At the conclusion of Tuesday’s Missouri Farm Bureau Board of Directors meeting, Hurst announced he would not seek re-election as president of the organization after his term is completed this year.
“I’ve been president for 10 years, and it’s been a wonderful and challenging assignment, but it’s time for a change for me and for the organization,” Hurst told The Missouri Times, noting he feels as though he’s leaving the MOFB “in good shape.”
Hurst was first elected president of MOFB in December 2010, but he’s had a storied career with the organization. He served on the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee before becoming the statewide chairman of the committee in the early 80s, eventually rising to the state board of directors. Hurst was a district board member in Missouri for eight years and served for seven years as the bureau’s vice president.
And Hurst is concluding his time with the MOFB after serving as its president for five terms.
“Blake’s been involved in the Missouri Farm Bureau from the time he was a very young farmer and has always been a leader at every level of the organization,” Eric Bohl, director of public affairs and advocacy for the Missouri Farm Bureau, told The Missouri Times. “He’s worked his way up through every level of the organization and has developed a national reputation as a leader on [agriculture] policy. He will be very sorely missed.”
Hurst said he’s proudest of his work “speaking up for Missouri farmers” and serving as a financial steward for the organization. He hopes future generations of leaders in the Farm Bureau “don’t do stupid stuff” that would be detrimental to the longterm success of the organization.
“We must never lose sight of how important expanding markets for the things farmers produce is and that includes trade,” Hurst said. Sitting at the top of his priority list today — and Hurst said that could easily change in a few years — is “making sure we protect our access to foreign markets.”
Once he officially leaves his office, Hurst said he plans to travel, catch up on his reading list, and spend more time working on his family’s farm and greenhouse.
And although he’s already announced his intentions not to seek re-election, don’t count Hurst out: “I’ll still be around for a few more months. I’m not quite to the finish line yet.”
Kaitlyn Schallhorn was the editor in chief of The Missouri Times from 2020-2022. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.