Local History activities focus on community outreach
Here’s another dose of what several county Farm Bureau Local History Teams are planning for celebrating their local agricultural heritage this year:
Osceola County Farm Bureau is leveraging its close relationship with the Reed City Area District Library to assemble a permanent archival collection there of digital resources and oral history recordings to document 100 years of Farm Bureau History in Osceola County.
Members across the county are now in the process of assembling historical documents from private collections. The Local History Team is launching its oral history campaign with a first batch of 10 member interviews, starting with the county’s two remaining community groups, Chat ‘n’ Chew and Up and Doing.
Organizers are hoping for a June debut of the collection at the library, which welcomes nearly 30,000 visitors annually. Displays and local programming are also in the works for the libraries in Evart and LeRoy.
Members of Livingston County Farm Bureau’s Local History Team have been searching local archives for material to share in video form at community festivals, the midsummer county fair and their county annual meeting in September.
The Farm Bureau presence at the fair will be augmented with local farm history exhibits, antique tractor and equipment displays, and signs illustrating the progress of farming technology over the past 100 years.
County members are also being asked to search through their personal collections in search of archival material of interest to a wider audience.
Also in the works is a printed brochure condensing images and concise facts into a convenient, sharable package for distribution from the county office, local farmers’ markets and the county fair, which attracts more than 8,000 attendees annually—mostly non-farmers eager to learn more about where their food comes from.
Emmet County Farm Bureau will host “On the Farm Then & Now” to look back over 100 years of local agriculture at Bill’s Farm Market outside Petoskey. Planned for Sunday, June 23, the event will feature farm tours, local agricultural products for guests and displays of artifacts and materials documenting the area’s rich farming legacy.
Attendees at Missaukee County Farm Bureau’s April 23 event at Dick’s Event Barn near Falmouth will enjoy a catered meal in the midst of displays of historic memorabilia and artifacts documenting the region’s agricultural legacy.
Organizers are planning a pre-event media blitz, with articles and photos of members sharing their Farm Bureau stories and how their involvement in the organization helped them build relationships across the region, state and nation.
Taking a membership-first approach to sharing its history—and applying it to the here-and-now—the Bay County Farm Bureau is devising an innovative program that starts with its closest allies: the county’s own cohort of Farm Bureau Insurance agents.
Part of the plan is a “Meet Your County Farm Bureau” event, inviting the county’s 10 agents and their staff to a Project RED-style evening geared toward building organizational unity and informing participants about how the county Farm Bureau’s role has grown and evolved over time. Thematic stations will cover topics including the role of the CAM, member benefits, outreach opportunities in local schools, and history of the county and state-level Farm Bureau organizations as well as the organization’s current-day structure and roles.
“The agents and their staff are members. They write most of our members and are on the front lines when it comes to answering their questions. If we show them the great things the Bay County Farm Bureau has to offer, they will help get the word out to the community.
“We can’t expect them to promote and feel good about our programs unless we help them understand what we do and what we stand for.”