Michigan Farm Bureau Centennial | Celebration 100 Years of Michigan Farm Bureau
Michigan Farm Bureau centennial site celebrating 100 years of Michigan Farm Bureau.
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SCROLL THROUGH MFB HISTORY
  • Pres. Wilson Creates Extension Service

    Pres. Wilson Creates Extension Service

    In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Lever Act creating the Extension service to provide a field force of local agricultural “agents” from land-grant universities through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Before a county agent could be approved, however, counties had to be organized into “farmers bureaus” that would serve as support groups to help direct local Extension projects. Michigan farmer Clark Brody led the effort to set up the first county Farm Bureau in St. Joseph County due to an outbreak of hog cholera, a virus also known as “swine fever.”

  • Michigan Farm Bureau Formed on Feb. 4, 1919

    Michigan Farm Bureau Formed on Feb. 4, 1919

    Missouri was the first state to organize a state federation of county Farm Bureaus in 1915, followed by Massachusetts and Vermont in that same year. Michigan followed suit on Feb. 4, 1919, when county Extension agents and farmers from 57 county Farm Bureaus met at Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) and formed the Michigan State Farm Bureau. Berrien County farmer Roland Morrill was elected the first president.

  • First MFB Mission Statement Established

    First MFB Mission Statement Established

    On March 6, 1919, the Michigan State Farm Bureau Executive Committee defined the organization’s mission as follows. “Its purposes are to unite under a definite head of all other farm organizations. The Farm Bureau should not be considered just another farmers’ organization added to the list but as THE ONE which may assist all others to better accomplish their purposes.”

  • MFB’s First Home Office

    MFB’s First Home Office

    MFB establishes its first home office at 221 N. Cedar Street, Lansing (due west of the Lansing Lugnuts’ left outfield inside Cooley Law School Stadium today.)

  • Wool Pool

    Wool Pool

    Among the Michigan State Farm Bureau’s earliest ventures was the Wool Pool, a cooperative service meant to garner better prices for the commodity, the value of which plummeted when the U.S. government dumped its surplus wool on the market after World War I. Early membership solicitors enticed hundreds of new members by promising higher prices for the devalued raw product—prices that wouldn’t rebound for many years. It was a shaky start for the young Farm Bureau, which learned a tough lesson in promising more than it could deliver.

  • Michigan Elevator Exchange

    Michigan Elevator Exchange

    Michigan Elevator Exchange organized as a separate cooperative, which in time would become the state’s largest handler of grain and beans.

  • Clark L. Brody

    Clark L. Brody

    Longtime county agent Clark Brody appointed secretary of Michigan State Farm Bureau, succeeding Charles A. Bingham in the key role as the young organization’s sole salaried officer and manager.

  • Farm Bureau News

    Farm Bureau News

    Staffer Einar Ungren establishes Farm Bureau News to keep members informed about agricultural news and the organization’s activities.

  • First Major Victory

    First Major Victory

    After a protracted battle with Gov. Alexander J. Groesbeck, a Farm Bureau carded its first major legislative victory with the implementation of a two-cent gas tax to fund road construction.

  • Seed & Supply Services

    Seed & Supply Services

    Previously separate seed and feed departments merged into combined Seed Service and Supply Service.

  • State Farm Mutual

    State Farm Mutual

    MFB contracts with State Farm Mutual to provide members with much needed auto insurance—and the organization with much needed operating income.

  • Farm Bureau Services, Inc. is launched

    Farm Bureau Services, Inc. is launched

    Seed Service and Supply Service becomes Farm Bureau Services, Inc., Michigan State Farm Bureau’s first affiliate company—and its largest until, decades later, it was eventually eclipsed by the prosperous Farm Bureau Insurance.

  • Farm Bureau Milling Company

    Farm Bureau Milling Company

    Farm Bureau Milling Company established to mix our own feeds in cooperation with the Ohio, West Virginia and Indiana Farm Bureaus. The new subsidiary provided members with quality, custom feeds at a third or even half the cost of private mills.

  • Junior Farm Bureau

    Junior Farm Bureau

    Under the direction of Charlotte vocational ag teacher Ben Hennink, MFB launches the Junior Farm Bureau for members ages 19 to 26 year —too old for 4-H and vocational work, but likely to soon be farming on their own. The program would prosper and evolve over time into today’s Young Farmer program.

  • Midwest Producers’ Creameries

    Midwest Producers’ Creameries

    Profitable even in the early years of the Great Depression, 11 Michigan cooperative creameries merge with those of the Indiana Farm Bureau, forming the Midwest Producers’ Creameries, headquartered in South Bend.

  • Community Farm Bureau

    Community Farm Bureau

    The Community Farm Bureau program (later known as Community Groups, then Community Action Groups) was begun to bring the organization closer to its members. Made of local neighbors, Community Farm Bureaus provided members a comfortable, nearby setting in which to discuss Farm Bureau affairs and agricultural issues. They also gave the organization a structure through which to exchange information with its grass roots.

  • Farm Bureau Fruit Products Company

    Farm Bureau Fruit Products Company

    To help minimize unfair treatment of fruit growers in a chaotic marketplace, Farm Bureau Fruit Products Company formed to manage Bay Cooperative Canneries (Essexville), Oceana Fruit Growers Inc (Hart) and Fruit Cooperatives Canning Company (Coloma). The move helped raise prices for growers, but the fruit market’s volatility won out in the end, and the company was liquidated in 1949, at a $200,000 loss.

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

    Blue Cross Blue Shield

    MFB joins forces with the Michigan Hospital Association and Blue Cross (now Blue Cross Blue Shield) to provide members with affordable  health care coverage.

  • Name Changes From Michigan State Farm Bureau to Michigan Farm Bureau

    Name Changes From Michigan State Farm Bureau to Michigan Farm Bureau

    In 1944, the board of directors dropped the word “State” from its name and became the Michigan Farm Bureau.

  • Farm Bureau Women’s Committee

    Farm Bureau Women’s Committee

    The Farm Bureau Women’s Committee formed, expanding opportunities well beyond the scope of the original Home and Community Department, begun in 1923. Farm Bureau Women saw rapid growth and exceptional activity, championing causes such as health care, safety and rural-urban relations.

  • Michigan Association of Farmers Cooperatives

    Michigan Association of Farmers Cooperatives

    Michigan Association of Farmers Cooperatives founded, bringing together 154 local and regional co-ops under one Bureau department. The association helped farmers economically through the organization of co-ops to market farm products or buy farm supplies—and to help established co‑ops in business, education and public relations.

  • Farmers Petroleum Co-Op

    Farmers Petroleum Co-Op

    Farmers Petroleum Cooperative formed to distribute oil and petroleum products to 200 local cooperatives. Two years later the aggressive young affiliate expanded into production, buying oil wells in Roscommon and Gladwin counties.

  • FB Mutual Insurance

    FB Mutual Insurance

    Originally formed to satisfy members’ need for affordable insurance,Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance sold 10,000 auto policies in the first 10 months of its existence. It would soon carry additional lines covering farm liability, fire and windstorm damage.

  • Yellow Oleo

    Yellow Oleo

    With allied organizations in the Dairy Action League, MFB joins the fight against the “invasion” of yellow oleo, the oil-based butter substitute threatening the state’s dairy sector.

  • Farm Bureau Life Insurance

    Farm Bureau Life Insurance

    Farm Bureau Life Insurance formed, writing more than $20 million in charter life insurance policies in its first year.

  • Fertilizer Plant in Kalamazoo

    Fertilizer Plant in Kalamazoo

    Farm Bureau Services begins construction of a new 40,000-ton-capacity fertilizer plant in Kalamazoo.

  • Direct Distribution

    Direct Distribution

    Farmers Petroleum Cooperative launches direct distribution of fuels, oils and other products directly to member farms not served by existing co-ops. By the end of the decade, the direct distribution program was servicing members in 43 counties. Production had also increased, 300 wells pumping more than 3,000 barrels of oil daily.

  • MFB Relocates

    MFB Relocates

    MFB moves into its new home office at 4000 N. Grand River Ave. (then US-16) near the Lansing airport, for the first time in 36 years bringing all the Farm Bureau companies together under one roof.

  • Farm Bureau Young People

    Farm Bureau Young People

    Junior Farm Bureau changes its name to Farm Bureau Young People, reflecting the desire of young leaders to integrate their activities more closely with the parent organization. Increased emphasis was placed on leadership training and on forming Community Groups, with discussions and activities oriented to the problems of young farmers.

  • In the Service of the Farmer

    In the Service of the Farmer

    MFB’s central axis since hiring in as secretary in 1921, Clark L. Brody retires and publishes In the Service of the Farmer: My Life in the Michigan Farm Bureau, a comprehensive narrative documenting the origin, development, setbacks and successes of the organization’s first four decades.

  • Washington Legislative Seminar

    Washington Legislative Seminar

    Farm Bureau Women organize MFB’s first Washington Legislative Seminar, originally a sightseeing junket for the women while their husbands visited with lawmakers. The Women pushed for more emphasis on policy discussions, enlisting MFB’s Public Affairs Division to take a more active role setting the agenda and recruiting more issue savvy county members to take part and lobby federal legislators directly.

  • Con-Con

    Con-Con

    After initially opposing the idea, MFB appoints __ members to serve among the 144 delegates to Michigan’s Constitutional Convention: MFB Lobbyist Stanley Powell, Regional Representative J. Burton Richards, District Director Allen Rush and former director Blaque Knirk. Farm Bureau, in fact, had a larger representation in play at the “Con-Con” than any other occupational group.

  • Farmowners’ Policy

    Farmowners’ Policy

    Farm Bureau Insurance debuts its innovative new farmowners’ policy to cover the full breadth of a farm operation’s insurance needs in one package. The revolutionary innovation was a winner from the start, with thousands of policies sold in its first year.

  • MACMA

    MACMA

    Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association (MACMA) formed aimed to benefit fruit growers by helping negotiate price contracts with buyers and processors. The original trio of MACMA commodities—apples, pickling cucumbers and asparagus—would eventually grow to include red tart cherries, feeder pigs, grapes, processing vegetables and “multi-fruit” (peaches, pears and plums).

  • MEE joined FBS

    MEE joined FBS

    Michigan Elevator Exchange became a division of Farm Bureau Services, Inc. Originally an independent cooperative predating Michigan Farm Bureau’s foundation, MEE was a fundamental building block of the organization since its inception. By the 1960s it’d blossomed into the state’s largest handler of grain and beans.

  • Community Service Insurance Company

    Community Service Insurance Company

    Farm Bureau Mutual forms Community Service Insurance Company to sell auto insurance to non-members.

  • Saginaw River Bean & Grain

    Saginaw River Bean & Grain

    Construction begins on the banks of the Saginaw River in Zilwaukee on Farm Bureau Services’ massive new bean and grain terminal. With a daily 100-ton capacity, the adjoining feed mill meant no Farm Bureau feed dealer would be more than 75 miles from service, eliminating the need to deal with mills in Chicago and Indiana. And its situation on the hard-working Saginaw River meant direct access to international markets by water via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

  • Discussion Meets

    Discussion Meets

    Deeply rooted in Junior Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Young People programming, annual “Talk Meets” are renamed Discussion Meets, retaining their emphasis on refining participants’ skills in public speaking and civil discourse. Other Young People events of the era include Talent Finds, Miss Michigan Farm Bureau pageant, and Outstanding Boy and Girl in Farm Bureau competition.

  • YP Citizenship Seminar

    YP Citizenship Seminar

    Camp Kett, near Tustin in Osceola County, hosts the first Young People’s Citizenship Seminar, a summertime retreat for high school juniors and seniors focused on constitutional government, moral values, free market dynamics and other fundamental civics lessons. Participation grew to more than 200 students annually by the end of the decade.

  • Palm Sunday tornadoes

    Palm Sunday tornadoes

    A catastrophic rash of Palm Sunday tornadoes rips across Michigan, leaving widespread devastation, including $50 million in property damage and almost 50 deaths. Farm Bureau Insurance adjusters work around the clock, settling more than $1 million in claims, many on the spot—a ready response strengthened Farm Bureau Insurance’s position across rural Michigan.

  • MI Agricultural Services Association

    MI Agricultural Services Association

    Organization of Michigan Agricultural Services Association, a farm labor recruitment and placement service for providing a consistent, dependable supply of workers for production, harvesting, processing and transportation of farm commodities.

  • Farm Bureau Young Farmers

    Farm Bureau Young Farmers

    Farm Bureau Young People “went professional” by renaming itself Farm Bureau Young Farmers, seeking to become a more integral part of the larger organization and focus more than ever on leadership development.

  • Claudine Jackson

    Claudine Jackson

    Claudine Jackson of Livingston County appointed chair of the Michigan Farm Bureau Policy Development Committee, the first time a woman had been selected for that important post.

  • Battle Creek Feed Plant

    Battle Creek Feed Plant

    Farm Bureau Services celebrates the opening of its new $1.4 million Battle Creek feed plant, but soon mourns the lives of three employees killed in an explosion and fire at its older sister plant in Zilwaukee.

  • Agricultural Environmental Committee

    Agricultural Environmental Committee

    At the start of a decade that would see an exponential increase in attention paid to agricultural chemical use and a host of other environmental concerns, MFB delegates adopted policy challenging farmers to crack down on potential on-farm pollution sources. Further illustrating its commitment to environmental stewardship, MFB convened an Agricultural Environmental Committee with several commodity group representatives to address agricultural pollution issues, working with the governor’s office, the Water Resources Commission, Air Pollution Control Commission, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan State University.

  • State Annual Meeting Relocates

    State Annual Meeting Relocates

    Outgrowing its home of 50 years on the campus of Michigan State University, MFB relocates its annual meeting, uniting under one roof at the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium (now DeVos Place Convention Center).

  • MFB’s Third Home

    MFB’s Third Home

    The Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies moves into its third home office at 7373 W. Saginaw Highway in Delta Township, on the northwest side of Lansing.

  • PA 344

    PA 344

    Signifying a dramatic evolution of organizational philosophy over the 20 years prior, MFB drafts and pushes the Agriculture Marketing and Bargaining Act (PA 344), establishing accreditation for marketing associations like MACMA, allowing them to expand and diversify their services.

  • PA 116

    PA 116

    Deeply involved in its design and execution, Farm Bureau members statewide celebrate the adoption of Michigan’s Farmland and Open Space Preservation Act (PA 116). The Preservation Program was designed to preserve farmland and open space through agreements that restrict development and provide tax incentives for participation. More than 3.3 million acres are enrolled in the program. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $37.6 million annually)

  • Michigan Farm Bureau Queen

    Michigan Farm Bureau Queen

    Shiawassee County dairy farmer Bunny Semans is crowned as the last Michigan Farm Bureau Queen. The Queen pageant is succeeded by the Outstanding Young Farm Woman title. Through the height of the PBB controversy, Semans proved an effective ambassador in the public arena, reassuring worried consumers of the safety of their food supply.

  • AgriPac

    AgriPac

    Michigan Farm Bureau launches its political action committee, AgriPac, to support farm-friendly candidates endorsed as “Friends of Agriculture.”

  • Gasohol

    Gasohol

    The Farmers Petroleum Cooperative station in Breckenridge launches a new era of renewable fuel sales with Michigan’s first gasohol pump. Dubbed “Agrihol” for the corn growers eager to embrace the new grain marketing opportunity, the 9:1 blend of gasoline and ethanol was soon available at FPC stations statewide.

  • Ag Understanding Day

    Ag Understanding Day

    Farm Bureau Women are commended by Gov. William Milliken for spearheading Ag Understanding Day, April 30, with a statewide slate of rural-urban meetings, media blitzing, classroom activities, farm tours, mall displays and community outreach.

  • Women Shine

    Women Shine

    Women shine at MFB’s 1980 annual meeting: Janice Sanford of Jackson County became the first female Young Farmer representative on the board of directors. Marsha Brook of Clinton County became the first woman to win the Young Farmer Discussion Meet. And Margaret Kartes of Ogemaw County became the first woman elected to a district director position on the MFB Board.

  • Right to Farm Act

    Right to Farm Act

    Signed into law by Gov. Milliken on July 11, Michigan’s Right to Farm Act. The Right to Farm Act was designed to help protect farmers and their farms from nuisance lawsuits. At the time of its adoption, residents new to the rural environment found themselves downwind from pre-existing farms. Odor complaints, noise complaints and ecological concerns led to lawsuits, forcing many farmers into expensive and stressful litigation. The law protects farms that meet Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs) from nuisance lawsuits. It also allows farms to expand without derailment by outside parties, provided the additions to the operation also meet the GAAMPs standards (Value to Michigan Farmers: $77.2 million annually)

  • FBS Files for bankruptcy

    FBS Files for bankruptcy

    Mortally burdened with legal encumbrances stemming from the PBB crisis of the previous decade, Farm Bureau Services files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in Bay City.

  • Project AIM

    Project AIM

    The depressed economy of the early 1980s creates unprecedented pressure on food banks, shelters and soup kitchens to feed Michigan’s “new poor.” Project AIM (Agriculture Involved in Michigan) collects and distributes 10 tons of food to charitable feeding entities across the state.

  • Agra Land

    Agra Land

    With support from Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes, Farm Bureau Insurance Group and Farm Bureau Services member co-ops, a new regional co-op—Agra Land—emerges from the ashes of Farm Bureau Services.

  • Countrymark, Inc.

    Countrymark, Inc.

    Agra Land’s assets—including the Zilwaukee and Ottawa Lake grain terminals, Saginaw supply warehouse, Battle Creek feed plant and 14 retail farm centers—were acquired by Countrymark, Inc., formed earlier that year from the merger of Columbus, Ohio-based Landmark, Inc. and the Ohio Farmers Grain and Supply Association.

  • Disaster Aid

    Disaster Aid

    A promising year for cash crops turns sour when torrential September rains ruin soybeans, dry beans, sugar beets, potatoes and vegetable crops across Michigan’s midsection, and imperil otherwise resilient hay and corn. MFB arranges tours for Gov. James Blanchard, Congressman Bill Schuette and U.S. President George H.W. Bush en route to securing disaster aid for the region’s flooded farm families.

  • Promotion & Education

    Promotion & Education

    After two study committee reports document increasing interest in leadership roles within the organization, progressives within the Women’s Program initiate the development of a new Promotion and Education program to take its place. Michigan leads the nation at the vanguard of this movement toward assertive outreach programming on health and safety, leadership training, Agriculture in the Classroom, current issues, commodity promotions and consumer education.

  • Elton R. Smith Endowed Chair

    Elton R. Smith Endowed Chair

    At the end of his 22 years as its president, Elton R. Smith receives MFB’s coveted Distinguished Service to Agriculture award—and is honored by Michigan State University with the creation of an Elton R. Smith Endowed Chair for Food and Agricultural Policy in MSU’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

  • Country-of-origin Labeling

    Country-of-origin Labeling

    A long-simmering issue for the state’s apple growers finds resolution when country-of-origin labeling is finally approved to help distinguish between domestic fruit juice products and heavily subsidized imports being dumped into the U.S. market from eastern Europe. MACMA in particular plays a central role, supporting its members interests in negotiations with the International Trade Commission.

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Partnering with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Michigan Department of Agriculture, MSU, the Dairy Council of Michigan, Gerber Products and Spartan Food Stores, MFB joins the Michigan Safe Food Task Force to step up efforts to steady consumers’ concerns about food quality.

  • ProFILE

    ProFILE

    To better cultivating the future leaders, MFB begins an advanced leadership academy for promising young farmers. The 18-month ProFILE program—Farm Bureau’s Institute for Leadership Educatio —curates an agenda of next-level leadership and personal development programming for an elite group of young members nominated by their county Farm Bureaus.

  • Project RED

    Project RED

    Washtenaw County Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee launches Project RED—Rural Education Days—and is recognized nationally for its innovative approach to informing urban youth about agriculture with hands-on learning at the county fairgrounds. More than 1,200 third-graders, teachers and chaperoning parents attended the first RED, co-sponsored by the county Extension office and other county ag-friendly entities.

  • Miracle of Life

    Miracle of Life

    MFB begins sponsorship of the Miracle of Life live-birthing exhibit at the Michigan State Fair in Detroit, an extremely popular feature aimed at exposing fairgoers to some of the realities of how conscientiously farmers care for livestock. The Miracle of Life exhibit remains a central component of Farm Bureau’s presence at the Upper Peninsula State Fair in Escanaba.

  • Groundwater & Freshwater Protection

    Groundwater & Freshwater Protection

    Michigan Groundwater and Freshwater Protection Act passes the state legislature, requiring the state agriculture director to develop and promote voluntary groundwater stewardship practices farmers can use to prevent groundwater contamination from pesticides or fertilizers. The Farm Bureau-supported legislation also provides farmers liability protection provided they employ conscientious stewardship practices.

  • In the Service of the Farmer part II

    In the Service of the Farmer part II

    Donna J. Wilber, MFB’s assistant director of media relations, completes In the Service of the Farmer II, an exhaustively detailed continuation of Clark Brody’s original history of the organization.

  • Proposal A

    Proposal A

    Proposal A was approved by Michigan voters to reform the state’s educational finance system from one that disproportionately affected farmers because it was previously funded by property taxes. Farmland was given new classification that allows for an exemption of up to 18 mils from school millages. The exemption protects large land producers from excessive taxation, while providing benefits to smaller agricultural producers in ensuring a lower cost in farm maintenance. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $572.2 million annually)

  • Animal Agriculture Initiative

    Animal Agriculture Initiative

    A coordinated effort to bolster the state’s livestock industry, the Animal Agriculture Initiative brought Farm Bureau together with Michigan Milk Producers’ Association, Michigan Association of Agriculture, Michigan Livestock Exchange and MSU’s Department of Animal Science. Planning funds from the state legislature helped boost the effort to maximize the production and economic potential of Michigan beef, pork, poultry, sheep, equine and dairy.

  • LEAF Club

    LEAF Club

    In the midst of a period of tremendous growth in MFB’s Young Farmer program, the LEAF Club was born: Leadership through Education for Agriculture’s Future. Developed in partnership with MSU’s College of Ag & Natural Resources, and peopled by a host of future ag industry leaders, the LEAF Club would eventually evolve into the Collegiate Farm Bureau.

  • Aquaculture Dev Act

    Aquaculture Dev Act

    Supported by MFB, the Michigan Aquaculture Development Act provides new protections and support for the raising, breeding, transporting and sale of fish and other aquaculture products, to be regulated by the state agriculture department.

  • Project GREEEN

    Project GREEEN

    Project GREEEN—Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs—is Michigan’s plant-agriculture initiative housed at Michigan State University. The program is a cooperative effort established by commodity groups and businesses in cooperation with MSU AgBioResearch, MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It’s designed to benefit plant-based agriculture through a focus on research and educational programs, ensuring and improving food safety, and protecting and preserving environmental quality. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $5.6 million annually)

  • MFACA

    MFACA

    Reflecting our commitment to preserving agricultural land and open space—in partnership with residents of the state’s cities and towns MFB forms the Michigan Farmland & Community Alliance, a small affiliate company devoted to addressing the challenge.

  • MAEAP

    MAEAP

    In partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MFB helps develop MAEAP—the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program—an innovative approach to guide farms through the systematic minimization of potential pollution risks on the farm.

  • GAAMPs

    GAAMPs

    Siting GAAMPs approved for use within Michigan’s Right to Farm law eased the way for continued growth in the livestock sector and established a consistent, statewide rulebook superseding local authority, and eliminating the risk of a township-by-township patchwork of different ordinances.

  • Farm Vehicle License Plate

    Farm Vehicle License Plate

    The farm plate program was designed to better reflect the seasonal use of many farm vehicles by charging registration fees that reflect only the amount of time farm vehicles are in use, as well as the distance farm vehicles travel. It also exempts farm equipment from state truck weight laws that require different fees based on weight and number of axles. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $64.2 million annually)

  • Farm Produce Insurance Authority

    Farm Produce Insurance Authority

    Farm Bureau plays a central role in developing the Farm Produce Insurance Authority, a checkoff-like assessment on grain sales to protect growers from losses incurred by mismanaged elevators and merchandisers. The grower-supported security fund created a safety net for producers and helped alleviate troubling economic uncertainties during a challenging time for Midwestern grain farmers. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $625,000 annually, per case basis)

  • Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health

    Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health

    Coordinating a coalition of partners across the state’s livestock industry, Farm Bureau helps secure $100 million in government funding to build the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at Michigan State University, a desperately needed facility equipping the animal ag sector with the tools it needed to cope with bovine tuberculosis and other animal health threats.

  • Specialty Crop Block Grant

    Specialty Crop Block Grant

    The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program was created to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops. Funding granted through the program can be used to begin a new farm or expand an operation to meet different needs. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $1.2 million annually)

  • Michigan Ag Council

    Michigan Ag Council

    The Michigan Ag Council marks another collaborative effort that saw MFB partnering with commodity and farm finance entities in promoting agriculture and informing consumers with a common voice.

  • MSU Product Center’s first in-depth report

    MSU Product Center’s first in-depth report

    MSU Product Center’s first in-depth report on the economic impact of agriculture in the state reveals a $60 billion industry. Subsequent follow-up studies document strong, steady growth in Michigan’s farm and food sector, meeting and exceeding a challenge from Gov. Rick Snyder to top the $100 billion annual contribution to the state’s economy.

  • Michigan Farm Market Association

    Michigan Farm Market Association

    The Michigan Farm Market Association established to give that burgeoning sector a unified voice at the state level.

  • Mandatory Electronic ID

    Mandatory Electronic ID

    Again ahead of the curve nationally with respect to industry innovation, Michigan is the first state to require mandatory electronic ID of beef and dairy cattle. Needing farm-specific traceability in coping with disease threats like bovine TB, Michigan’s electronic ID mandate is still the only one of its kind in the nation.

  • Great Lakes Compact

    Great Lakes Compact

    Responding to diverse threats to the integrity of all five Great Lakes, Michigan collaborates with the other Great Lakes states—plus Ontario and Quebec—to ratify the Great Lakes Compact, a sweeping commitment uniting all interested governments in a joint agreement to protect our inland seas.

  • Water Withdrawal

    Water Withdrawal

    The Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool program was created to better reflect the seasonality of agriculture’s large-quantity water withdrawals and ensure water access for farms. The program also ensures withdrawals will not adversely impact nearby water resources. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $750 million annually)

  • MAEAP Legislation

    MAEAP Legislation

    Gov. Rick Snyder signs MAEAP legislation. The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) was placed into state law as an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. MAEAP’s mission is to develop and implement a proactive environmental assurance program ensuring that farmers are engaging in cost-effective pollution prevention practices and working to comply with environmental regulations. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $89.5 million annually)

  • Cottage Food Law

    Cottage Food Law

    The Farm Bureau-supported Cottage Food Law boosts economic opportunity by creating a structure for home-level entrepreneurship. By allowing the legal sale of home-prepared food products, the law helps fuel the growing farm-to-fork sector and boost consumer confidence in farm markets.

  • Diversion of Seasonal Labor

    Diversion of Seasonal Labor

    A balmy March warm-up followed by successive April freezes decimate Michigan’s apple, cherry, blueberry and grape crops. Low interest loans help growers and processors through a fruitless year, but the diversion of seasonal labor to other states flips specialty-crop labor challenges from the frying pan into the fire.

  • Agriculture Disaster Loan

    Agriculture Disaster Loan

    The Agriculture Disaster Loan Origination program was established to provide state funding to help farmers secure loans in the event of crop damage caused by natural disasters. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $2.5 million annually)

  • Wetland Law Reforms

    Wetland Law Reforms

    Wetland law reforms ensure the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality can retain its delegated authority to enforce the Clean Water Act—a plus for the state’s farmers who prefer the familiarity of state agencies over detached federal enforcement of the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Michigan Merit Curriculum 

    Michigan Merit Curriculum 

    Farm Bureau-supported reforms to the Michigan Merit Curriculum allowing more students to participate in career and technical education programs like agriscience.

  • Great Lakes Ag Labor Services

    Great Lakes Ag Labor Services

    With the seasonal labor supply still in disarray following the 2012 fruit freeze disaster, MFB launches Great Lakes Ag Labor Services. In the years since, GLALS has seen consistent growth thanks to its effectiveness helping farmers navigate the H2-A program, the federal government’s notoriously farm-unfriendly system for legally securing international guest workers.

  • M-AAA

    M-AAA

    The Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture (MAAA) was established as a partnership among the state’s animal agriculture sectors and MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Veterinary Medicine, AgBioResearch and Extension. The alliance funds proposals designed to enhance animal agriculture research focused on disease, feed efficiency, care, pest and predator management, wildlife impacts and potential impacts of invasive species. (Value to Michigan Farmers: 786,000 annually)

  • $8 million in State Funding

    $8 million in State Funding

    Farm Bureau lobbying helps secures more than $8 million in state funding for ag-industry research and development projects focused on food processing, animal agriculture, the Tree Fruit Commission and workforce development.

  • Transparency and Accountability

    Transparency and Accountability

    To increase transparency and accountability at the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, Farm Bureau successfully pushes for the creation of a new oversight commission of citizen appointees like those already in place to steer the departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development.

  • Sales and Use Tax Exemption

    Sales and Use Tax Exemption

    Michigan’s agriculture sales and use tax exemption was affirmed and updated to prevent misinterpretation of the law by the Department of Treasury and ensure farm-related equipment and technology purchases are not subject to the taxes. The law gives farmers the ability to reinvest in their farms, so they can keep providing safe, abundant and affordable food domestically and internationally. (Value to Michigan Farmers: $300 million annually)

Updates From The Past, Present and Future

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