Mason County couple finish in top 4 at American Farm Bureau competition.

January 9, 2017
Seth, right, and Lyndsay Earl with a representative from Michigan Cat during the state annual meeting.

Seth, right, and Lyndsay Earl with a representative from Michigan Cat during the state annual meeting.

Mason County couple finish in top 4 at American Farm Bureau competition.

#MasonCountyAgriculture.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

PHOENIX, Arizona — Seth and Lyndsay Earl of Hamlin Township placed in the final four of the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture competition during the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention. Though they came slightly short of taking home the national prize, Seth said they are still proud to have represented Michigan and Mason County on a national level.

In December, the Earls were awarded the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture Award during the organization’s annual state meeting at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids. The award was part of the Farm Bureau’s young farmer leadership awards. Young Farmers and Ranchers are Farm Bureau members who are aged 36 or younger.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award spotlights young Farm Bureau members who are agricultural enthusiasts but have not earned a majority of their income from an owned production agriculture enterprise in the past three years. Competitors are evaluated on their understanding of agricultural issues, leadership experiences and achievement, and their ability to communicate their agricultural story. There were 28 competing nationally for the award.

The Earls discussed three bullet points: community, advocacy, and legacy.

“We want to create a legacy for our children and for our community,” Seth said.

Over the past two years, they have logged over 750 hours towards agriculture advocacy. Their advocacy involvement has included Breakfast on the Farm, Friday Night Live, Sandcastles Chlidren’s Museum, serving on local farm board such as Mason County Farm Bureau, West Shore Educational Service District Career Technical Education agriscience advisory committee and the Michigan State University/West Shore Community College agriculture science advisory committee.

Lyndsay grew up on her family’s farm, Stakenas Farms, in Free Soil Township while Seth grew up in southern Michigan, the son of an agricultural educator who also farmed. She works for the Michigan Milk Producers Association while he works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Seth is also the president of Mason County Farm Bureau and Lyndsay is a county board member and sits on the state Promotion and Education Committee.

As top 4 finalists, the Earls win a new tractor, along with $5,000 cash.

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