Jantschak: “This process makes a big difference.”

When Sue Jantschak decided to join the UBC in 1989, “I didn’t even know how to swing a hammer.” Less than a decade later, the general carpenter became a business representative for Local 687 of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

Not knowing the craft didn’t stop her career development, and now it’s not stopping her determination to play a key role as a member of the Farmland Purchase of Development Rights Board for Augusta, Township in Michigan’s Washtenaw County.

“We try to preserve the last amount of farmland in the county by buying the development rights away from the farmers. They get paid, still get to farm the land, and can buy more land with the money, but yet it provides natural areas for animals and rain runoff and all sorts of other benefits.”

Jantschak admits she didn’t know much about Development Rights, although she herself is a sheep farmer. She got involved back in 2004 because “nobody really cared enough to get involved with what is happening to our state. I am trying to do my best to combat that.”

“What we’re trying to do is something that’s never been done before. But I’m learning a lot and this process makes a big difference.”

Being a member of the UBC is also a plus for her Development Board work.

“I’m proud to be a member of the UBC, and I think my confidence intrigues people. It gives me a certain respect on the Board. I realized a long time ago that, when it comes to local politics, the shame is not in losing, but not having tried at all.”