Ben LaCross is the District 9 Director on the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) Board of Directors, representing Farm Bureau members in Benzie, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties. He also serves on the board's executive committee.
The second-generation farmer grows tart cherries, sweet cherries, plums and apples. The harvested cherries and plums are processed at Leelanau Fruit Company in Suttons Bay, which is owned by the LaCross family and specializes in maraschino cherries.
LaCross's Farm Bureau involvement is extensive. At the local level, he belongs to the Northwest Farm Bureau, which represents farmers in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties. LaCross has served on the Northwest Farm Bureau's Membership and Policy Development Committees.
At the state level, LaCross served four years on the MFB Young Farmer Committee, including two (2007 and 2008) as the committee chairman and Young Farmer Representative on the MFB Board of Directors. He has also served on the MFB Policy Development Committee.
In 2006, LaCross was one of 20 Farm Bureau members selected to participate in an MFB-sponsored international agricultural study tour of Europe, where participants met with their European counterparts to compare farm policies.
Nationally, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman appointed LaCross and his wife Kelsey to a two-year term (2010-2012) on the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee. In 2011, LaCross was elected by his peers to serve as chairman of the YF&R Committee for a one-year term ending in February 2012.
Outside of Farm Bureau, LaCross serves as vice president of the Leelanau Horticulture Society.
LaCross earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. He and Kelsey have two sons, Keaton and Cameron, and daughter, Lauren. They are members of St. Mary Catholic Church in Lake Leelanau.
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