December 20, 2014

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

Darwin Murray Awarded Forestry Legacy Award

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – Missouri forestry producer Darwin Murray, from West Plains, Mo., was recognized by Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce Saturday evening at the 45th Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture with the 2014 Missouri Forestry Legacy Award, recognizing him for leadership in Missouri’s forestry industry. During the awards banquet, Missouri’s Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce recognized Murray with this year’s top forestry honors in front of hundreds in attendance.

“At the Department, we are constantly reminded of the forestry industry’s $5.7 billion impact in Missouri,” said Director Fordyce, “Whether by a phone call from international buyers interested in buying a container of high-quality wood for furniture or a local winemaker looking to build a Missouri-grown wine barrel. Forestry is alive and well in Missouri, and we’re glad to honor Darwin for his contributions to that success.”

Murray, president of McClain Forest Products and Legacy Wood Products, leads one of Missouri’s largest forest products companies. They primarily produce kiln dried lumber for domestic and international shipment, and also manufacture hardwood flooring at two different facilities in the Ozarks. Murray’s companies employ over 150 people in small Ozark communities.

Active in both state and local advocacy, Murray works tirelessly to promote sustainable and responsible management of Missouri’s forests. He is chairman of the Missouri Forest Products Association’s Forest Health Committee through which he represents the industry in the promotion of sound forest management practices that ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the state’s forests. Murray is on the board of the National Hardwood Lumber Association and is very involved in with the Hardwood Federation. He has traveled nationwide and worldwide to develop markets for Missouri’s Forest Products. In fact, McClain Forest Products and Legacy Wood Products ship millions of board feet of lumber across the world every year.

Missouri’s Forestry Legacy Award was recognized alongside Legacy Awards in Soybean, Cattle, Corn, Pork, Poultry, Dairy, Rice 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.