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Missouri Farm Bureau honors Parson, ag leaders

The Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) honored officials and agriculture leaders during its annual meeting this month, including Gov. Mike Parson

Parson received the Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award presented to Missourians who have “demonstrated their desire to work closely with Farm Bureau and have supported agriculture throughout their careers.” Parson has supported the industry throughout his career, sponsoring several pieces of legislation to bolster the agriculture industry during his tenure in the Senate including farming rights legislation and the extension of several ag producer tax credits.

As a farmer myself, I understand what is needed – A government that works for you during tough times, and leaders that use common sense toward regulation. I am proud of what my administration and the Missouri Farm Bureau have been able to do together,” Parson said on social media. “We are thankful for the Missouri Farm Bureau and for what they do to support, promote, and protect Missouri’s No. 1 industry.”

Former MOFB President Blake Hurst, who vacated his position last year after a decade at the helm, was also presented with the award. He served on the Young Farmers and 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. 

Hurst wasn’t the only prominent MOFB figure to receive the award: Former Executive Secretary Debbie Johnson; retiring Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company of Missouri and MOFB Insurance Brokerage Senior Director Mike Voiles; retired state FFA Advisor Leon Busdieker; and outgoing Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Leslie Holloway were also presented the honor.

Brandi Ellis, who runs a farm with her family in Weatherby, was awarded the MOFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture award. She was recognized for growing Maysville High School’s FFA program from 29 to 117 members as its advisor, building the chapter to rank No. 11 out of 340 across the state. 

Jacob Hall and Jessica Janorschke were named MOFB ambassadors during the meeting. The program selects students between the ages of 17-22 and grants them educational scholarships and trips to the Missouri State Fair and Washington, D.C. Both ambassadors hope to graduate from the University of Missouri and work behind the scenes of the agriculture industry, according to MOFB.

MOFB’s 107th Annual Meeting was held at the Lake of the Ozarks earlier this month. Parson joined other elected officials and agriculture leaders at the event as they discussed supply chain issues, federal agriculture policy, and other topics concerning Missouri’s largest industry. 

MOFB Vice President Todd Hays was also re-elected to his position, which he has held for more than a decade, during the meeting.