Michigan Farm Bureau
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2009)|
The Michigan Farm Bureau was founded on the campus of Michigan State University in 1919. The organization's primary goal is to promote and represent the interests of its agricultural members within the state of Michigan.
There are two types of member classification within the Michigan Farm Bureau. Members are either associate members or regular members. Associate members are those who have obtained membership because they are sympathetic to the cause of the Michigan Farm Bureau, or because they would like to receive the benefits associated with a membership (such as Farm Bureau Insurance). Regular members, are those members which are somehow involved with agriculture. Regular members are typically active farmers, but they can also be retired farmers, greenhouse operators, or landholders who lease their land for agricultural activities.
The Michigan Farm Bureau provides a variety of benefits and services to its members, but the most important functions for regular members are (state and federal) lobbying activities and programs and services to educate members on current agricultural issues: political, environmental or otherwise.
Other services such as long distance telephone service, health insurance and many others, are available to both regular and associate members.
The headquarters of the Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies is located in Lansing, Michigan.
The current President of the Michigan Farm Bureau is Wayne H. Wood.
The Michigan Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization, with its agricultural members meeting once per year to create and vote on policy which guides the direction of the organization for the next year.
Each member of the Michigan Farm Bureau belongs to an independently operated county Farm Bureau. There are currently 67 county Farm Bureaus within the state – some county Farm Bureau offices cover more than one county, due to lower population levels.
Each County Farm Bureau has an annual meeting where policy for that County Farm Bureau is set. At that same meeting, policy is also developed for the state and national level. State and national policies passed by majority vote at the County annual meetings are then reviewed and modified by county Farm Bureau delegates at the state annual meeting. National policies passed by majority vote at the state annual meeting are then reviewed and modified by delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting.
The Michigan Farm Bureau was originally formed as a response to the tax situation in the early 1900s. The motor car was changing the dynamic of transportation, and Michigan's residents demanded new and improved roads for their vehicles. The state legislature determined that the best way to fund road improvements was through a tax levied on owners of land touching roadways. Because Michigan's farmers owned more land than most citizens, the tax became a burden upon their lifestyle.
After its formation, the Michigan Farm Bureau successfully lobbied for shifting this tax from land owners to purchasers of gasoline.