2011 Mid-Michigan Farm Show a Success
Mid-Michigan Farm Show helps keep agriculture in front of the public.
This year marked the 35th annual Mid-Michigan Farm Show held at the Gladwin Community Arena, and it had a large audience again this year. The excellent planning committee was comprised of local farmers, Clare & Gladwin Farm Bureau Members and business professionals from the area. The main sponsors of the event were the Clare & Gladwin County Soil Conservation District, Gladwin County Farm Bureau, the Clare/Gladwin USDA Farm Service Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Service.
The committee worked harder than ever marketing this event, including gaining sponsorships from more than 18 local sponsors. We were also fortunate to have the website managed by our former office manager, making it extremely easy for people to get real-time updates on vendors and to register online. The event reached an all-time high attendance, despite school being closed due to bad weather. There were more than 600 attendees, and if we would have had the school children (usually around 300 from the county), attendance would have been close to 1000 people.
This year’s theme, “Farm to Market: Know your Farmer, Know your Food” was highlighted by the free sessions that were offered, such as “Cottage Food Law” with Midland County Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) educator Lisa Treiber and “SARE Grant Writing” with Tom Rorabaugh. Local volunteers also donated their time and talents to make sure the event was a success. Volunteers like Randy Walker, Melissa Townsend, Susie Dumont and Milt Green took time to make sure people from their community were educated about local products and services.
Topics of the student activities this year included:
- McKimmy Farm, with Farmer Tom McKimmy. He covered all of the crops that are grown on the farm and what happens to them after harvest.
- The Saginaw Bay Resource Conservation and Development Council gave out WOW Food Pyramid bracelets and focused on Michigan food products in a session coordinated by Char McLaren and Bonnie Wagner of Gladwin County Farm Bureau.
- Clare County Farm Bureau brought their teaching cow named “Clover”, a wooden cow that teaches students all about the items that come from a dairy cow, including byproducts like leather and Jell-o!
- A petting zoo coordinated by 4-H leader Brenda Inscho with assistance from her children, nieces and nephews featured sheep, horses, rabbits and chickens for all to see.
- Local county historian Bob Frei also gave a talk on the history of Gladwin County.
For adults, there were more than 50 vendors representing all areas of business including farm supplies, fertilizer and seed dealers. For a complete list of 2011 vendors, please visit the Farm Show website.
A big thank you goes out to the agencies and businesses that work with MSUE to host this event and help bring agriculture to the forefront in central Michigan.