County News Archive

Monroe County Farm Bureau

Monroe County Farm Bureau has awarded three $750 scholarships to local students aspiring to careers in agriculture.  The Selection Committee met on May 29 to determine this year’s winners.  Recipients of the awards can use the funds to attend college, trade school, or apprenticeship programs that support the agricultural industry.

“These students are the future of the agriculture industry of Monroe County, and we consider these scholarships to be an investment in the future of our community,” said Mark Mathe, President of the Monroe County Farm Bureau.  “Their achievements will impact the future success of farms and agri-businesses in our area.”

The 2020 winner of the Betty Bliss Scholarship is Colten Aikens of Monroe.  It is named for long-time County Office Administrator Betty Bliss, and has been presented annually since 1988.  Colten is attending Michigan State University studying Agribusiness Management and Crop and Soil Sciences.  The son of Mike and Rachel Jaworski, he is a Dundee High School graduate and was active in 4-H and FFA.  At MSU, he serves as chairman of the AGR Beef Preview Show and works with Alpha Gamma Rho charitable philanthropies.  He is currently in an internship with the Public Policy Division of Michigan Farm Bureau, where he aspires to work upon graduation.  He also plans to return home and continue to work the family farm.

The Dale Lynn Mason Scholarship, which honors long-time secretary Dale Lynn Mason who served the bureau for over 28 years, was awarded to Grace Herkimer of Monroe.  Grace is a student in the MSU Agricultural Operations program, housed on the campus of Monroe County Community College.  She also plans to transfer to MSU after earning her Associate’s Degree.  A graduate of Ida High School, Grace is the daughter of Jerry and Carol Herkimer and plans to remain in the agricultural industry after graduation, possibly in animal research, production, or nutrition.  In high school, she was an active member of the Ida Trap Team, 4-H Dog Program, and Junior Livestock Association, and volunteers her time with Ida United Methodist Church.

Finally, the third scholarship awarded this year is the Young Farmer Memorial Scholarship.  The oldest scholarship awarded by the bureau, it was renamed six years ago as a tribute to the Young Farmers of our group whose lives were cut short before reaching their full potential.  The scholarship was presented this year to Bethoney DeSilvis of Carleton.  She is a graduate of Jefferson High School and is also a student in the MSU ag program at Monroe County Community College.  Bethoney is studying Agricultural Technology, and plans to transfer to Michigan State University for Environmental Engineering.  The daughter of John and Deborah Gross, she was involved in the Key Club and Pom & Dance Team at Jefferson, and is now active in Collegiate Farm Bureau at MCCC.  Bethoney was one of the Collegiate Discussion Meet participants from MCCC at the Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting last December.

Winners are eligible to compete in all years of school against new applicants, provided they continue their studies in an agriculture-related field.  Since 1988, Monroe County Farm Bureau has invested over $40,000 in the future agricultural leaders of our community!  Other candidates vying for scholarships this year were Katlyn Taylor of Ottawa Lake, Mariah Gullette of Erie, and Madison Bank of Carleton.  We wish everyone who competed for these awards the best of luck as they continue their studies.  They are truly the future of agriculture in Monroe County!
Monroe County Farm Bureau has awarded three $750 scholarships to local students aspiring to careers in agriculture.


Monroe County Farm Bureau has again committed to providing three $750 scholarships to students from our community studying agriculture.  The Betty Bliss Scholarship, Dale Lynn Mason Scholarship, and Young Farmer Memorial Scholarship will be awarded this May and local students are encouraged to apply.

To qualify for these scholarships, students must be enrolled in post-secondary education pursuing a career related to agriculture.  This includes four-year universities, trade schools, community colleges, and vocational training which supports the agricultural industry, and current students in these programs are also eligible.  Farm Bureau membership is not a requirement for selection, but we always encourage membership in the Young Farmer Committee.  We hope that our scholarship winners will return to their community after completion of their education.

Application forms may be downloaded HERE .  Completed applications including a one-page essay on the topic, “Which two major issues will define the agricultural industry over the next five years, and how can farmers positively promote the industry as a response to those issues?” along with two letters of recommendation are due back to the County Farm Bureau office in Ida by the end of the day on May 4th.  The Young Farmer Committee will then meet to select the winners at a special meeting on May 9th.  In-person interviews will not be required this year, but the Committee may reach out to finalists by phone for clarifications on their essay and application responses.

Winners of the scholarships will receive a check made payable to them and the school they are attending once their first semester’s transcripts are submitted which demonstrate proof of enrollment and grades.  Winners of a scholarship from previous years are also welcome to reapply, as long as their course of study remains connected to the field of agriculture.

Please contact the Monroe County Farm Bureau office at 734-269-3275 or [email protected] for more information.

Monroe County Farm Bureau has again committed to providing three $750 scholarships to students from our community studying agriculture. We're offering the Betty Bliss Scholarship, Dale Lynn Mason Scholarship, and Young Farmer Memorial Scholarship.

2019 County Annual Meeting


The 2019 Monroe County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, September 19, at the Old Mill Banquet Hall in Dundee.  A reception from 5:00 to 6:00 PM will allow for attendees to take a look at the Smithsonian exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” that will be on display in the museum.  The meeting and dinner will start at 6:00 PM.  It will be a shorter meeting, focusing on election of board members and both policies and delegates to send to the statewide annual meeting in December.  Some of the recognitions and introductions took place earlier at the centennial picnic celebration in Ida, such as the scholarship winners, 4-H Capitol Experience participants, and the Promotion & Education Committee volunteer of the year.

This meeting is of great importance, since this is a “grass roots” organization; this is where policies developed at the local level come to the regular farmer members for votes.  If approved, these can go on to be incorporated into the policies and actions of our state and national organizations.  Monroe County is well known for developing meaningful policy recommendations that are often adopted into the Michigan policy book and even some of the language finds its way into the national, American Farm Bureau policy book.  The policy development committee consists of seasoned members who have also been involved in state and national farm organizations such as the commodity groups and includes some active young farmers.  The committee has been hard at work again this year drafting proposed policies.  You will be able to read the proposed policies by CLICKING HERE .

Board seats up for election include the Dundee-Summerfield District seat currently held by Matt Reau of Petersburg and the At-Large seat currently held by Mary Webb of Newport.  Any eligible member who would like to run for one of these positions should contact the county office for referral to the nominating committee or plan to be nominated from the floor at the meeting.

Farmers and landowners who are not yet members may attend and should want to join their largest, most effective organization as a way to meet likeminded people, help their industry and learn how to take collective action to make things better for everyone.  Call the Monroe County Farm Bureau Office, 734.269.3275 to register.  This is a free event for our regular farming members; dinner for non-members is $12 each.  Members should respond to their invitations no later than September 10th to confirm their registrations.

The 2019 Monroe County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, September 19, at the Old Mill Banquet Hall in Dundee.