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Get Involved

A smiling family stands in front of their beef cattle at a feeder bunk.

Welcome to Branch County

Savings and discounts are just one way we can say “thank you” for being an important part of Michigan Farm Bureau. But Michigan Farm Bureau membership is about more than discounts. It’s about showing support for Michigan’s critical agriculture industry and ensuring that Michigan’s farmers can continue to feed our families and theirs. Your Farm Bureau membership helps make a difference for those who put food on our tables.

Get Involved

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Volunteer Opportunities

Find opportunities, big and small, to help serve agriculture in your community.

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Promotion and Education

Promote your industry to non-farm audiences from schoolchildren to seniors and everyone in between.

Young Farmers

Explore an array of programs designed to give young farmers the tools that lead to lasting success.

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Contact Us

Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 12:00pm

Committees and Teams

Purpose

The candidate evaluation committee (CEC) evaluates the state and national candidates who, if elected or re-elected to public office, represent all or a portion of their county. Following their evaluation, the committee decides which candidate to recommend for an AgriPac endorsement for a specific public office.

Suggested Structure

Committee members should be regular members appointed by the county Farm Bureau board of directors. 

Tips for Success

  • Evaluate candidates in a non-partisan manner to determine which candidates will best represent agriculture. 
  • Interview candidates face-to-face. 
  • Provide the AgriPac Committee with details on why your committee is making certain recommendations. 
  • Use all the tools available (CEC Planning Guide, interviews, vote records, AgriPac questionnaire, etc.) to make informed recommendations. 
  • Meet the established deadlines.
  • Attend the training session. 

Activities

  • Attend the training session. 
  • Schedule interview meetings with candidates. 
  • Review vote records, AgriPac questionnaire, etc. 
  • Participate in activities to help get AgriPac-endorsed candidates elected.

Purpose

The membership committee is charged with the planning and conducting of the annual county membership campaign. The membership campaign should ensure continued membership growth by retaining previous years’ members and acquiring new members for the current year. The committee’s success relies on the involvement of the board in the retention and involvement of members, including current, uninvolved, and prospective members.

Suggested Structure

The county president, in conjunction with the membership captain, should appoint the membership committee with final approval by the board of directors. Geographic location, age, commodity interest, and skill set should be considered when assembling this committee to guarantee the county’s membership is well-represented.

Most membership committees have four to eight members and serve for a term of one year. Membership committee members should be selected as early as possible in order to allow committee members to fulfill their responsibilities, which may include attending training in mid- to late-fall.

Tips for Success

  • A membership captain who is on the board can be beneficial to help with retention and involvement efforts at board meetings.
  • Fill out the membership retention plan with the board, then regularly work it throughout the year with the committee, board, and CAM.
  • Ask committee and board members to personally invite members to your membership event.
  • Have your CAM pull monthly reports from iMIS to show you new members, inactive members, etc.

Activities

  • Membership appreciation picnic
  • Ice cream social
  • Barn dance
  • Transportation meeting
  • Safety seminar
  • Estate planning seminar
  • Chili cook-off

Purpose

The role of the nomination task force is to provide a fair process that provides an opportunity for any interested and qualified farmers to serve on the board of directors. Its purpose is to solicit, screen, interview, evaluate, and present a slate of qualified candidates for election. 

Suggested Structure

A board member (preferably the vice president) should serve as the task force chair. Other task force members can include non-board members and even non-members, if the board determines it appropriate. The task force should consist of three to five people, including the chair. The task force should begin their work no later than 60 days prior to the annual meeting. Lastly, task force members should be people who know what the board needs, know lots of people, are willing to do the work, and aren’t afraid to ask people to volunteer.

Tips for Success

  • Utilize the county board member recruitment toolkit resources (can be accessed through your CAM or regional manager) to assist your county Farm Bureau with identifying and recruiting future county Farm Bureau board members.
  • Have a clear understanding of the election requirements and bylaws.
  • Target outstanding farmers to be candidates for election.
  • Identify potential candidates at a board meeting.
  • Task force members should be outgoing and willing to ask candidates face-to-face.
  • Be prepared to explain the role of a board member.
  • ASK! Seal the deal and follow up as needed.

Leadership Succession Planning

Having a succession plan on the farm or in any ag business is essential to longevity. The same goes for the county Farm Bureau. It’s important to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current leadership, and to have a clear vision for the future. By being prepared to transition leadership in the next direction, a county Farm Bureau sets a plan in place for who will move into open executive positions. A great place to discuss this is during county goal setting or nomination task force meetings.

Activities

  • Have a conference call with the committee to establish election needs.
  • Contact farmers in the community about serving on the board.
  • Give a report to the board.
  • Give a report at your county annual meeting.

Purpose

The public policy committee is responsible for developing relationships with elected officials.

Public policy committees are not intended to be policy issue experts; their task is to establish and enhance the county Farm Bureau’s relationship with local, state and national elected officials.

Suggested Structure

County public policy committees consist of two to three individuals focused on developing relationships with elected officials. Members are selected for their qualifications and respect within their community, and for their willingness to support their Farm Bureau policy. The committee should represent the different areas of the county and its demographics, as well as the major commodities produced.

Tips for Success

  • Identify people who have an interest in policy and politics.
  • Focus on building relationships with local, state and federal elected officials. It is easier to have a discussion when challenges arise if a strong relationship has already been established.
  • Identify emerging township and county issues for member engagement.

Activities

  • Meet with county board of commissioners, road commission, sheriff and drain commissioner at least annually.
  • Host a legislative breakfast(s) for members to discuss issues with local, state and federal officials.
  • Host a farm tour to create first-hand awareness for local officials. Don’t tell them; show them. 
  • Attend coffee hours of elected officials or township/county board meetings to stay current on local events.
  • Attend and/or assist in identifying members to attend Lansing Legislative Seminar and Washington Legislative Seminar. 
  • Host a dinner on the farm event with your member of Congress.

Purpose

The farmer member-controlled grassroots policy development process is a point of pride for our organization. Our policies are developed through individual member participation, including the study, debate and development of policy recommendations at the local, state, and national level. This bottom-up grassroots process results in positions that have been well-vetted, are clear, reasonable, and responsible.

Central and pivotal to the success of this process is an active and engaged local policy development (PD) committee.

These committees have the responsibility to surface and study local, state or national issues, and then draft a slate of well-considered policy recommendations for consideration by members at the county annual meeting.

Suggested Structure

Your local policy development committee should include several members who are representative of the different areas of the county, the major commodities grown, and the demographics of their agricultural community.

Tips for Success

  • The county board of directors is encouraged to surface hot topic issues at each of their board meetings throughout the year and then provide that list to the policy development committee chair to help them get the process started.
  • Hold informational meetings on an issue(s) important to local farmers.
  • Survey members in your county for policy development issues.
  • Engage Young Farmer members with a policy development workshop geared towards them.

Activities

  • Draft a committee policy development plan to present to the board.
  • Attend and participate in Farm Bureau meetings. 
    • Examples include regional or district probable issues/policy development meetings.
  • Review current policy and policy suggestions from other Farm Bureau committees/groups. 
  • Participate in committee meetings to discuss issues and craft resolutions.
  • Attend and present resolutions to members at your county Farm Bureau annual meeting.
  • Attend the MFB Annual Meeting delegate session.

Purpose

The mission of the Michigan Farm Bureau Promotion & Education (P&E) committee is to the be the voice for agriculture while educating consumers about our industry. 

The P&E committee’s vision is for its volunteers to be the best equipped to speak and advocate on behalf of agriculture in Michigan. 

Suggested Structure

The committee should be appointed by the county president with board approval. A chairperson should be named, according to county bylaws. Committee members should lead at least one project for the committee, or work with other members as project leaders. Project leaders should recruit ad-hoc project team members who work together to accomplish the goals of the committee. Appointees to the P&E committee should be interested in promoting agriculture and Farm Bureau through educational programs. They should enjoy working with a variety of people and be willing to assist in the organization of events. 

Tips for Success

  • Develop programming for the P&E committee that fits the needs of your county Farm Bureau. Submit this program of work to the county board for approval.
  • Keep the county Farm Bureau board of directors abreast of P&E activities and involve the board in those activities.
  • Review the P&E committee handbook or other project guidebooks to help direct event planning.
  • Utilize our online resources such as the P&E store, website, and social media pages.
  • Connect with your state P&E committee member(s) and your regional manager to engage with others in the district.

Activities

  • Project RED
  • Ag Awareness Days
  • Agriculture in the Classroom outreach with schools
  • Volunteering with the FARM Science Lab
  • Consumer outreach at fairs, festivals, farmers markets, grocery stores, etc.
  • Agricultural safety events
  • Voice of Agriculture Conference
  • Consumer engagement through social media and traditional media

Purpose

The Young Farmer (YF) committee is charged with providing opportunities for leadership development and involvement for farmer members aged 18-35. The committee should provide programs and events that actively engage young farmers in the county Farm Bureau and the organization at large. The YF committee is an integral part of the entire Farm Bureau program.

Suggested Structure

It is recommended that the county Farm Bureau president annually appoint a county Young Farmer (YF) committee comprised of three to ten young adults with approval of the board. A chairperson should be elected by the YF committee, according to county bylaws. It is recommended that the county committee chair serve on the county Farm Bureau board in a voting capacity, according to county bylaws.

Tips for Success

  • Develop a plan of work for the Young Farmers in the county and submit it to the board of directors for their approval.
  • Establish a relationship with local Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters, 4-H Clubs and FFA chapters and support their activities.
  • Participate in and promote district and statewide Young Farmer activities.
  • Attend a planning meeting with your state Young Farmer committee member(s) and regional manager to collaborate and build relationships with your fellow Young Farmers.
  • Chairs should attend monthly board meetings and report on Young Farmer activities.
  • County boards should offer assistance and support to Young Farmers as they plan and execute activities.
  • Take full advantage of Young Farmer Leader Conference core program spots and seek ways to engage county attendees following the event.

Activities

  • Involve Young Farmers in the activities of the organization: policy development, membership, legislative initiatives, commodity advisory committees, Promotion & Education, etc.
  • Districtwide engagement events that couple activities of the organization with a social/networking aspect. These are coordinated by state Young Farmer committee members and county YF chairs.
  • Young Farmer Leaders Conference: February
  • District Young Farmer Discussion Meets: March–June
  • Young Farmer Awards: February–March
  • MFB State Annual Meeting: November–December
  • Brian Acmoody

    Board Position: Membership Captain

  • Brian Pridgeon

    Board Position: Vice President

  • Derrick Bracy

    Board Position: Member

  • Doug Bloom

    Board Position: Member

  • Eric Bronson

    Board Position: Member

  • Jacob Bildner

    Board Position: Young Farmer Chair

  • Jeremy Brenner

    Board Position: Member

  • Jesse Albright

    Board Position: Member

  • Lee Swift

    Board Position: Member

  • Luke Lindsey

    Board Position: President

  • Mike Hard

    Board Position: Third Member

  • Emily Smith

    Board Position: Promotion & Education Chair