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Michigan Well Represented in Puerto Rico at American Farm Bureau Convention

Winners of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture competitions were recently announced at the American Farm Bureau’s 104th Convention.

Emily Calderone.jpgMichigan’s Emily Calderone (above) of Ingham County reached the Sweet 16
of the Discussion Meet | Photo by AFBF

Michigan’s Emily Calderone (Ingham County Farm Bureau) reached the Sweet 16 of the Discussion Meet while Robyn Fogarasi (Arenac County Farm Bureau) placed in the top 10 for the Achievement Award. Mark and Jamie Trowbridge (St. Joseph County Farm Bureau) also competed in the Excellence in Agriculture Award but did not advance.

“This year’s Young Farmer competitors represented Michigan well, and we are proud of their accomplishments and hard work to get to this level,” said Megan Sprague, Young Farmer programs specialist for Michigan Farm Bureau.

“The growth they have all seen in preparing for the national stage is a credit to themselves and the industry.”

Young farmers and ranchers from across the country competed for the awards by demonstrating knowledge, achievement and commitment to promoting agriculture.

Calderone’s ag resume includes stints in alfalfa breeding, fertilizer sales with Michigan Agricultural Commodities, and seed sales with Dansville-based D.F. Seeds. Her next step takes her to the Michigan Corn Growers Association, where she serves as market development and industry outreach director.

Robyn Fogarasi.jpgFogarasi (above) placed in the top 10 for the Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award. As the state winner, she received a lease on a Kubota tractor; a $1,000 AgroLiquid gift certificate; up to $1,000 of business/estate consultation from Clark Hill; and an all-expense paid trip to the 2023 AFBF Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico. | Photo by Michigan Farm Bureau

Fogarasi and husband Byron operate a 350-head beef farm in Arenac County that includes 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and hay, while Mark and Jamie Trowbridge raise a small herd of registered Angus cattle at their cow-calf operation in St. Joseph County, plus approximately 100 acres of hay.

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected, whereas the Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities, and the Excellence in Agriculture Award is designed to recognize young farmers — individuals or couples — for their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau.