Jason Jaekel has plans to revolutionize Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) Young Farmer Department when he takes the reins next week.
Jaekel was a member of the Montague FFA and grew up working on his uncle’s cash crop farm.
After four years as a regional representative in northeastern and western Michigan, Jaekel started working at the organization’s Lansing headquarters Nov. 9.
As a regional representative, Jaekel, for the past four years, has worked as a liaison linking the state-level organization with the grass-roots members of the Alcona, Allegan, Alpena, Arenac, Barry, Clare, Gladwin, Ionia, Iosco, Kent, Ogemaw and Ottawa county Farm Bureaus.
“Jason established himself as a dedicated, hard-working staffer ready to take on any new task,” said Tom Nugent, director of MFB’s field operations division. “He made it a focus to develop strong Young Farmer committees and prepare them for future leadership in our organization.”
The position was vacated in early August when its previous occupant, Lori Chamberlain, took a position as international projects manager with Michigan State University’s (MSU) Institute of International Agriculture.
As manager of the Young Farmer department, Jaekel will work closely with state committee members on programs, conferences and awards. He will also serve as the administrative director of the Michigan FFA Alumni and work alongside field staff to develop and strengthen county Young Farmer volunteers.
“I’m looking forward to working with young farmers from across the state and shaping the program into something they are excited to be involved in,” Jaekel said about his new position. “Plans are already in place to expand the collegiate Farm Bureau programs and diversify our member base. Our program will be a model for other states to emulate.”
Jaekel is confident his time as a regional representative helped prepare him for this new role, providing him with a solid understanding of the organization’s structure and the uniqueness of each county Farm Bureau and volunteer.
A 2008 graduate of MSU, Jaekel holds a dual bachelor’s degree in agriculture and natural resource communications and science and technology. He served as a state FFA officer from 2003-04 and continues to assist his family’s hay farm, hoping to expand to hops in the near future
Jaekel and his wife, Misty, reside in Cedar Springs with their two dogs, Winston and Zoe.