Osceola County Farm Bureau starts new year

Members of the Osceola County Farm Bureau gathered at the 2015 county annual meeting on Sept. 28th at the Evart Free Methodist Church in Evart to take action on issues important to Osceola County farmers.

Laura Campbell, Ag Ecology Department of Michigan Farm Bureau manager, was the speaker. She talked to the members about the new EPA rules and how they affect Michigan agriculture.

The Osceola County Farm Bureau also recognized six farmers whose farms are Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program verified and presented them with jack knives. Farmers present were: Tom Bluhm, Pat Kailing, Dan Lee, Andy Salinas, Art Schmidt and Jerry Stein.

MAEAP helps farmers implement sound agricultural practices that reduce the risk of legal and environmental issues. Pat Kailing chairman of the Policy Development Committee and his members: L.D. Hesselink, Jerry Lindquist and Ben Eisenga presented resolutions dealing with many issues facing farmers, including alternative fuels, water use, farm equipment on roads, country of origin labeling, pesticide regulations and roads, to name a few.

Resolutions passed will be forwarded to the Michigan Farm Bureau policy development committee, which will select those to be considered at the MFB State Annual Meeting from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3. Jess Erler and Rick Johnson were elected delegates to the state annual meeting.

In addition to setting its own policy agenda for the coming year, the Osceola County Farm Bureau’s 2015 Annual Meeting was a chance to recognize eight members who have belonged to the organization for 45 to 48 years. Emil Badovinac of Marion was present to receive a certificate for 46 years of membership, and Robert Morlock of Reed City received a certificate for 47 years.

Those not present were included Sarah Parsons - 48 years; Gaylord Denslow - 47 years; Gene Wekeman and Aloha Hodges - 46 years; Judith Grandy and Robert Lee - 45 years.

"We appreciate their dedicated service to local agriculture," said Jess Erler, president of the Osceola County Farm Bureau.

Andy Hagenow, Vice President of Michigan Farm Bureau, spoke about the importance of belonging to Michigan Farm Bureau and what the organization has accomplished this past year. He presented a Key Club award to Dan Lee, local Farm Bureau Insurance agent, for signing up five or more regular members for the sixth consecutive year.

Three local farmers were elected to the board of directors: District 2 – Andy Salinas; District 4 – Janet Schmidt and Directors-at-large – Rick Johnson.

President Erler announced that Cole Gingrich of LeRoy and Bridgett Moore of Sears were each recipients of $500 college scholarships. Several young farmers attended the annual meeting to take advantage of a free meal for them and a guest. The Osceola County Farm Bureau Board of Directors is trying to encourage more young farmers to become actively involved in the organization.

The Osceola County Farm Bureau Board of Directors meet at 7:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Osceola County Road Commission Office, located on U.S. 10.