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Varnum Agriculture Law Attorneys at 2012 Michigan Livestock Expo

August 1, 2012

Varnum agriculture attorneys Kim Clarke, Kristiana Coutu, Aaron Phelps and Dean Reisner renewed old acquaintances, met new friends and contacts, and made some hard-working Michigan farm youths happy through the purchase of champion farm animals at the Michigan Livestock Expo "Sale-a-bration" held Tuesday, July 17 at the MSU Pavilion in East Lansing.

The day included updates and advisory sessions on farm-related business matters, but by 5 p.m. on yet another hot July day, the pavilion took on a county fair atmosphere as dozens of farm youth paraded their champion animals in the auction ring. 

Varnum collaborated with Michigan Farm Bureau to purchase a couple animals including a grand champion hog and crossbreed market lamb.

The young farmers did a wonderful job raising and showing their animals, and were extremely grateful for the generous bids. In fact, upon arriving at the show pavilion, Dean Reisner was immediately approached by the young woman from whom the firm purchased an animal last year. She presented Dean with a framed picture of Dean and herself with the reserve champion hog that she raised. Dean obviously made an impression on the young lady last year, as her mother reported that she is now interested in a career in agricultural law.

A unique feature of Varnum's Agriculture practice is that every attorney either hails from a farm background or is currently involved in farming. Kim Clarke – aka Farmer Brown's daughter – is from "the Ridge" in northern Kent County and spent summers selling fruit, vegetables and eggs at the Fulton Street Farmer's Market; Kristiana Coutu is a fourth-generation dairy farmer and has recently purchased a farm outside Kalamazoo where she and her husband plan to get back to their agricultural roots; Aaron Phelps is a former 4-H kid and currently raises angus cattle; and Dean Reisner grew up on a 1,000-acre farm in Sanilac County in Michigan's thumb area, where his family continues to grow corn, beans and wheat.

Their love of farming and respect for those who continue to do so was evident at Tuesday's event. Thanks to all who participated.

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