Scott Piggott assumes the position of Michigan Farm Bureau's (MFB) new chief operating officer May 1. As the organization's top staffer, Piggott will be responsible for planning, managing and supervising all of Farm Bureau's ongoing programs and services.
"I look forward to working with the best Farm Bureau staff in the country to continue to serve our members," Piggott says. "We will strive to offer service that meets the changing needs of our farming family members as they position themselves as outstanding leaders in business and respected leaders in their communities."
A recognized expert in agricultural ecology at the state, national and international levels, Piggott came to MFB in February 2000 with experience as a construction engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation and as a resource specialist for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
His MFB career began as the organization's natural resources and Right to Farm specialist. In October 2002 he was picked to manage the Agricultural Ecology Department, which has since developed innovative, nationally leading programs like the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), MFB Ecology Leadership Award and Agriculture's Conference on the Environment.
Piggott has represented MFB on more than 20 boards and committees, and chaired both the MAEAP Advisory Council and the Water Resources Advisory Council. His expertise in agricultural ecology has led to pioneering work developing the Great Lakes Compact; working with Michigan State University, University of Michigan and University of Toronto on water, pathogen and environmental governance efforts; and serving as agriculture's voice on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, Michigan Technical Committee, Farm Bill Conservation Committees, Right to Farm review and the Wetland Advisory Council.
A graduate of Michigan State University with bachelor's and master's degrees in biosystems engineering, Piggott resides on his family's crop and livestock farm near Fowler with his wife Donna and their children Danielle, Kaitlin, Anthony and Andrew. Outside farm and family, he is active in his church, local schools and enjoys woodworking.
Vander Molen stepping down after 36 years
MFB's outgoing COO, John Vander Molen, officially retires in June, marking the end of a distinguished 36-year career with the state's largest general farm organization.
Originally from Kalamazoo, Vander Molen is a Vietnam Veteran and a graduate of Western Michigan University. In May 1976 he began work with MFB as a regional representative in southwestern Michigan. Three years later he was promoted to manage the member services department and, in 1987, became director of the field operations division. He became COO in December 1997.
Vander Molen has been a strong advocate of leadership training and development, motivating both staff and member-volunteers to develop and apply their leadership skills toward building Michigan Farm Bureau into one of the nation's most effective agricultural organizations.
He and his wife Barbara live in Charlotte and have three children and six grandchildren. He looks forward to spending more time with his family—especially the growing ranks of grandchildren—and also plans to build an airplane during his retirement.