohler, Utah; Heather Lifsey, North Carolina; Seth Earl, Michigan; Megan Richner, Missouri; and AFBF President Zippy Duvall. Image credit: AFBF
Date Posted: March 28, 2024

Mason County Farm Bureau member Seth Earl recently graduated from the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Partners in Advocacy Leadership (PAL) class, which was designed to help agricultural leaders accelerate their engagement abilities and solidify their roles as advocates for agriculture.

PAL training involves four learning modules designed to develop specific advocacy skills, including storytelling, policy development and stakeholder engagement. The modules build on one another over the two years of the program and include intense, in-person, hands-on training.

Earl's fellow PAL grads include Jason Fellows, Idaho; Laura Haffner, Kansas; Rachel Harmann, Wisconsin; Eileen Jensen, New York; Russ Kohler, Utah; Heather Lifsey, North Carolina; Ben Menges, Arizona; Megan Richner, Missouri; and Dana Stewart, Arkansas.

“Partners in Advocacy is a great program by AFBF that helps attendees learn how to maximize the arts of storytelling, connecting with the public and with farming communities, and dive into how to develop effective policy,” said Laura Campbell, senior conservation and regulatory specialist for Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB). “It’s an important way for farmers aged 30 to 45 looking for their next opportunity during and after Young Farmer programs to increase their own success as well as that of the agriculture industry.”

Earl won MFB’s state-level Young Farmer Discussion Meet in 2015, competed for the national-level Excellence in Agriculture Award in 2017, and served alongside his wife Lyndsay (Stakenas) on AFBF’s national-level Young Farmer & Rancher Committee.

“Seth was a perfect candidate for this program, as a farmer, an NRCS Conservation District representative, and an active county Farm Bureau member,” Campbell added. “His intelligence and creative thinking were perfect for PAL’s learning modules and in-person hands-on training to build on his skills and set him up for success wherever his agricultural career goals take him.”

Eligible PAL candidates must be between the ages of 30 and 45, with demonstrated leadership skills. Learn more here.

"Over the past two years while being within the program, I have met some of the most dedicated farming professionals within the Farm Bureau organization," Earl said. "Their personal stories were moving, encouraging and the reason why agriculture is special. I look back fondly on my time with all members of the PAL Class 11 and realize how in awe I am of the commitment and dedication to the industry. They are a prime example what is right about agriculture. "