County News Archive

Byline Kathy Chase

Help the youth showing their animals at the Eaton County Fair!  The fair has closed to the public this year due to COVID-19.  However, the fair is allowing the kids to show their animals to be judged with only family and friends present.  The fair will then put the animals up on a virtual auction.  These young people have put a lot of effort and money in these animals and need our support.  Eaton County Farm Bureau is a proud sponsor of the Eaton County Fair's 2020 Virtual Youth Livestock Auction.  Please support the youth in this county by participating in the virtual auction.  Go to www.eatoncountyfair.com for details.   

Help the youth showing their animals at the fair by participating in the Eaton County Fair Virtual Auction.
By Katelyn Thompson and Hannah Lange

Agriscience Educator Kylie Thompson is eager to launch a new FFA chapter this fall in Bellevue.


Eaton County Farm Bureau board member Kylie Thompson truly embodies this line from E.M. Tiffany’s FFA Creed: “I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words, but of deeds…”

After decades of inactivity, Thompson’s pulled off an achievement for the envy of rural communities statewide: She’s brought her home FFA chapter back from the dead.

Bellevue’s FFA chapter fizzled out in the early 1990s after several decades of activity. And it’s taken all of Kylie’s passion for agriculture, students and FFA itself to raise this phoenix from the ashes.

“It can seem like a daunting task, but if you surround yourself with others who believe in your cause, all things are possible,” she said.

Re-igniting an ag program at Kylie’s alma mater started with the interest from Bellevue Superintendent Kathy Mohney. Seeing area schools with FFA chapters and agriculture programs, she started to wonder: “Why not Bellevue?”

That was really all that was necessary to set Kylie in motion. Finding elated community support, she quickly saw students signing up for agriculture classes scheduled to be offered in the fall of 2020 — a benefit to the students and a promising asset for Bellevue Schools overall.

“The foundation being laid for Bellevue FFA is a strong one, built on leadership, community and passion,” Kylie said.

That truth was verified by a successful fundraiser held last weekend — a clever drive-through chicken dinner hosted at Bellevue Elementary School and benefitting the district’s nascent agriculture and FFA program.

Donations totaling $6,700 from approximately 550 hungry community supporters.

Knowing hers isn’t the only community in need of a new or rekindled FFA program, Kylie has several tips for likeminded leaders looking to spark the same kind of progress she’s made in the southwest corner of Eaton County.

Once identifying the district in need — the self-evident starting point for most would-be FFA-starters — the key components of Kylie’s process break down like this:

  • School support is essential from the get-go, so getting the staff and superintendent on board with your plan is vital.
  • Contact state FFA staff early on to learn important timelines and program requirements.
  • Convene an advisory committee of community members to help maintain that community’s support for your program and to ensure its priorities are incorporated.
  • Coordinating with the school district’s financial staff, draft a budget to cover classroom needs, FFA project supplies and event expenses.
  • Begin fund raising- be resourceful and reach out to supporters
  • In coordination with your school district’s curriculum officials, develop class structures and lesson plans, always keeping in mind your students’ needs and interests.
  • Develop an outreach plan to keep your community informed about — and convinced of! — the value of your program.

Maybe most importantly, she adds: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Good ag education is worth it!”

Katelyn Thompson represents District 5 on MFB’s state P&E committee. Hannah Lange is MFB’s regional manager for the central region.


After decades of inactivity, Kylie Thompson, Eaton County Farm Bureau Board Member, has pulled off an achievement for the envy of rural communities statewide: She’s brought her home FFA chapter in Bellevue, back from the dead.

By Kathy Chase


As farmers, Eaton County Farm Bureau members dedicate their lives to feeding people and producing healthy food for families.  Because of this dedication and the early closing of the schools due to Covid-19, the board of directors decided to donate funds toward the school lunch programs for kids in need in our county.  Eaton County Farm Bureau had allocated funds to conduct Ag education programs in the schools.  Unfortunately, we were unable to do the programs before they closed.  It is these funds that our board of directors decided to donate to the county’s school districts.  Bellevue, Charlotte, Eaton Rapids, Grand Ledge, Olivet and Potterville school districts each received $200 toward their lunch program for students in need.  In addition to the funds, the school districts were given links to educational material from My American Farm/American Farm Bureau and Michigan Farm Bureau for their teachers to use in virtual lessons.


Eaton County Farm Bureau members dedicate their lives to feeding people and producing healthy food for families. Because of this dedication and the early closing of the schools due to Covid-19, the board of directors decided to donate funds toward t
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Don't forget to RSVP for this fun and educational event!
2020 Membership Appreciation Breakfast
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For the safety of our members and first responders, we are postponing the Silo the Movie Event.  Once the constrictions with the Corona Virus are no longer required, we will reschedule at a later date.


The @Farm Bureau Insurance Michigan and the @Agent Charitable Fund are working together to provide one million meals to Michigan families during the COVID-19 crisis. We need your help! Your gift of any size will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. Please donate to help Michigan families in need. https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/millionmeals  

Eaton County Farm Bureau has proudly donated $500 to this great cause.  Won't you join us? 


Million Meals Challenge Donation
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For the safety of our members and first responders, we are postponing the Silo the Movie Event.  Once the constrictions with the Corona Virus are no longer required, we will reschedule at a later date.

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Don't forget to RSVP for this fun and educational event!
2020 Membership Appreciation Breakfast
Kathy Chase

Lockwood Elementary students were excited to participate in the FARM Science Lab in December

Eaton County Farm Bureau sponsored one day of the FARM Science Lab at Lockwood Elementary, which is a K-3rd grade elementary school in the Eaton Rapids School District.  The lab was at the school December 12th -13th, 2019.  Fourteen classrooms were able to participate in the two day event. The FARM Science Lab is a travelling lab that reinforces grade-level standards with hands-on science opportunities while increasing students’ knowledge of how agriculture impacts their daily lives. Each lesson has been individually crafted and tested by certified teachers.  Participating schools have been thrilled with the content of lessons and the kids love it, too.  Schools must apply to have the FARM Science Lab come to their school and meet certain requirements.  The lab has already travelled to schools all over Michigan.  Because it is so popular, a second FARM Science Lab has been purchased by Michigan Farm Bureau in order to try to get to all the schools on the waiting list! In addition to offering a grant to Eaton County schools to cover one day of the program, Eaton County Farm Bureau made a substantial sponsorship to the first FARM Science Lab.  Please check with our county office to find out how your school can be considered for a visit.   


Eaton Rapids' Lockwood Elementary gets a visit from the Farm Science Lab
Kathy Chase

Lockwood Elementary students were excited to participate in the FARM Science Lab in December

Eaton County Farm Bureau sponsored one day of the FARM Science Lab at Lockwood Elementary, which is a K-3rd grade elementary school in the Eaton Rapids School District.  The lab was at the school December 12th -13th, 2019.  Fourteen classrooms were able to participate in the two day event. The FARM Science Lab is a travelling lab that reinforces grade-level standards with hands-on science opportunities while increasing students’ knowledge of how agriculture impacts their daily lives. Each lesson has been individually crafted and tested by certified teachers.  Participating schools have been thrilled with the content of lessons and the kids love it, too.  Schools must apply to have the FARM Science Lab come to their school and meet certain requirements.  The lab has already travelled to schools all over Michigan.  Because it is so popular, a second FARM Science Lab has been purchased by Michigan Farm Bureau in order to try to get to all the schools on the waiting list! In addition to offering a grant to Eaton County schools to cover one day of the program, Eaton County Farm Bureau made a substantial sponsorship to the first FARM Science Lab.  Please check with our county office to find out how your school can be considered for a visit.   


Eaton Rapids' Lockwood Elementary gets a visit from the Farm Science Lab