2008 Distinguished Service Award

Allyn Anthony

Allyn Anthony was born and raised on his family’s fruit farm in Keeler Township, south of Hartford, Michigan. He is a fourth generation grower. In 1940, his parents, Richard & Dorothy, purchased the twenty acre farm from Richard’s mother. In the ‘50’s they added another forty acres where they raised small fruits and vegetables. Richard began planting orchards and raising vegetables in between the rows until the orchards were big enough to produce on their own.

He graduated from Michigan State University in 1966, receiving his B. A. in Business. He also met his first wife, Linda there. They had two children, Marc and Michelle. Following college, he and his family moved to the farm to help his father. Richard passed away suddenly in 1968 and Allyn and Linda purchased the farms from his mother. They continued to purchase additional farms in the ‘70’s. They raised 40 acres of asparagus, 40 acres of tart cherries, and approximately 100 acres of apples.

Along with farming, he has been involved on many Boards and Organizations including; MACMA Asparagus Committee, Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, MACMA Apple Committee, Van Buren County Farm Bureau Board, and Michigan State Horticultural Society, and was the President in 1997. He and Linda received, “Farm Manager of the Year”, award in 1980 from Michigan State University. He attends and serves at Sister Lakes Community Church as Elder and has been a Sunday School Teacher and Youth Leader. He also served nine years on the Grace Christian School Board and as Treasurer.

In 1994 Allyn’s first wife Linda died and in 1995 he and Jeri Drake were married. She teaches 4th Grade at Grace Christian School in Watervliet. His son Marc is married to Laura and they have four children; Susan, Linda, Allyn and Rose, and live in Holland. Michelle and her husband, Tim Hamm, live in Grand Rapids and have a daughter, Amy. Allyn and Jeri continue to live on his home farm of 20 acres, with 10 acres planted to high density apples. In 2002 Allyn sold 120 acres of his farms and in December of that year was hired as the Executive Secretary of the Michigan State Horticultural Society. He enjoys working with other commodity partners on common issues in agriculture. His passion is to help the Fruit Industry stay viable in the 21st Century. He is also the Zoning Administrator for Keeler Township and still wears his farmer hat on some days.

The Michigan State Horticultural Society is pleased to present the Distinguished Service Award to Allyn Anthony for his many years of service to the Fruit Industry.

Dawn Drake

Dawn Drake was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan. In 1980, she began her professional career at the headquarter offices of the former Michigan Farm Bureau affiliates Farm Bureau Services, Inc. and Farmers Petroleum Cooperative, Inc. 

Dawn started out as an Administrative Assistant in the Member & Public Relations Department promoting grain, seed, feed, fertilizer, farm supplies, and the fuel products of those two companies across the state of Michigan. In October 1982, Farm Bureau Services filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and she was involved with many tasks associated with the bankruptcy filing. The new company, Agra Land, Inc., was formed in 1984. 

In November of 1984 she began working in the Apple Division of the Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association, or MACMA. She served in various capacities until being appointed Manager of the Processing Apple Division in November 2003. She now manages the development of the annual financial budget and operational plan for the division; however, bargaining for minimum processing apple prices is one of her most important and proud responsibilities of association leadership. Since 2005, the association has increased minimum processing apple prices by 75%. 

She has worked closely with the Michigan Congressional Delegation on legislation affecting Michigan apple producers. Some of the legislative and regulatory issues include Fireblight research funding, apple market loss assistance programs, weather related disaster assistance programs, and implementation of the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) in the 2002 Farm Bill. In addition to working closely with the USDA on school lunch and domestic feeding programs, Dawn also assisted in negotiating new USDA purchases of apple-cherry juice as well as assisted in the launching of the 2008 pilot program for fresh cut apple slices.

Dawn serves as a Director for the National Council of Bargaining Cooperatives Board. She is a board member of the US Apple Education Committee, and board member of the US Apple China Working Group. Dawn is also actively involved in other industry activities and works closely with members of the Michigan Apple Committee, US Apple, Michigan State Horticultural Society, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan State University. 

Dawn and husband Dale reside in Paw Paw and they have three grown children, Danielle, Dustin, and Daniel. 

The Michigan State Horticultural Society is pleased to present the Distinguished Service Award to Dawn Drake for her many years of service to the Fruit Industry.