May 26 • 04:19 PM

Stuevers earn 4-H recognition

Combined 81 years of service to youth awarded by MSU program

November 24, 2010
LYNN TWP. — For more than 50 years, Michigan State University Extension programs have been a regular part of the Stuever family's Lynn Island Farms operations. They've volunteered their time as 4-H leaders, hosted educational programs, participated in field crop research and much more.

For their contributions to these valuable programs, Alfred and Doris Stuever received the 'Friend of the Extension' award last month in Lansing.

"The Stuevers are a great example of family involvement," said Extension Director Tom Coon.

"You literally cannot go to the east side of the state without meeting someone who knows the Stuevers. They are trendsetters in the agricultural industry in Michigan."

The Stuevers joined Telfarm in 1955. Telfarm is a system of farm financial record-keeping available from MSU. It is an educational and service program designed to assist farmers with their farm financial records and decision making.

Equally impressive is their combined 81 years of service to 4-H. For 42 years, Doris worked with 4-H children in the areas of leadership, clothing and textiles, food preparation and dairy foods. Alfred was involved in the 4-H sheep and dairy project areas for 39 years. They are honorary lifetime members of the St. Clair County 4-H Leaders Council.

"4-H and MSU Extension have been a major force in the lives of all eight of our children and several of our grandchildren," Doris said.

"We try to do our part to make sure those same opportunities are available to other families."

The family have also been willing participants in significant field crop programming. They had a regional field day for forages in the mid-1980s. More recently, the couple has been involved with the TARE (Thumb Ag Research & Education) Program as Lynn Island Farm acted as a cooperating farm for corn-hybrid variety trials in 2009 and 2010.

This year, the Stuevers participated in the St.Clair County Fall Farm Tour.

The family's involvement with MSU Extension has also led members of their family to pursue careers in extension education: daughters Kathryn Stuever Foerster, senior program leader for professional development, and Beth Stuever, communications manager for Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications, and son-in-law Bob Battel (Sue), agriculture educator based in Huron County.

Sons Dale and Duane are continuing the farming tradition by growing sugar beets, corn, soybeans and alfalfa, and milking 160 cows. Dale also sits on the MSUE St. Clair/Lapeer County Agriculture Advisory Council.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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