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Top Story

Genesee County Farm Bureau

Spring is in the air and its time to start thinking about shopping your favorite local greenhouse and selecting plants for the upcoming growing season.  Genesee County Farm Bureau would like to help you make the most of the upcoming growing season and will once again be offering our members vouchers to be used at local, member owned greenhouses. 

New this year Farm Bureau will be hosting in-person pop up events at each participating greenhouse location where we will be handing out the vouchers.  The events will help visitors gain tips from plant experts who will be on hand to answer any plant related question you have for the upcoming growing season.  We also are planning planting demos that will showcase container gardening and help you select the perfect plants just right to grow in your environment.

Join us at one of the following locations during the listed times to receive your greenhouse vouchers and start your growing season with us!

Walker Farms and Greenhouses 5253 E. Atherton Rd. Burton       May 11, 3-6 PM

Hall’s Greenhouse 9268 Linden Rd. Swartz Creek                             May 13, 3-6 PM

Jenny B’s Flowers and Trees 9063 N. Clio Rd. Clio                             May 17, 3-6 PM

The Weed Lady 9225 Fenton Rd. Grand Blanc                                   May 19, 3-5 PM

Rich’s Greenhouse 5109 Linden Rd. Swartz Creek                            May 20, 3-6 PM

Knickerbocker Farms 2115 E. Stanley Rd. Mt. Morris                       May 24, 3-6 PM

Ketzler Florist 3188 W. Hill Rd., Flint                                                               May 26, 4-6 PM

If you can’t attend one of the pop-up events, we will be sorry to miss you but be sure to fill out the short survey here to receive your greenhouse vouchers in the mail.

We appreciate your continued membership and involvement with Genesee County Farm Bureau and wish you a successful and safe growing season!

*Limit four $5 vouchers per membership.  Greenhouse vouchers available to the members of Genesee County Farm Bureau. 
Greenhouse vouchers are redeemable thru June 7, 2021 at participating greenhouse locations.

Join Genesee County Farm Bureau at area greenhouse locations for pop up events which include plant experts on hand and planting demonstrations. Members of Genesee County Farm Bureau will receive $5 greenhouse vouchers to spend at listed locations.

County News

Genesee County Farm Bureau

Spring is in the air and its time to start thinking about shopping your favorite local greenhouse and selecting plants for the upcoming growing season.  Genesee County Farm Bureau would like to help you make the most of the upcoming growing season and will once again be offering our members vouchers to be used at local, member owned greenhouses. 

New this year Farm Bureau will be hosting in-person pop up events at each participating greenhouse location where we will be handing out the vouchers.  The events will help visitors gain tips from plant experts who will be on hand to answer any plant related question you have for the upcoming growing season.  We also are planning planting demos that will showcase container gardening and help you select the perfect plants just right to grow in your environment.

Join us at one of the following locations during the listed times to receive your greenhouse vouchers and start your growing season with us!

Walker Farms and Greenhouses 5253 E. Atherton Rd. Burton       May 11, 3-6 PM

Hall’s Greenhouse 9268 Linden Rd. Swartz Creek                             May 13, 3-6 PM

Jenny B’s Flowers and Trees 9063 N. Clio Rd. Clio                             May 17, 3-6 PM

The Weed Lady 9225 Fenton Rd. Grand Blanc                                   May 19, 3-5 PM

Rich’s Greenhouse 5109 Linden Rd. Swartz Creek                            May 20, 3-6 PM

Knickerbocker Farms 2115 E. Stanley Rd. Mt. Morris                       May 24, 3-6 PM

Ketzler Florist 3188 W. Hill Rd., Flint                                                               May 26, 4-6 PM

If you can’t attend one of the pop-up events, we will be sorry to miss you but be sure to fill out the short survey here to receive your greenhouse vouchers in the mail.

We appreciate your continued membership and involvement with Genesee County Farm Bureau and wish you a successful and safe growing season!

*Limit four $5 vouchers per membership.  Greenhouse vouchers available to the members of Genesee County Farm Bureau. 
Greenhouse vouchers are redeemable thru June 7, 2021 at participating greenhouse locations.

Join Genesee County Farm Bureau at area greenhouse locations for pop up events which include plant experts on hand and planting demonstrations. Members of Genesee County Farm Bureau will receive $5 greenhouse vouchers to spend at listed locations.

Annual Meeting Celebrates Local Farmers

Genesee County Farm Bureau celebrates it's centennial anniversary by showcasing area farmers


Genesee County Farm Bureau celebrated its 100-year anniversary at their 2019 Annual Meeting on September 25, 2019.

Highlights of the event included a video presentation of area farmers who were interviewed regarding agriculture in the Genesee County community through the years and the impact of the Farm Bureau organization.  Members were asked questions including what made them want to join Farm Bureau and what the future of agriculture looked like to them.

“I still think there is a great deal of promise in agriculture” said John Jelinek of Davison adding “I have a couple of grandsons who help on the farm now and I hope at least one of them carries it on in the future.”  John also explained that he joined Farm Bureau because of the legislative initiatives which have kept him a member throughout the years.

Members shared a variety of reasons for their involvement in Farm Bureau including youth leadership opportunities, policy development and the insurance products geared toward farms. "I first joined Farm Bureau almost 60 years ago because the insurance really looked out for farmers and was made specially for farms" said Henry Jennings of Swartz Creek adding "I have had really good care with Farm Bureau Insurance over the years".

The video showcased members sharing heartwarming and interesting details of the hardships they experienced during their lifetime on their family farms.   “I had a new baby, a farm and cows to take care of when my husband left for the war” shared Irma Barden of Mt. Morris when speaking about the hardest time she ever experienced when her husband Joe Barden left for Word War II.  “It was very, very hard”. 

The video project was filmed and produced by volunteer Sonja Lapak and proved to be a rewarding way to include older members who have become less involved over the years and capture their histories in a meaningful way.  “Thank you for making my Mom feel valued” said member Sandy Smith, daughter of Irma Barden. 

The annual meeting also included the presentation of the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award to Jeffrey Knickerbocker of Knickerbocker farms who was nominated by his peers for his lifetime of commitment and dedication to agriculture. 


Genesee County Farm Bureau celebrated its 100-year anniversary at their 2019 Annual Meeting on September 25, 2019.

2018 Genesee County Annual

Planning for the 2018 County Annual Meeting is in full swing!  Mark your calendars for the event to take place on Tuesday, September 18.  The event will return to a past favorite location,  the Flint Elks Lodge located at 7177 E. Maple Ave., Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439.  A reception will begin at 6:00 PM followed by a buffet dinner at 6:30. 

The evening will include an awards presentation and the Board of Directors election.

Invitations will go out sometime in August, if you have any questions please contact Jennifer at (810) 350-9513.

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Genesee County Annual Meeting! The event will take place Tuesday, September 18 at the Flint Elks Lodge.

State News


“Dale’s an example of a traditional county Farm Bureau board member: Their world is their county — they’re dedicated.”

This article has three simple goals:

  1. Honor the memory of an active Farm Bureau member — one specific man — whose years were recently cut tragically short.
  2. Honor the unsung style of member he was: the strictly local kind, content to do good work in their familiar, comfortable corner of a much larger universe.
  3. Encourage county Farm Bureaus to do more of #2.

The ‘larger universe’ here is the greater Farm Bureau organization, with its award plaques, stage walks and grip-n-grin photos, all in the name of recognizing the indispensable work of outstanding members and counties. In an organization reliant on the efforts of volunteers, recognizing those efforts is essential.

The ‘one specific man’ in this case never saw any of that, simply because he neither sought nor desired it. He is — was — Dale Frisque, who died Aug. 5 at the age of 59, the sole casualty of a fire at the cedar mill where he’d worked his whole adult life.

That mill is in the center of Menominee County, anchoring the south end of Carney, where Dale grew up, attended high school and was the third generation to work his family’s farm. He inherited Frisque Hilltop Farms in the wake of his father’s death, and completed its transition from dairy to beef, hay and oats.

“That was my grandparents’ farm — the farm my mother grew up on,” remembers longtime Menominee leader Pete Kleiman, a first cousin of Frisque’s.

“Dale never did get married; he stayed on the farm with his mother, raised hay, corn, oats to feed the beef… Some chickens, ducks… Sold round bales in the winter to horse people.

“Kind of an old-fashioned farm, really.”

Wasn't Like That

He joined Farm Bureau in 2001, launching an impressive track record of involvement in membership events, annual meetings and other activities central to the organization.

“I was the one who talked Dale into running for the county board in the first place,” Kleiman said. “We were looking for somebody from that area; it’s hard to find folks there.”

With a regular job in town and the farm only a couple miles away, Frisque was busy but always nearby and ready to help.

“He was kind of a homebody and involved in the community as best he could — the Lions and the church and sports clubs.”

And he brought that same sturdy reliability to the Menominee County Farm Bureau board, Kleiman recalls:

“He wasn’t a board member who… Y’know some people come onto a board with an agenda and ‘Once I get done what I want to get done, I’m gone.’

“Dale wasn’t like that. He showed up every month and he was willing to offer his opinion about how to proceed with something and if he didn’t think it was a good idea, he’d say so.

“He was just never going to be that person to serve on a state committee — that just wasn’t something he wanted to do. But when we did Breakfast on the Farm we could always count on him to be there on the weekend to help out.”

Plenty to Do 

The same held true at the mill, where Dale knew every facet of the operation and could always be counted on, even when it meant stepping away for a bit.

“At the mill when things slowed down and they needed somebody to take a week off, Dale was always willing to take a voluntary leave because he always had plenty to do back on the farm,” Kleiman said.

The mill was Peterson Brothers when he started there as a teenager, then Gilbert & Bennet, then Superior Cedar after a group of its own employees bought the place. Over the years it dealt in pulpwood and fence posts and bark mulch — mountains of mulch, feeding city folks’ garden beds by the semi load.

And in an instant, innocent sawdust turned into a lethal inferno.

Most Don't Know

News of Dale’s loss came promptly the next morning, Aug. 6, straight into the gut of MFB’s state staff convening online for an informal weekly meeting. The messenger was Craig Knudson, our seasoned Regional Manager in the Upper Peninsula.

“Most of you probably don’t know him,” he started, before announcing the loss in the succinct, economic way we do when those left behind are still wondering how and why.

That Frisque’s name was unfamiliar even to longtime MFB staffers came as no surprise to Knudson, who’d shepherded Dale’s involvement for almost two decades.

“Dale’s an example of a traditional county Farm Bureau board member: Their world is their county — they’re dedicated,” Knudson said, his voice growing bolder, more insistent.

“You won’t see them at State Annual Meeting, but they’re dedicated to the county Farm Bureau at the local level.

“That’s where Dale fit in.”

Moral of the Story

Our society rewards ambition and glorifies ladder-climbing heroes striving for greatness that skeptical observers may dismiss as out of reach. On the flip side of that, we can overlook those of more moderate aspirations: “Big fish in a small pond” is not a compliment.

The message for county Farm Bureaus is simple: Be sure to support your quiet journeymen, low-profile workhorses and behind-the-scenesters who get things done outside the limelight.

An industry that values humility can’t forget to honor the humble.

The ‘larger universe’ here is the greater Farm Bureau organization, with its award plaques, stage walks and grip-n-grin photos, all in the name of recognizing the indispensable work of outstanding members and counties. In an organization reliant on t

The Emmet County Farm Bureau’s member-appreciation event, a drive-through dinner hosted by the Petoskey Culver’s restaurant, earned it District 11’s Champion of Excellence honors in Grassroots Innovation. Pictured above are Emmet leaders Ben Blaho (left) and Bill McMaster

Michigan Farm Bureau recently announced the winners of this year’s Champions of Excellence Awards, acknowledging county Farm Bureaus’ efforts toward engaging their membership and their innovative means of doing so.

Altogether this year 37 county Farm Bureaus applied for a total of 45 Champions awards in two updated categories: Grassroots and Involvement, each going above and beyond creating innovative and effective member programming.

Counties were also evaluated on their involvement statistics throughout the recently concluded membership year.

Here are our 2021 Champions of Excellence winners, by district:

Grassroots

  • District 1: Cass County Farm Bureau
  • District 2: Jackson County Farm Bureau
  • District 3: Washtenaw County Farm Bureau
  • District 4: Ionia County Farm Bureau
  • District 5: Clinton County Farm Bureau
  • District 6: Lapeer County Farm Bureau
  • District 7: Mecosta County Farm Bureau
  • District 8: Isabella County Farm Bureau
  • District 9: Mason County Farm Bureau
  • District 10: Gladwin County Farm Bureau
  • District 11: Emmet County Farm Bureau
  • District 12: Iron Range Farm Bureau

Involvement

  • District 1: Berrien County Farm Bureau
  • District 2: Calhoun County Farm Bureau
  • District 3: Oakland County Farm Bureau
  • District 4: Kent County Farm Bureau
  • District 5: Shiawassee County Farm Bureau
  • District 6: Lapeer County Farm Bureau
  • District 7: Osceola County Farm Bureau
  • District 8: Saginaw County Farm Bureau
  • District 9: Mason County Farm Bureau
  • District 10: Huron Shores Farm Bureau
  • District 11: Cheboygan County Farm Bureau
  • District 12: Iron Range Farm Bureau

One state-level winner in each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced at MFB’s 2022 Council of Presidents’ Conference, Feb. 2-3 in Midland.

Congratulations to all of these outstanding county Farm Bureaus for their exemplary work throughout the 2020-21 membership year!

The ideas and events submitted through the Champions of Excellence Awards process will be shared with all county Farm Bureaus so everyone can strive toward the greatness our winners have achieved.

Michigan Farm Bureau recently announced the winners of this year’s Champions of Excellence Awards, acknowledging county Farm Bureaus’ efforts toward engaging their membership and their innovative means of doing so.

Beyond all the tour hosts and expert speakers, Growing Together attendees enjoy ample opportunity to learn from perhaps their most highly esteemed and trusted resources: each other.
 

Farm Bureau members from across the state will converge Feb. 18-20 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids next winter for MFB’s 2022 Growing Together Conference, where the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders Conference collide!

Open to regular members of all ages, Growing Together focuses on the common ground shared by Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Promotion & Education programs. Attendees will take home new ideas and resources to incorporate into their county programming — everything from reinvigorating youth programming and facilitation tips to human resource applications for your farm business and managing the ups & downs of rural life.

Keynote speaker Bruce Boguski will set the stage with a presentation about how to alter our belief systems and bolster confidence en route to success. Attendees will discover the advantages of a positive attitude and use that knowledge to change frustration and negativity into a ‘can-do’ environment.

Growing Together also offers members opportunities to network during tours, at receptions and during evening entertainment. This year, all Friday tours will converge at the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a private viewing and reception with heavy hors devours. Those looking to keep the evening going can participate in a virtual GooseChase scavenger hunt, completing challenges while enjoying downtown Grand Rapids, complete with prizes for the most points earned!

A pre-dinner reception on the second night will include a county leader reception where county Young Farmer and P&E chairs and co-chairs will be recognized for their leadership. Following that dinner will be an evening of casino fun, where the only required experience will be knowing how to have a fun, laid-back time with friends old and new!

In a new option, 2022 Growing Together attendees can choose between two Friday agendas: the Take Root Farm Succession and Estate Planning Seminar (at a discounted $50 rate) or the customary tour of regional agriculture sites.

Registration will be open Jan. 3-14. Contact your county Farm Bureau to reserve your spot and stay up-to-date at http://www.michfb.com/growingtogether

Farm Bureau members from across the state will converge Feb. 18-20 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids next winter for MFB’s 2022 Growing Together Conference, where the Voice of Agriculture and Young Farmer Leaders Conference collide!

Coming Events

DateEvents
February2022
Wednesday
2
2022 Council of Presidents Conference
111 W Main St
Midland, MI
This is the annual conference for county Farm Bureau presidents.  The conference provides and opportunity to: * Meet peers from across the state * Help guide new county presidents as they take on their new role * Learn current state and national organization issues and develop leadership skills