Time is a funny thing: both an enemy and a friend. I’ve counted the minutes until five o’clock on a Friday. I’ve willed the hours leading up to an important deadline to slow. Glancing at the wall calendar I feel a different sort of dread. August 2022 is coming faster than I’m prepared for.
So often as county managers we work to forge relationships with our members. They are critical to the success of our organization — critical to our employment! Members are the reason we do what we do, day in and day out. Often we’re so focused on those volunteers that we forget to thank arguably the most critical among them, our county Farm Bureau board of directors.
My calendar is filled with color-coded deadlines and events, each representing a meeting, event — and another day away from the farm for our board president. He committed to attending the Council of Presidents Conference, the Issue & Outlook Conference, and Lansing Legislative Seminar.
He’s also hosting the District 1 Chili Cook-off & Discussion Meet. After that he’ll be at the county legislative breakfast, the Blessing of the Tractors event and a couple of board meetings — all as planting season looms. Add to that all the various county and state-level committees and you wonder when he sleeps.
Daryl Griner was part of the board that hired me in 2016 and for six years now he’s been president — former president in a few months.
Like time, term limits can also be both enemy and friend: They can usher in much-needed change, or bookend a storied era in Farm Bureau’s 103-year history.
He doesn’t want attention or accolades, but Daryl deserves them, as a patient mentor, a willing teacher, and a fierce leader. He’s humored my competitive nature more often than I can count, and I think served as an example of what a board president should be. He avails himself to fellow board members, volunteers and MFB whenever he’s asked, and while I know he’ll continue as an active volunteer, he might not miss our 7 a.m. board meetings when he could be in his tractor.
I am grateful for the years I’ve worked with Daryl and grateful for his friendship. It’s too soon to start the farewell tour, but never too early to recognize the leaders who keep Farm Bureau moving — leaders like Daryl Griner.
Pauline Harris is administrative manager for the Cass County Farm Bureau.