News Release

December 18, 2015

Producers from across the state were recognized with Missouri Agriculture Awards

Director of Ag Honors Agriculture Leaders during Governor's Conference on Agriculture

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) - Agriculture leaders from across Missouri received high honors in front of hundreds of producers and agribusiness leaders during the 46th Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture, hosted by Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Department of Agriculture. During the awards banquet this evening, Gov. Nixon and Missouri's Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce recognized recipients of the Missouri Agriculture Awards.

"Progress in our beef cattle, rice, pork, biofuels and other products continues to drive Missouri agriculture's growth, and the hardworking people behind these products deserve recognition," Gov. Nixon said. "To continue this progress, it will require bold ideas, innovative solutions and collaboration among many partners willing to take the challenge and lead. And Missouri farmers have proven time and again their ability to tackle that challenge."

The Missouri Agriculture Awards recognized producers for their commitment to innovation, supporting their communities, committing to good land stewardship and being a great example for future generations. 

"Missouri agriculture's top commodity is the men, women and families who work on behalf of the state's number one industry each day," said Director Fordyce. "Having the opportunity to recognize a group of producers and agriculture leaders who have gone above and beyond is a privilege. These award recipients tell, and live, the story of agriculture every day; and I'm proud we have them as part of our agriculture family."

The 2015 Missouri Agriculture Award recipients include:

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT:

David Baker of Columbia, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE EDUCATION LEADER:

Jennifer Hawkins of Jefferson City, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARD:

Peter Rost of New Madrid, Mo.   

MISSOURI AG COMMUNICATOR:

Kyle Hill of Moberly, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE VOLUNTEER:

Sherry Jones of Dawn, Mo.

MISSOURI FARM INNOVATION:

David and Sharon Stephens of Malta Bend, Mo.

MISSOURI FOOD ANIMAL VETERINARIAN:

Dr. Harold Haskins of Diamond, Mo.   

INTERNATIONAL EXPORTER OF THE YEAR:

Diamond Pet Foods of Meta, Mo.   

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE BEEF CATTLE LEGACY:

Nick Hammett of Ashland, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE CORN LEGACY:

Kevin Hurst of Tarkio, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE COTTON LEGACY:

Charles Parker of Senath, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE DAIRY LEGACY:

Larry Purdom of Purdy, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE FORESTRY LEGACY:

Kurt Rehagen of Perryville, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE PORK LEGACY:

Everett Forkner of Richards, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE POULTRY LEGACY:

Jason Witt of California, Mo.

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE RICE LEGACY:

Sonny Martin of Bernie, Mo.    

MISSOURI AGRICULTURE SOYBEAN LEGACY:

Warren Stemme of Chesterfield, Mo.

AGRIMISSOURI AWARDS:

MISSOURI GROWN: Shatto Milk Company, Osborn, Mo.

MISSOURI MADE: Grandma Barb's Pies & Produce, Paris, Mo.

MISSOURI FUN: Fischer Farms, Jefferson City, Mo.  

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Missouri Agriculture Awards. Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group or individual on behalf of a Missouri farmer.

The conference, which took place at the Lake of the Ozarks, concluded this evening with a special performance by country music artist and Missouri native Chris Janson. The three-day event included nationally-recognized speakers, in-depth discussions about current issues and an agriculture tradeshow. Special events during the conference included the Taste of AgriMissouri reception and the Thursday evening benefit auction supporting programs for future agriculture leaders.

For more information on the Governor's Conference on Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit the department online at agriculture.mo.gov.

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 Note: Photos and biographies of each of the Missouri Agriculture Award recipients are available at http://agriculture.mo.gov/awards/.