Niles’ Peterson honored as ag leader

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sarah Peterson of Niles is pictured in August at the Cass County Fair, where her banners featuring local farmers fluttered from the grandstand and soybeans, green beans, corn and wheat sprouted from crop boxes. (File photo)

GRAND RAPIDS — Cass County’s Sarah Peterson is the 2010 winner of Michigan Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Young Agricultural Leader Award.

Peterson, 28, of Niles, was selected by guest judges from a field of four award finalists and honored Wednesday at MFB’s 91st annual meeting in Grand Rapids.

The Outstanding Young Agricultural Leader Award recognizes a successful young farmer between the ages of 18 and 35 for outstanding leadership roles in Farm Bureau, agriculture and his or her local community.

As state winner, Peterson received a Caribbean trip for two to Aruba, sponsored by Great Lakes Hybrids; $500 from GreenStone Farm Credit Services; a prize from the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee; and a trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation 92nd Convention and Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 9-12.

All finalists received a prize package sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Grainger.

Peterson is continually learning new jobs; currently, she’s responsible for the recordkeeping, helps feed and process cattle and plows fields for planting.

She devotes much of her spare time to Cass County Farm Bureau. She sits on the board of directors; is chairperson of the Promotion and Education Committee; and is a member of the Young Farmer Committee and Farmers CARE Action Team.

Peterson, who grew up in the Upper Peninsula and met her husband at Michigan State University — her father-in-law, Gail, is president of the fair association — is also proud of her work with the Menominee County 4-H Challenge Club when, at just 17, she helped raise money to outfit all the county’s state police cars with life-saving defibrillators.

MFB is the state’s largest general farm organization, representing more than 48,000 farm families.

The MFB annual meeting kicked off on Nov. 30 and continues through today at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place.