Climax couple recognized

Gibsons are winners in
Young Farmer Achievement category

Four outstanding Young Farmers who competed with 12 other contestants in four categories — Achievement, Employee, Leader and Excellence — have been announced as winners of Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) 2024 Young Farmer Awards and a Climax couple is a winner in one of the categories.

Michigan Farm Bureau announced recently that Matt and Alisha Gibson, of Climax and both Climax-Scotts High School graduates, are winners in the Young Farmer Achievement category.

Every year Michigan’s best young farmers, ages 18-35, face off in categories geared toward measuring their agricultural involvement, leadership and achievements.

The Young Farmer Achievement Award recognizes successful young farmers who derive a majority of their income from an owned production agriculture enterprise and showcases their achievements in the business of farming (applicants may apply as a couple or an individual).

Andrew Braun, of Clinton County, was the winner in the Employee category; Darcy Lipskey, of Sanilac County, was the winner in the Excellence category; and John Bowsky, of Sanilac County, was the winner in the Leader category.

Matt and Alisha Gibson farm in Kalamazoo County, operating an 800-head hog-finishing facility and raising 1,100 acres of corn and soybeans. Matt and his uncle farm together under an LLC they created in 2023, while Alisha works as an assurance manager at Plante Moran, an accounting firm providing audit, tax, consulting and wealth-management services to clients in a variety of industries, with Alisha specializing in the higher-education and non-profit sectors.

Purchasing property and branching out to farm on their own rank as their proudest achievements. Matt bought the hog-finishing component when he was just 18. Together they aim to continue expanding their operation, building a sustainable future for their family while improving practices to gain efficiencies moving forward.

“We aim to continue incorporating different management practices to maximize profits and yields to help combat challenging market trends,” they said. “We also want to be able to build a sustainable future for our family,” the couple said in a Farm Bureau release.

They credit Farm Bureau with helping them build a network of like-minded peers across the state and enriching their sense of community, both in their own neighborhood and across the southwestern Lower Peninsula.

“We value the opportunity to connect with others from around the state, opportunities to promote Michigan agriculture and to learn new things to better our future.”

As the state winner, the Gibsons receive a lease on a Kubota tractor; a $1,000 AgroLiquid gift certificate; and an all-expense paid trip to the AFBF Annual Meeting to compete in the national competition.

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