Farm Bureau members in Michigan’s Thumb will welcome home one of their own in the coming months as Laken Polega steps into her role as associate regional manager for Huron, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.
Polega started Aug. 15 as Michigan Farm Bureau’s newest field staffer. As regional manager she will serve members as a liaison between county and state Farm Bureau organizations, facilitating programs and involvement in all program areas, from consumer outreach and leadership development to policy development and community services efforts.
A Huron County native with plenty of family still in the area — many of them Farm Bureau members — Polega graduated from Unionville-Sebewaing Area High School before attending the University of Findlay, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science. After graduating she stayed on with the institution, working as an admissions counselor recruiting high school students to attend the Findlay, Ohio school.
Last year Laken served as a rotational intern in the Farm Bureau Insurance Marketing Department. She has a history of leadership and involvement in both Michigan FFA and 4-H as well as athletics throughout her academic career.
In her spare time she enjoys traveling and raising show cattle with her family.
Polega succeeds previous Thumb manager Elizabeth Rupprecht.
Colten Franzen began his Farm Bureau career Aug. 15 as the company’s new member services specialist, serving as lead contact for members and staff with questions or issues regarding membership savings programs.
In the role Franzen will develop content for member publications such as Farm Gate, promotional emails and newsletters; and will monitor member-services campaign materials to ensure their content is available across various distribution platforms.
Franzen comes to MFB’s Member Benefits & Relations Department with a strong farm background.
“Colten has some great ideas about how we can further develop content in conjunction with industry partners to reach a greater audience of members who might not be getting the most out of their membership,” said Cole Iaquinto, MFB member services manager.
He graduated from Michigan State University earlier this year with a degree in agribusiness management. Previously he has worked for the USDA Farm Service Agency and interned with MFB’s public policy division.
Colten grew up on a small cash crop farm in Monroe County near Maybee and has been around agriculture his whole life, including involvement in 4-H, FFA and Alpha Gamma Rho.