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Hundreds of Farmers Taking Part in the 2021 Michigan Farm Bureau State Annual Meeting

More than 400 delegates representing Michigan’s 65 county-level Farm Bureaus will put the finishing touches on hundreds of policy proposals refined through local and regional sessions over the past year. Photo: Michigan Farm Bureau

Harvest isn’t over for Michigan’s farmers, but that isn’t stopping them from attending Michigan Farm Bureau’s State Annual Meeting.

“What’s so special about is this there are your actual farmers,” says Carl Bednarski, president of Michigan Farm Bureau. “These people are running a farm. [They are taking] time out of their schedule to come here for two days in Grand Rapids, talk and share ideas, and try to find opportunities to alleviate problems. They’re all sharing different components that’s going on in their farms, whether it’s a fruit farm, dairy farm, cash crop farm, they all get together and love to listen to what’s happening in other industries around the state of Michigan.”

After a virtual event last year, Bednarski is relieved to be back in-person in 2021.

“What we have is a culmination of 400 farmers getting together and talking about policy, talking about issues that affect their farm, how to fix things that are affecting them and who to talk to,” he says.

Farmers have been preparing for the meeting since summer, trying to find and present their issues to their fellow delegates.

“This isn’t just ‘Let’s show up in Grand Rapids and think of something we need to talk about,’” says Bednarski. “This has been going on for a while, and they are very dedicated in coming here and sharing what they could do and to help agriculture move forward.”

Bednarski anticipates two of the biggest issues will be on supply chains and carbon sequestration.

“Farmers are always looking at the environment,” he says. “This is what they live on—they need the water and the land. They are the ones that are going to take care of that. People don’t realize how much farmers can do to sequester carbon. They are not the problem, they are the solution.”