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Joe & Katelyn start their national YF&R term

Joe and Katelyn Packard at the New Committee Orientation in Washington D.C.
Date Posted: April 13, 2023

Greetings, Farm Bureau members of Michigan!

We are Joe and Katelyn Packard, your newly appointed members serving on the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, where we’re excited to begin our two-year term!

Farming about 15 miles outside Ann Arbor, we help manage Katelyn’s family’s sixth-generation centennial dairy, Horning Farms. We milk 400 cows and grow the majority of our feed on around 1,000 acres. Joe also works off the farm as a membership representative and milking systems specialist for Michigan Milk Producers Association.

Comprised of 16 total appointments, AFBF’s Young Farmers and Ranchers committee aids state-level Young Farmer programs, connecting them to ideas and resources available through AFBF. Additionally, the committee is responsible for coordinating the Young Farmer Awards and Discussion Meet at Annual Convention, designing and running the YF&R conference, and executing the monthly YF&R CONNECT calls. 

In late March we traveled to AFBF headquarters in Washington D.C. for a new committee-member orientation. This onboarding session for the eight new appointments involved three days of team building, media training, leadership development, public speaking and sub-committee assignments. 

Joe was assigned to the annual convention subcommittee, which runs all of the Young Farmer Award and Discussion Meet programming at that conference. 

Katelyn was assigned to the leadership subcommittee, which handles all the planning and execution for the YF&R Conference and the Young Farmer portion of the FUSION conference. We were also assigned states to serve as mentors for their state Young Farmer programs; our assignments are Indiana, Maine and Michigan.

Our goal for our time on the YF&R Committee is to continue to connect the American Farm Bureau with Michigan Farm Bureau through communication and programming. We are humbled, yet so excited to take advantage of this opportunity to serve our Farm Bureau family, and we look forward to sharing our experiences with you all over the next two years!

Tonia Ritter headshot

Tonia Ritter

Education and Leadership Programs Manager
[email protected]