Ambitious Farm Bureau members looking to take their involvement game to the next level may consider contending for a seat on the Michigan Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
One of two at-large positions on the board will be up for grabs this fall with the recent announcement that its longtime occupant, Monroe County farmer Doug Darling, won’t seek reelection.
The other at-large positions are held by President Carl Bednarski (Tuscola) and Paul Pridgeon (Branch). Pridgeon is up for reelection as he finishes his first term on the board. As president, Bednarski will be up for re-election next year.
At-large candidates are encouraged to submit a written profile and candidacy video by Oct. 15 to help promote their candidacies to members. For more information and necessary links, click here.
This year’s state board election will also decide who represents Farm Bureau members in Michigan’s odd-numbered districts, currently occupied by the following:
- Dist. 1 — Brigette Leach (Kalamazoo)
- Dist. 3 — Mike Fusilier (Washtenaw)
- Dist. 5 — Stephanie Schafer (Clinton)
- Dist. 7 — Mike DeRuiter (Oceana)
- Dist. 9 — Ben LaCross (Northwest Michigan)
- Dist. 11 — Pat McGuire (Antrim)
Members looking to join the state board of directors are asked to express their candidacy in writing (email works) to MFB Secretary Andy Kok on or before the Nov. 1 Annual Meeting Kickoff.
The board election will take place at MFB’s 2023 Annual Meeting, Nov. 28-29 in Grand Rapids, where county Farm Bureau delegates will comprise the electorate. Contact your county Farm Bureau office if you’re interested in representing your county at the state annual meeting.
In 2020 MFB’s State Annual Meeting Rules Committee instituted a rule asking board candidates to provide a written statement describing how they meet the bylaw qualifications that they are “directly and actively engaged in farming as owners and/or operators of farms whose primary interest is in farming” — and are not employed full-time in an occupation other than farming, nor serving in a county, state or national elective office.
“That move was recommended by a statewide committee to help the delegates understand how each candidate meets the ‘full-time farmer’ eligibility requirement for service on the board of directors,” Kok explained.
Statements will be shared with state annual meeting delegates prior to elections taking place. Prospective candidates should contact Kok directly for the necessary form or more information.
Not up for reelection this year are the directors representing even-numbered districts:
- Dist. 2 — Jennifer Lewis (Hillsdale)
- Dist. 4 — Jeff Sandborn (Ionia)
- Dist. 6 — Travis Fahley (St. Clair)
- Dist. 8 — Michael Mulders (Bay)
- Dist. 10 — Leona Daniels (Arenac)
- Dist. 12 — David Bahrman (Hiawathaland)
Stay tuned for an upcoming feature on Director Darling and his time on the MFB Board.