Longtime MI Wheat chairman honored

2022 Master Farmers named in Mt. Pleasant in January

In front of 1,200 attendees at the Great Lakes Crop Summit in Mount Pleasant, Mich., three standout Michigan farmers received the highest honor in agriculture:  The title of Michigan Master Farmer.

This year’s award winners are Joe Bryant of Shepherd (left, with plaque), Dave Milligan of Cass City (center) and Louis Wierenga, Jr., of Hastings (right). They were chosen from a statewide nomination process and selected by a committee of agriculture industry leaders who looked at outstanding farm management, innovation, conservation and leadership.

Awards were conveyed during a GLCS lunch program, which is partially sponsored by the Michigan Wheat Program.  Winners received plaques and pins, and were honored with a video presentation that told a history of their farm, farming practices, and community and agriculture leadership involvements.

This is the 19th year Michigan Farmer has recognized Master Farmers to honor producers focused on farming more effectively, efficiently, environmentally and economically.

Focused on proficiency and profitability, Dave Milligan has consistently grown his Cass City farming operation. He’s also broadly extended his service to the ag industry through the years by leading several state and national commodity organizations.

Having grown up on a 240-acre dairy operation, Dave Milligan and his son, Michael, now farm 4,500 acres in Tuscola County. Milligan has learned to adapt through changes in markets, weather, agronomic systems and environmental objectives.

In addition, he was a charter member of the Michigan Wheat Committee who helped lead the first two attempts to establish a wheat check-off.  He was appointed to the Committee board in 2011 by then-Gov. Rick Snyder and was elected chairman – a seat he held until 2020.

Becoming active for Michigan Wheat at the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), Milligan was quickly invited to join the Board and served an unprecedented two years as president (2020-2022), spanning the COVID pandemic.