Assuming leadership of MFB’s state-level Promotion & Education program is Osceola County’s Jess Erler. A fourth-generation farmer alongside his parents and brother, Erler helps run a 100-head cow-calf beef operation — MAEAP-verified — near Reed City, including 600 acres of hay, oats and pasture ground.
He and his wife Chelsea also operate Cowboy Logic, a horse-training business and riding clinic.
“Not all the horses in our program get used in the cattle side of our business, but we do use horses to gather and work cows,” Erler said.
His Farm Bureau resume is extensive, including six years as Osceola County Farm Bureau president, three years as county Policy Development chair. Erler gained further experience through MFB’s ProFILE advanced leadership development program, and joined the state P&E committee in 2019.
“I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had through Farm Bureau,” Erler said. “I’m humbled and honored to be able serve as chair of the state Promotion & Education committee, and represent it on MFB’s Board of Directors.”
Erler succeeds outgoing P&E Chair Nancy Thelen of Washtenaw County. As a co-creator of Project RED in the early 1990s, Thelen played a central role in evolving the Promotion & Education itself, a progressive rethinking of Farm Bureau’s longstanding Women’s Program.
Thelen’s leadership will be celebrated at next January’s Voice of Agriculture Conference, alongside another outgoing P&E leader, Van Buren County’s Julie Stephenson. Herself a former state P&E chair, Stephenson has been nominated to serve on American Farm Bureau Federation’s national-level P&E committee; her status will be known in December.
Yet another former state-level P&E leader, Stacey Lauwers of St. Clair County, will term off the national P&E committee in March 2023.
Joining the state P&E committee in early 2023 will be Calhoun County’s Andrea Boughton and Breann Bonga of Montcalm County.