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Hartzler campaign launches agriculture leadership team

EXCLUSIVE — Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s U.S. Senate campaign launched an agriculture leadership team Tuesday with former Missouri Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse at its helm. 

The Farmers and Ranchers for Vicky team consists of several dozen agriculture leaders from around Missouri to advance her agriculture message. 

“Missourians have a historic opportunity to send a farmer to the U.S. Senate this year for the first time this century and that farmer is Vicky Hartzler,” Kruse said. “I have known and worked with Vicky for decades on the critical issues facing our family farms and agriculture industry, and I know she understands the challenges farmers face firsthand. I am proud to lead her ag team because I know Vicky is a fighter for rural Missouri values, has the highest integrity, and is guided by her strong faith to do the right thing.” 

Kruse led the Missouri Farm Bureau from 1992-2010. Blake Hurst, who succeeded Kruse, is also a member of the agriculture coalition supporting Hartzler, representing Atchison County in northwest Missouri. 

“As a fellow farmer, I am honored to join with these hardworking agriculture leaders from every region of Missouri to help restore commonsense policy to Washington so the American consumer can continue to enjoy the safest, most affordable food supply in the world,” Hartzler said. “The failed policies of Joe Biden and the extreme left are making it harder to fulfill our commitment to American families.” 

“Regulation, taxation, and inflation are taking its toll. It’s more important than ever that the U.S. Senate has a representative of the people who understands Missouri’s No. 1 industry who is fighting on their behalf,” Hartzler continued. “ I know firsthand the challenges and rewards of farming and have great appreciation for our farmers and ranchers, agricultural associations, and ag businesses who continue to make Missouri proud by helping feed the world.” 

Hartzler has also been endorsed by U.S. Senators Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Roger Marshall of Kansas. She’s also been backed by Missouri Senator Josh Hawley as she seeks the GOP nomination to replace outgoing Senator Roy Blunt. 

The announcement of the Farmers and Ranchers for Vicky team coincides with National Agriculture Day, held on March 22. 

A social conservative, Hartzler represents a large and diverse swatch of Missouri in Congress, from the Columbia area sweeping west to just below Kansas City and down to Pittsburg and Lebanon, settling north of Springfield. Her journey to Congress came with the narrow defeat of longtime incumbent Congressman Ike Skelton. She is the second Republican woman elected to Congress in Missouri. 

Hartzler grew up on a family farm near Archie and still lives on a farm in Cass County with her husband and daughter. She serves on the House Agriculture Committee. 

She faces Congressman Billy Long, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, attorney Mark McCloskey, and former Gov. Eric Greitens in the GOP primary. 

After allegations Greitens abused his wife and children came to light this week, Hartzler was the first candidate to call on him to drop out of the race. Greitens has denied the accusations made by his ex-wife. 

Members of the Farmers and Ranchers for Vicky Leadership Team include: 

  • Richard Fordyce of Harrison County; former director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and former administrator of the USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Sherry Jones of Livingston County; owner of CD Jones Land and Cattle
  • Blake Hurst of Atchison County, former president of Missouri Farm Burea
  • Brian Klippenstein of Platte County; former executive director of Protect the Harvest and former senior advisor to former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
  • Glen Klippenstein of DeKalb County; former state senator and lifelong cattleman
  • Bob Perry of Pike County; the general manager of Perry Agricultural Laboratory Inc.,  and former chair of MO-AG
  • Jeff Case of Macon County; former state director of USDA Rural Development Northeast Missouri 
  • Kathy Chinn of Shelby County; former state representative and owner of Chinn Hog Farm
  • Bruce Mershon of Jackson County; president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and owner of Mershon Cattle LLC
  • Karla Waters of Ray County; co-owner of Wheeler Livestock Auction, Inc.
  • Larry Burch of Bates County; owner of Larry Burch Farms
  • Mary Fischer of Bates County; former president of Bates County Farm Bureau and former vice president of American Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee
  • Jim Hertzog of Bates County; owner of Mo-Kan Livestock Market
  • Mike Moreland of Cass County; owner of Moreland Farms
  • Scott Phillips of Cass County; owner of Phillips Farms
  • Clarissa Cauthorn of Audrain County; Cauthorn Farms
  • Gary and Sydney Tompkins of Miller County; board members of the Missouri Pork Association
  • Tim Rice of Chariton County; owner of Corn Crib Farms
  • Dwayne Schad of Morgan County; president of Morgan County Farm Bureau
  • Barb Wilson of Audrain County; owner of Wilson Grain Farms, Inc. 
  • Mike Luerssen of Texas County; former president of Texas County Farm Bureau
  • Henry Alt of Franklin County; former president of Franklin County Farm Bureau
  • Denny Mertz of St. Louis County; president of St. Louis County Farm Bureau, District 6 director of Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, and owner of Mertz Farms
  • Willie Stefan of Dade County; owner of Stefan Farms
  • Brian Hammons of Cedar County; president and CEO of Hammons Products Company
  • Anson Elliott of Dallas County; former dean of Agriculture at Missouri State University
  • Glen Cope of Barry County; chairman (District 3)of MFA Oil and former president of Barry County Farm Bureau
  • Barry Bean of New Madrid/Pemiscot counties; co-owner of Bean and Bean Cotton
  • Allen Below of Stoddard County; cotton rarmer
  • John Hunter of Stoddard County; CEO of Castor River, Inc., and former board member of the MO Soybean Association
  • Elvin Kingree of Stoddard County; former president of Stoddard County Farm Bureau
  • Allen and Tonda Rowland of Stoddard County; owner, retired, Allen Rowland Farms
  • Paul T. Combs of Dunklin County; president of Baker Implement Company
  • Trent Haggard of Dunklin County; owner of Haggard Ag and former director of Delta Research Center
  • Tim, David, and Mike Martin of Stoddard County;  Martin Rice Company
  • Justin Rone of New Madrid/Pemiscot counties; owner of Rone Farms
  • Jake Fisher of New Madrid/Pemiscot counties; owner of Fisher Farms