Kathy Siler honored by Michigan Farm Bureau as 2017 Agricultural Promoter of the Year
Kathy Siler has been the public voice of Farm Bureau in Washtenaw County for more than 14 years. For her efforts, Michigan Farm Bureau recognized her as their 2017 Agricultural Promoter of the Year at their 98th Annual Meeting, during the Promotion & Education lunch banquet. County communication chair and newsletter editor since 2003, Kathy has developed numerous new programs for all ages that have reached new audiences. She’s championed the use of social media, to help spread the word of food and fiber, and has been a frequent and reliable contributor of Manchester farm-related news to the Manchester Mirror.
“I am humbled and honored to be named the 2017 Michigan Farm Bureau Agriculture Promoter of the Year. It has been a privilege to help promote agriculture and share farmers stories for more than 14 years in my role as communications chair and Promotion & Education volunteer for Washtenaw County Farm Bureau,” Siler stated.
“I’ve always thought I’d rather facilitate the news than be the news,” said continued. “I’m much more comfortable working behind the scenes. When I first took on the role as newsletter editor, I began to build relationships with the local media, with the idea I could begin to connect them with some of our great stories out here. And that seemed to work.”
Since 2015, the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau has been growing their Proud Farmer Campaign with Siler’s help. She, along with fellow PE Committee members, have been sharing on social media photos and bios of farmers on their farms, wearing “Proud to Farm in Washtenaw County” t-shirts. And she created a YouTube video of the Proud Farmer participants.
“We ordered around 100 of the Proud Farmer shirts and began asking people if they’d be part of our campaign. Along with taking their pictures, we thought it’d be interesting to write some narratives about what their farm family was about, what their operation was about. That started almost three years ago, and it’s still going strong,” said Siler.
The Agricultural Promoter of the Year award is designed to recognize outstanding, successful people that both promote and educate throughout the agricultural and public communities, with efforts evenly disbursed between child and adult education.