MFB Young Farmers Leadership Conference | Home
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The Michigan Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leaders Conference is for young members between the ages of 18 and 35. This two-and-a-half-day conference unites 350 young agriculture leaders and industry experts, centers on these members’ professional and personal growth and addresses issues relevant to this generation, including leadership training, management skills and business/family relationships.

Event Dates
February 21-23, 2020
Registration Dates
January 6-17, 2020
Contact your county Farm Bureau office to register

Need your county contact information? CLICK HERE


Optional Friday afternoon bus tours (includes offsite dinner) Tour slots available on a first come, first serve basis.

Overnight accommodations for Friday and Saturday evenings, based on double occupancy.

Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sunday breakfast

Friday and Saturday night entertainment and snacks

Workshops and general sessions

Conference t-shirt


View maps here


Wine, Brew and Value

Experience the value-added efforts happening within the Traverse City countryside as you tour the once 160-acre equestrian facilities turned wine love’s retreat at Black Star Farms, discover Ethanology’s story as a couple learned the ancient alchemic art of distillation while developing spirits with regional roots, and meet with Cherry Ke Inc. who provide Ethanology with the base for their honey alcohol.

Trust the Process

Learn about the process one vacant elementary school went through to transform into The Long Lake Culinary Campus (LLCC) – a state of the art collaborative food hub for growing food businesses in the Grand Traverse region. Follow along as you visit Cherry Capital Foods, a distributor of Michigan grown, raised and produced food products, dedicated to helping customers and farmers source local food and provide it to the marketplace.

When Nature Calls

Visit the Boardman River Nature Center and put your winter clothes on to trek back through part of the more than 20 miles of nature trails as you explore, appreciate and learn how Grand Traverse Conservation District works with the community to care for Northwest MI’s people and places. Then visit with the 501c3 non-profit Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy on their involvement in protecting more than 40,000 acres of land and 124 miles of shoreline.

Due to liability and facility limitations, personal vehicles are not permitted to follow tour buses. Anyone under 18, including infants and toddlers, is not permitted to attend the optional Friday tours due to liability and facility limitations. Children up to 2 years old (24 months), are not required to pay for conference registration. Children over 2 must register and will be charged a meal fee. However, conference programming may not be suited for children under 18. Anyone under 18 cannot fill a Core Program slot.

Are you ready to have some F.U.N.?

Paul Long, Speaker, Author, Educator:

Join our keynote speaker, Paul Long, as he shares his philosophy of FUNdamism, connecting to life though F.U.N.! Paul believes strongly that gravitating more towards the things that give you strength, as opposed to the things that don’t will provide you more FUN, joy and fulfillment in life.


Connecting the Workplace and Life Through F.U.N. Workshop

Paul Long

Want to have more FUN at work and home? Listen close as Paul walks you through how to maximize experience, improve communication and leadership effectiveness while mitigating distractions. This FUN and engaging workshop is sure to provoke thought while providing specific “Next Steps” in driving behavioral change. Let the FUN begin!

Mapping out a Plan to Keep your Farm in the Family for Future Generations

Ron Hanson, PhD, Harlan Agribusiness Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska


Mapping out a succession plan to transfer farm ownership between generations can be an overwhelming task.  There are no short cuts or easy solutions to this process. In addition to exploring some of the pitfalls of family business relationships, this presentation will provide a six-step planning framework to help farm families in developing/implementing a successful farm ownership succession plan for the next generation of young farmers.

Economic challenges, financial opportunities

Aaron Hollister, AAMS, Financial Advisor, Schaefer & Hollister Wealth Management Group Mike McKeown, CPA, MSA Partner, McKeown | Kraai Professional CPA’s 

Michael and Aaron will help to untangle and simplify the financial strategies available for today’s farm operations.  By sharing basic tools and working through real life case studies these two financial professionals will provide tangible processes you can implement immediately to improve the present, and future, of your operation.

Friday Entertainment

Go Big or Go… to Bed??

Relax after a day of tours with Larger Than Life yard games, snacks, and drinks while catching up with friends and making new ones!

Saturday Entertainment

Experience Traverse City

Pick one of three ways to experience what Grand Traverse Resort has to offer



Organized Cornhole & Euchre Tournament with light snacks and cash bar


Culture: Painting With A Twist Signup

Spend the evening having fun with friends or meet new ones while you discover your inner artist. From 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., two sessions of 25 will be available. All painting supplies and art instruction are included in your $40 class fee due at the time of registration. Refunds will not be available; however, a waiting list will be created & posted at conference registration for those who are in need of a substitute. No art experience necessary, just a positive fun attitude! Reach out to your friends, pre-register for the class, and enjoy a cash bar while creating your own work of art that you will take home at the end of the evening. For questions, contact Katie Eisenberger at

To REGISTER: Go to (Option A) or (Option B) enter passcode “MFB”.

Feel free to register as a “guest.” You will be asked your general contact information and if you have a painting partner (or group) you wish to be in the same session. Submit your payment information directly to Painting with a Twist. You MUST sign up online or on-site. Michigan Farm Bureau is not able to accept cash or check payments.


Create Your Own

Free 24/7 busing to the Turtle Creek Casino to enjoy the casino games, slot machines, video poker, three bars, restaurants and more! Or stay at the Grand Traverse Resort and check out the indoor hot tubs/pools and water playground, fitness center, restaurants and bars.

County Leadership Reception

Sponsored by Michigan Farm Bureau Crop Insurance

Don’t miss your chance to rub elbows with top notch young leaders from across the state! County Farm Bureau Young Farmer chairs, co-chairs and their significant others will be invited to this exclusive event, held on the 17th floor of the Grand Traverse Resort Tower overlook the coveted Aerie Restaurant with panoramic views of Grand Traverse Bay. This will be a time to celebrate our outstanding young leaders, honor their service and provide an opportunity to build relationships and socialize with their peers

On-Site Support

Let’s Talk Suicide, Barb Smith, Executive Director of the Barb Smith Suicide Resource & Response Network, is on-site all day, Saturday February 22 to help anyone who wants to know more about suicide prevention and resources for help. Maybe you need someone to talk with or you have a loved one who you think needs help. Stop by Barb Smith’s booth in the exhibit area to learn more, or call her directly to talk: 989-781-5260, extension 2.


Interested in supporting this event? Check out our sponsorship opportunities!
Contact Kate Thiel with the Michigan Foundation  for Agriculture at to support this event, today!