More great ideas, plans for celebrating local farm history
More awards from our second cycle of Local History grants are headed toward these outstanding county Farm Bureaus to help them put wheels under their plans for celebrating the history of agriculture in their corners of Michigan. Check out their great ideas for sharing their local farming heritage with their communities!
Monroe County’s Local History celebrations started early, with a presentation of the county’s original articles of incorporation to the current county Farm Bureau board of directors by 103-year-old member Marion Yoas. An early-April event at local country club honored the service of the county organization’s past presidents at a morning breakfast event.
The parade at this summer’s Monroe County Fair Parade will boast a past-and-present theme directed specifically at the county Farm Bureau. Promotion and Education volunteers are creating a parade float to honor the past—in the form of a covered wagon—while the present will be embodied by Monroe’s Young Farmers group.
In August Monroe County’s regular members are all invited to a Heritage Picnic. A menu of classic picnic fare will be served up by the county’s Farm Bureau Insurance agents and concessions staff, and auction proceeds will benefit Harvest for All.
Additional plans include a public tour of centennial farms, a display of historic material at the county annual meeting, promotion in local media and special recognition of Monroe County’s Community Action Groups.
Lenawee County’s non-farming community is the target chosen by their Local History Team, which is planning to raise the profile of agriculture at several public-facing events, festivals and facilities throughout the year.
Large crowds of non-farmers attending midsummer parades and fairs will find a strong presence from the farming community in the form of poster exhibits, giveaway items, farm implement “floats” and farmers themselves.
Other focal points will be local museums located in Adrian and Blissfield, where exhibits will illustrate the deep roots agriculture has set down in the county’s deep, rich soils.
Mecosta County Farm Bureau members are in for a treat at their joint annual meeting with Montcalm, where they’ll take in a slide show of vintage photographs documenting the history of local agriculture.
Longtime members will also be a focus of the festivities. Twenty-three Mecosta County Farm Bureau members have been on the rolls there for more than 50 years—two of them for an amazing 70 years!
“We hope our members realize and take pride in being part of such an amazing organization,” said Mecosta CAM Jenn Marfio. “It says a lot about the quality of an organization to have members celebrating 50- and 70-year anniversaries!”
Celebrating their history jointly with neighboring Mecosta County at their combined annual meeting, Montcalm County Farm Bureau members will contribute to and enjoy a slide show and history exhibit focused on the region’s rich farming heritage.
Historic material will also be on display at the county fair in late June, where the county Farm Bureau’s popular ice cream booth attracts tremendous foot traffic from members and non-members alike.
“This is a great way to showcase the progress and longevity of local agriculture,” said Breann Bonga, a member of the county’s Local History Team.
The exhibits will offer members an opportunity to peruse old materials uncovered from the county office’s archives, and commemorative gifts for longstanding members will honor their service and role in the organization’s success.
St. Clair County’s 4-H and Youth Fair will host the county Farm Bureau’s centennial celebration with historical exhibits, kids’ activities and refreshments. The activities will be free to all fair attendees that day.
The same historical displays will be used at St. Clair’s annual meeting in August and again at their Project RED in September.
St. Clair’s Local History Team is also planning to share the old photos, documents and artifacts they’ve uncovered on its Facebook page.
It’s not too late for your county Farm Bureau to apply for a Local History Grant of up to $500. If you haven’t yet, complete the simple online application form by clicking here.