December 20, 2014

Director of Ag Honors Rice Producer during 45th Governor's Conference on Agriculture

Ronnie Berry Awarded Rice Legacy Award

Missouri rice producer Ronnie Berry, from Neelyville, Mo., was recognized by Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce Saturday evening at the 45th Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture with the 2014 Missouri Rice Legacy Award, recognizing him for leadership in Missouri’s rice industry. During the awards banquet, Missouri’s Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce recognized Berry with this year’s top rice honors in front of hundreds in attendance.

“This honor recognizes the years Ronnie has spent working the land,” said Director Fordyce, “Missouri agriculture leaders develop practices that not only enhance production on their own farm, but also inspire others. We congratulate Ronnie for his outstanding contributions to the rice industry.”

A 40-year rice producer, Berry grows long and medium grain rice along with some soybeans. Berry has always been an early adopter of more productive and economical rice growing practices. For example, he began regarding the land to reduce water use in the 1970s. He designs and builds pieces of farm equipment to meet his needs, and increase efficiency. Most of his equipment is now on rubber tracks to eliminate ruts and keep the land in the best condition possible. Berry constantly strives to produce and provide the highest quality rice possible to each and every end user.

Missouri’s Rice Legacy Award was recognized alongside Legacy Awards in Soybean, Cattle, Corn, Poultry, Pork, Forestry, Dairy and Cotton, the Missouri Farm Innovation Award, the Missouri Agriculture Environmental Steward Award, Missouri Ag Education Leader Award and the Missouri Food Animal Veterinarian Award at the 2014 Missouri’ Governor’s Conference on Agriculture closing banquet.

The conference, which took place at the Lake of the Ozarks, concluded Saturday evening with a special performance by country music band Sawyer Brown. 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 Friday evening benefit auction supporting programs for youth and young professionals in agriculture.

For more information on the Governor’s Conference on Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit the Department online at


Note: Photos of the award presentation are available by contacting Sarah Alsager at or (573) 751-2613.