Russell, who raises corn, soybeans, cows, and more on his farm in Ray County, was elected to lead the association at its latest annual meeting. He will be at the helm for a year.
“I look forward to doing what I can as president to lead this organization and help improve the bottom line for soybean farmers,” Russell told The Missouri Times.
Russell has long been involved with the Missouri Soybean Association, having most recently served as its vice president. Additionally, he serves on the American Soybean Association’s board of directors, representing Missouri’s interests.
Along with his wife, Russell also owns the Russell Sunflower Patch in Richmond. The venture is an opportunity for him to meet with Missourians who might not be familiar with farming.
“There’s a lot of people out and about, especially in the Kansas City area, that don’t really know what it’s like out on a farm,” Russell said. “It gives me an opportunity to have them come out, and they ask a lot of questions about sunflowers, but it gives me an opportunity to talk to them about agriculture in general.”
“A lot of times people have misconstrued ideas about what we’re actually doing,” he continued. “For us out on the farm, we’re generational people. A lot of times people think maybe we’re doing something that is detrimental to … people’s health. And there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.”
Aside from misconceptions about farming, Russell pointed to the U.S.-China trade war as having a monumental impact on Missouri farmers. He said he is hopeful President Donald Trump’s work with the “Phase 1 Deal” with China will “move in a positive direction for us.”
Russell said he sees the association as “holding that [advocacy] leg of the table up” while farmers go about their day-to-day activities.
“I look forward to bringing farmers together to strengthen the Missouri soybean industry,” Russell said. “We take pride in the work we do to address the challenges of Missouri soybean growers. We’re advocates for the industry and take that role seriously as we fight to protect farmers’ freedom to operate and their competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”
The Missouri Soybean Association’s leadership team is now comprised of Vice President Matt Wright, Secretary Renee Fordyce, and Treasurer Peter Rost, Jr. Former President C. Brooks Hurst will continue to serve on the board of directors.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. 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.