A redistricting of Michigan Farm Bureau districts will mean some real-world changes for members across the northern Lower Peninsula. Proposed by MFB’s recent state study committee and approved by delegates at the 2018 annual meeting, the redistricting plan creates a new, 12th district and with it a designated representative on the state board of directors.
Why It’s Changing
MFB’s 11 districts have remained mostly static since they were first defined in 1944. The only change happened in 1967, when Macomb County moved from District 3 to District 6.
County Farm Bureau consolidation and the dissolution of two (Montmorency and Kalkaska) resulted in the state’s previous 11 districts each being comprised of four to nine county Farm Bureaus. To equalize the responsibility of district directors and improve county Farm Bureau representation on the state board, the study committee recommended creating a 12th district and eliminating an at-large director from the state board to avoid increasing the size of the body.
Adding the 12th district aligns those districts with the organization’s 12 regions, each serviced by a roaming staffer, the vital and familiar “regional rep.” Redistricting will finally see those staffers sync up with a designated district director, the area’s representative on the MFB Board of Directors, elected by members from that district.
This promises to alleviate the confusion of the previous 11-district, 12-region scheme, which had four district directors working with multiple regional representatives.
To maintain the size of the MFB Board of Directors, one of the three at-large positions will be replaced by a district-specific position.
How It’s Changing
The new plan rearranges the districts as follows (see map):
- Districts 1, 2, 4 and 5 remain unchanged.
- Macomb County returns to District 3 from District 6, reversing its 1967 move.
- Mason County moves from District 7 to District 9.
- The former District 10 splits, becoming a new District 10 and 11:
- Arenac, Clare and Gladwin counties move from District 8 into the new District 10, along with Huron Shores, Iosco and Ogemaw.
- The new District 11 consists of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Otsego and Presque Isle.
- District 11 (the entire Upper Peninsula) is renamed District 12.
The redistricting takes effect Dec. 3, at the beginning of MFB’s 2019 Annual Meeting, where the organization will function as 12 districts. Stay tuned for the implications redistricting will have on this year’s board of directors’ election.