JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A little over six months ago, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said at the Missouri State Fair that Sen. Brian Munzlinger may be best Agriculture Committee chair in Missouri history.
“He has such trust and respect that people go to him wanting to bounce off legislation, how it would affect ag how it would not,” he stated. “Because when he generally sponsors something or co-sponsors, it generally passes without a whole lot of issues, especially in the agricultural community.”
And it should come as no surprise to those in the agricultural community to learn that Munzlinger is the latest recipient of the Peter Myers Distinguished Service Award.
Since the award was first conceptualized by the Missouri Agribusiness Association (MO-AG), Munzlinger has presented the award to the recipients each year at the MO-AG banquet.
“It is altogether fitting and proper that we are gathered here tonight to honor the service of Rep. Peter Myers,” Bill Jackson said. “Tonight, we recognize another such patriot, Senator Brian Munzlinger of the 18th District.”
But this year, it was a complete and total surprise for the Senator from the 18th to find out that he would be receiving it.
“Wow. Now that’s a turn of events,” Munzlinger said as he was handed the award on Tuesday night. “But I did not do it alone.”
Speaking before those in attendance, he attributed his success to those back home, his staff, his colleagues, and interns over the years, who have gone on to a number of successful and prestigious roles after working in his office.
“It’s all about agriculture,” he said. “Love it or not, you want to eat. But I’m blessed to be the chair of the Ag Committee because it’s really not a partisan issue. It’s more about what we can do.”
While being presented with the award, Munzlinger’s work was highlighted by those speaking about the recipient. They noted that in his eight years in the Missouri Senate, he has been deeply involved in the passage of more than 40 bills, spanning a number of topics. They also noted that five of those bills were passed over the veto of the Governor at the time.
“For the Senator from Lewis to be recognized for those awards, it’s an outstanding achievement and a testament to his commitment and love for this state and for our number one industry: agriculture,” Sen. Mike Kehoe said on the Senate floor the following day, asking his colleagues to recognize Munzlinger for the achievement.
But for Senator Munzlinger, it was a great honor to be recognized for something he has worked for over such a long period of time, by the people he cares about, and to be honored with the award named after his mentor. And in the perfect summation of the events, in a fashion that is perfectly that of Sen. Munzlinger, he simply said:
“God is good.”
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.