Clinton county newsletter Clinton County Farm Bureau volunteers strive high

county newsletter
County 19
A Publication of the Clinton County Farm Bureau
October 20, 2014
Clinton County Farm Bureau volunteers strive high
Clinton County Farm Bureau has been
blessed with many talented members of the
organization, not only Board of Directors, Farm
Bureau Insurance Agents and MFB and FBI
family of company staff, but volunteers that go
above and beyond to continue to engage the
community on the importance of agriculture.
This year Clinton County Farm Bureau
honored several Young Farmers at the 2014
annual meeting, Sept. 25. Kristi Keilen
was honored with the Outstanding Young
Agricultural Leader Award, Zachary Stewart
as the Outstanding Young Farm Employee
and this year’s Excellence in Agriculture award
went to Melissa Humphrey. Stewart and
Humphrey were state finalists and will compete
at the Michigan Farm Bureau’s 2014 Annual
Meeting, Dec. 2-4, where the winners will be
The Agricultural Communicator of the Year
was awarded to Bart Matthews, for promoting
the understanding, appreciation and support of
agriculture through exemplary news reporting
as a broadcast media staff member of Z92.5
“The Castle” of Owosso.
Jim Stewart was honored as the Volunteer of
the Year. He is the behind-the-scenes volunteer
that always makes events happen and he is due
for a huge pat on the back. He accompanies his
wife, Promotion and Education Chair Carol
Stewart (2013 Volunteer of the Year recipient as
well) to every event. He assembles the wooden
milking cow, constructs our corn box, transfers
our materials, engages the community and
children at events and always volunteers his
A huge thanks also goes to our volunteers
that participated in the Family Fun at the
Farm event, especially county committee
members Carol Stewart, Melissa Humphrey,
Leroy and Stephanie Schafer, Katrina Stewart,
Kristi Keilen, Bob Craig, Pamela Fabus, Laura
Hamlin, Laura Halfmann, Amanda Hassenger,
Kathryn Reed, Megan Papoi, Rodney Pennock,
Tom and Dianne Cook and Jon and Debbie
Feldpausch. We also thank Amanda Teachworth
who led the Ionia County Committee (Ashley
denDulk, Cheri Schrenk, Dani Dryer, Rachelle
Lehmann and Michelle Cody) as we partnered
in this event. We brought in more than 1,700
community members to this great event! They
say the reason why our volunteer members are
not paid is because they are priceless! Thanks
again to every volunteer who made this event
a success, along with our generous community
business sponsors!
More priceless volunteers include our Dist. 5
Discussion Meet participants, including Kristie
Keilen, Rob West, Ramey Lunceford, Amanda
Hassenger and Will Wilson.
The group participated in the Discussion
Meet, one of the Young Farmer’s most popular
activities, at Royal Scot. Beyond prestige
and acclaim, state winners and finalists can
earn high-value prizes from generous contest
sponsors such as Ford Motor Company and
AIS Construction Equipment.
Contestants freely discuss a current topic
affecting the agriculture industry while
practicing their public speaking and analytical
skills. The discussion is not a debate but rather
a way to share ideas, identify the cause and
effect of a problem and evaluate and compare
alternative solutions. Participants attempt to
cooperatively share ideas and further develop
their understanding of the topic/issue.
Congratulations to Rob West, Kristi Keilen
and Ramey Lunceford (from Ingham) as they
move on to the state finals! We wish you the
best of luck!
Clinton County values discussion meet candidates
Clinton County hosts legislators at Voisinet Farm
The Environmental Protection Agency has
proposed a rule to expand the waters it can
regulate under the Clean Water Act. This rule
is a massive overreach that will hurt farmers,
consumers and our nation’s economy, and it
needs to be rescinded.
Clinton County Farm Bureau members
met Aug. 25 with legislators
and staff at the Voisinet Farm
in Laingsburg to communicate
their concerns and impacts of the
rule. Special guests in attendance
were MFB Dist. V Director Alan
Garner, MFB Ag Ecology Dept.
Manager Laura Campbell, MFB
Regional Rep. Laura Hamlin,
Dist. 36 Sen. John Moolenaar and
his staff member Mike Telliga,
Melissa Horste representing
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, Ryan
Tarrant representing U.S. Rep.
Dave Camp, Dist. 93 Rep. Tom Leonard and
Phil Goodrich of his staff, Clinton County
Farm Bureau President Rob West, County
Administrative Manager Pamela Fabus and
board members Carol Stewart, Dave Schrader,
Kristi Keilen, Eric Voisinet and Caleb Stewart
(who also is the MFB YF Rep).
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: President Robert West; Vice President Kristopher Wardin; Third Member Caleb Stewart; BOARD MEMBERS:
Andrew Arens, Dennis Baese, Kristi Keilen, Patricia Raymond, David Schrader, David Seeger, Daniel Semans, Theresa Sisung, Carol
Stewart, Eric Voisinet, Ken Weiber; YOUNG FARMER CHAIR: Amanda Hassenger; COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER: Pamela
Fabus, 1501 Glastonbury Dr., Saint Johns, MI 48879-1317, (989) 224-9536
October 15, 2014
It’s not too late to help elect
Friends of Agriculture!
Don’t miss the Lansing
Legislative Seminar!
The general election is less than a month
away and Farm Bureau-endorsed Friends
of Agriculture are in the home stretch of
campaign season. The race isn’t over for
candidates until the polls close on Nov. 4
and that means there is still plenty of time
for Farm Bureau members to help Friends
of Agriculture experience success.
Here are five easy ways you can help:
1. Promote Friends of Agriculture via
social media
2. Volunteerforacandidate’scampaign
bywalkinginparades,goingdoor-todoor, participating in phone banks
3. Put yard signs up on your farm and in
prominent, high traffic areas
Join us Feb. 25 for the annual Lansing Legislative
Seminar—your opportunity for face-to-face
discussion with Michigan legislative and regulatory
leaders. Farm Bureau staff will provide information
and examples to help you give elected officials an
accurate picture of how Farm Bureau policy reflects
issues facing agriculture today.
Many issues being considered by the Michigan
Legislature directly and/or indirectly impact
Michigan agriculture. Members should be prepared
to continue communicating Farm Bureau policy
with their elected officials and nurturing those
relationships. Don’t miss this exciting event!
Attendees will enjoy a luncheon and legislative
For more information, contact your county Farm
Bureau or visit for program
details. Registration deadline is Jan. 30!
4. Invite Friends of Agriculture to
county Farm Bureau events
5. VOTE! Exercising your right to vote
is the easiest way to do your part to
ensure ag-friendly candidates get
Visit MFB’s endorsements page, www., for a list
of candidates designated as Friends of
Agriculture by the Michigan Farm Bureau
AgriPac Committee.
Homeowner tips for Fall
As fall kicks off, it’s important to prepare your
home for the season—and weather—ahead.
on expensive emergency repairs and wasted
appeal. When the chilly weather approaches,
you and your home will be ready.
Interior Maintenance
• Check for drafts around windows and
doors. Replace seals and repair caulking
as necessary. Hire an HVAC professional
to inspect your furnace for leaks, check
efficiency and air safety by testing for
carbon monoxide. Stock up on extra air
filters and change them often.
• Winterize air conditioners. If your home
has central air, cover the outdoor unit
for winter. Otherwise, remove or cover
window units to prevent air leaks.
• Buy a programmable thermostat. Lower
temperatures at night and when you’re
• Test home safety devices. Replace smoke
detector and carbon monoxide device
batteries and verify they work properly.
• Clean humidifiers; replace old filters and
clean inside compartments.
Exterior Maintenance
• Perform a visual inspection of your roof
or, if you’re able and can do so safely,
climb up for a better view. Look for
missing, damaged or loose shingles.
Remove debris from a flat roof.
• Check the chimney and fireplace.
Have your wood-burning fireplace
professionally cleaned and inspected.
• Stock up dry firewood and store covered
away from the home for safety reasons.
• Inspect siding for cracks or holes. Repair
them yourself or hire a professional.
• Clean the gutters yourself or hire a
professional. Remove leaves, nests and
debris from gutters and check for leaks.
• Check water drainage. Downspouts
should be clear of obstructions and guide
water away from foundations, walkways
and driveways.
• Reinforce windows and doors. Remove
• Drain garden hoses and disconnect from
outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets
and store hoses in a dry place so residual
water won’t freeze.
• Service sprinklers and irrigation system.
Have irrigation systems drained and have
a professional perform any necessary
repairs and mark sprinkler heads near
snow removal areas.
• Inspect trees for limbs that may break or
are too close to power lines or the roof.
• Trim landscaping. Cut back bushes,
shrubs and flowers for Michigan climates.
• Bring in flowerpots. If you keep plants or
flowers in pots year-round, bring them
inside. If you replace plants annually,
empty, clean and dry pots for next spring.
• Plant bulbs. If you plant bulbs for spring,
now’s the time to get them in the ground.
• Rake and remove leaves from the yard for
compost or bag for community pick up.
Check local requirements and pick up
• Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help
Ask a local garden center or check online
for fertilizer type and when to apply.
• Clean and store seasonal outdoor
furniture in a dry place over winter.
Remove and clean cushions.
• Close the pool. If you have a pool,
schedule a service to close it for the
season or buy supplies and do it yourself.
Find more tips for fall on the Michigan Farm
Bureau website,
October 15, 2014
MFB salutes Volunteers of the Month
June 2014: Daniela Dryer
July 2014: Jane Nelkie
August 2014: Jennifer Suarez-Marquez
September 2014: Brian AcMoody
For her exceptional service and
dedication, Ionia County native Daniela
Dryer was named Michigan Farm Bureau’s
(MFB) Volunteer of the Month for June
Dryer helped coordinate the county
Farm Bureau’s programs and activities for
National AgWeek in March. She distributed
informative farm commodity placemats to
Daniela Dryer
elementary schools to provide Ag in the
Classroomlessons,teaching young people
where food comes from.
As a new member to Farm Bureau, Dryer volunteered her time
and talents on various platforms over the past year. She organized
farm equipment for the Family Fun on the Farm event in June, and
dedicated hours of service helping the farm prepare and clean up
At the state level, Dryer represented Ionia County Farm Bureau at
in Lansing and attended conferences to learn about programs and
opportunities to offer Ionia County residents.
“Daniela has added a new dynamic to our committee,”wrote her
nominator for Volunteer of the Month honors. “She is a great asset
to our organization and I’m excited to continue working with her.”
Dryer farms with her father and sisters near Portland, raising corn,
soybeans, alfalfa and sugar beets. She and her father also operate a
field tiling business.
For her exemplary dedication leading
agriculture education efforts in Berrien
County,JenniferSuarez-Marquezhas been
named MFB’s Volunteer of the Month for
August 2014.
Suarez-Marquez has been instrumental
organizing activities for the Berrien County
Youth Fair, including a “Farmer for a Day”
booth reaching more than 1,500 young
people, a grain box, an “I Spy” hunt and
Jennifer Suarez-Marquez
Farm Bureau Booth.
Another example of her work educating
youth about agriculture would be her regular visits to local
elementary schools. Suarez-Marquez spoke to more than 400
students at Brandywine Elementary about Farm Bureau, farming
and agriculture-related occupations in March. She presented her
information as a trivia activity that allowed students to win Farm
Bureau-logoed prizes.
Suarez-Marquez has represented Berrien County Farm Bureau
at numerous events, including the MFB State Annual Meeting; the
Young Farmer Leaders’ Conference; and the Voice of Agriculture
Conference. She’s also served on several local-level committees and
the county Farm Bureau board while also sitting on a statewide
committee dedicated to agriculture education and promotion.
Recently married, Suarez-Marquez works for Barbott Farms and
Greenhouse in Stevensville, where she will soon be assisting with
getting their food from the farm to their fork.
Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) named
Jane Nelkie of Tawas City its Volunteer of
the Month for July 2014. Her dedication
to agricultural promotion and education
helped Iosco County Farm Bureau become
a valuable contributor to the community.
After 13 years on the Iosco County
Farm Bureau board, Nelkie passed her
torch to a new leader who took the reins
of its ag literacy programs. Her passion
Jane Nelkie
and dedication molded the organization’s
outreach efforts and built a solid base for
her successor.
In her final year organizing the county’s Project RED (Rural
interacted with livestock animals and equipment.
Aside from her work with RED, Nelkie helped arrange farmthemedpostercontestsforNationalAgWeekandhostedtoursofher
family’s dairy farm.
events. She served as a voting delegate at MFB’s State Annual
conferences to bring information back to her community.
Nelkie and her husband Russell operate a 350-head dairy farm in
TawasTownship.They have seven children: Mark, Joe, Jeff, John and
Kenny Nelkie; Christine Holtz and Jennifer Anscheutz.
For his exceptional service to the local
agriculture industry, Brian AcMoody was
named MFB’s Volunteer of the Month for
September 2014.
As the president of Branch County
Farm Bureau, AcMoody recognizes the
importance of local, relevant issues, such
as the water use assessment tool. He took
action and coordinated local meetings and
tours to build relationships between area
Brian AcMoody
farmers, Michigan Farm Bureau staff, the
Water Advisory Council, the Michigan
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan
Department of Environmental Equality, Michigan State University,
the Well Drillers Association and several elected officials.
AcMoody has been involved with the Branch County Farm Bureau
board of directors for the past 13 years, serving as president, vice
president, membership chair and policy development chair. At the
fund committee.
Outside Farm Bureau, AcMoody’s family are lifetime members of
Our Savior Lutheran Church. He served as his township supervisor
for 10 years and two terms on the Union City Community Schools
board. He also serves on the Red Gold Grower Action Fund board.
AcMoody farms alongside his wife Kelly, their three children
and his brother’s family.They grow processing tomatoes, seed corn,
conventional corn and soybeans while raising sheep and beef cattle.
FB partners at Smart Drainage Field Day in Fowler
The Conservation District teamed up with
Clinton County Farm Bureau, Michigan State
University Extension, USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service, GreenStone Farm Credit
Services and Agri-Drain Corporation to host a
field day Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Claude and
Cecile Feldpausch farm in Fowler.
Clinton County Farm
Bureau felt it was truly an
amazing event in which
we had the opportunity
were designed to educate
farmers about conservation
plans and control structures
that could be installed to
protect farms.
Frank Gibbs of Wetland
and Soil Consulting Services,
discussed soil health and
biology, along with the
His presentation included
blowing smoke into tile lines
on an alfalfa field which
demonstrated the direct link
between tile and land application of manure.
Marilyn Thelen of MSU Extension, used a
rainfall simulator which showed the benefit
of cover crops and various filtering manure
applications. Participants viewed runoff and
infiltration from five different cover systems. Phil
Algreen of Agri Drain Corporation, discussed
the Agri Drain drainage control structures
and water gates including how they operated,
season changes landowners must make to the
system, and how it benefits crop production.
Matt Einheuser of the Clinton Conservation
McCann of the Natural
Service discussed surface
conservation practices to
decrease runoff, including
WASCOBs, filter strips,
grassed waterways, as well
as various other USDANRCS funded conservation
practices. Shelby Bollwahn
of MSU Extension, discussed
protocols to manure spills
and how to communicate
with employees if there is an
This great event offered
Phase 1 credit toward
verification in the Michigan
Agriculture Environmental
(MAEAP) and a variety of information from
the Conservation District, MSUE, Pheasants
Restoration Initiative, Friends of the Maple
River, Agri Drain Corporation, NRCS and Ag
and Labor Safety material.
Golf outing gathered County Young Farmers
Clinton County Farm Bureau’s own Young and enjoyed the comradery,” said John Switzer,
Farmer teams did their best against golfers from Executive Director of the Clinton Conservation
across the state in MFB’s 2014 Young Farmer District.
Golf Outing. The Clinton County team teed
The outing offers a chance for young farmers
it up against more than 100 Young Farmers (ages 18-35) to exchange ideas and learn from
representing county Farm Bureaus from all over their peers in a relaxed, off-the-farm setting.
Macomb County took first place, with St.
The best-ball scramble took place Aug. 13 at Joseph County coming in second.
Centennial Acres in Sunfield.
Nick Oomen of Oceana County and Beth
Caleb Stewart, Chairperson noted Clinton Gruden of Gratiot County won the longest
County Farm Bureau members in attendance drive, while Chad Gruden of Gratiot County
were: Rob West, John Switzer, Zachary Stewart, won a prize from AIS and Courtney Neubauer
Joel Brook, Amanda Hassenger and Jacob of Gratiot County won a spill kit.
Stewart attended this all-day event, offered
Michigan Farm
is my first
with Clinton
County Farm
Bureau, I had
Caleb Stewart, John Switzer, Pete Hirschman and Zach Stewart, Jacob Stewart and Joel Brook
a great time Amanda Hassenger
A Publication of the Clinton County Farm Bureau
After everyone enjoyed a tasty ice cream
treat from MSU Dairy (compliments of the
Conservation District) they went home with
a substantial amount of realization. Thanks
to everyone who came out to the event and
to committee members, especially Watershed
Coordinator Paige Filice who led the committee
to a successful event!
Support ‘Friends of
Agriculture’ Nov. 4!
Show your support of AgriPac-endorsed
candidates at the general election, Nov. 4.
Here’s a list of the “Friends of Agriculture”
in your county:
• Rick Snyder (R)
Lieutenant Governor
• Brian Calley (R)
Attorney General
• Bill Schuette (R)
Secretary of State
• Ruth Johnson (R)
MI Supreme Court
• Justice Brian Zahra
• Justice David Viviano
• Judge James Robert Redford
MSU Board of Trustees
• Faylene Owen (D)
• Melanie Foster (R)
Board of Regents- U of M
• Rob Steele (R)
U.S. Senate
• Terri Lynn Land (R)
State House
• 93- Tom Leonard (R)
State Senate
• 24- Rick Jones (R)
U.S. House
• 4- John Moolenaar (R)
Leaders Conference
February 20-22, 2015
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
Acme, Michigan
with speaker
Steve Gilliland
Master Story Teller & Comedian
Registration Deadline: January 23, 2015