July 29, 2016

Missouri Department of Agriculture now accepting nominations for annual awards

Missouri Agriculture Awards highlight industry leaders.

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – The Missouri Department of Agriculture is now accepting nominations for the Missouri Agriculture Awards. As part of the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture in December, the Missouri Agriculture Awards will be presented to recognize those who stand out for their commitment to innovation, giving back to their communities, committing to good land stewardship and serving as a great example for future generations. Nominations are due to the Department of Agriculture by Friday, Sept. 16. The winners will be recognized during the awards banquet at the conference on Friday, Dec. 16. 

“The people who make up Missouri agriculture are our greatest commodity,” said Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce. “Through these awards we spotlight the tremendous efforts of farmers, leaders, teachers, environmental stewards and innovators who go above and beyond and serve as exceptional representatives of our industry.”

Award categories include Missouri Farm Innovation, Missouri Agricultural Environmental Steward, Missouri Ag Education Leader, Missouri Food Animal Veterinarian, Missouri Ag Volunteer Award and the Missouri Agriculture Legacy.

Missouri Farm Innovation Award features a Missouri producer who has worked to develop innovative agricultural products or services on their operation through on-farm efficiency efforts, progressive management practices, production technologies and/or marketing approaches. Nominees will be judged on current methods as well as their position to meet future economic and business challenges.

Missouri Agriculture Environmental Steward Award recognizes a Missouri producer who has shown great leadership and set an example of environmental stewardship, while also improving production and profitability. This award recognizes the extra effort and hard work producers contribute through soil management and health, animal agriculture advancements, nutrient loss reduction and conservation and improvement of the state’s land and its resources. Nominees will be judged on current methods as well as their position to meet future economic and business challenges. 

Missouri Agriculture Education Leader Award will highlight an educator or advisor in the Missouri school system who emphasizes the importance of agricultural education to our state’s youth while also advising them on becoming future leaders in the industry. This award recognizes teachers, advisors and leaders in primary, secondary and higher education systems. Nominees will be judged on the overall impact they have on upcoming youth in the agriculture system. 

Missouri Food Animal Veterinarian Award will highlight a Missouri food animal veterinarian who has shown expertise in veterinary care for the large animal/food production industry through surveillance for FAD and emerging diseases, someone who has demonstrated best practices for animal health and care and has led in innovative practices regarding the health and well-being of large animals.

Missouri Ag Volunteer Award will highlight a true champion for Missouri agriculture who has dedicated his or her time to volunteering on behalf of Missouri agriculture through community involvement and leadership. This award recognizes those who are doing their part to better the industry by sharing agriculture’s story, encouraging youth involvement, enhancing the community in which they live and giving of their valuable time. 

Missouri Agriculture Legacy Awards will highlight one producer in each of Missouri’s top commodities (soybean, corn, pork, poultry, cattle, forestry, dairy, rice and cotton) who has exemplified great leadership in their field of agriculture through innovation, land stewardship, value-added opportunities and/or international successes. 

Award winners are selected by a committee of department representatives. For guidance, the judges consider innovative farming techniques, examples of commitment to land stewardship, community engagement and leadership.

Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group or individual on behalf of a Missouri farmer and must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Nominations can be submitted through an online form, printed and mailed to the Missouri Department of Agriculture - Award Nomination, 1616 Missouri Blvd., Jefferson City, MO, 65109 or emailed to AgInfo@mda.mo.gov (subject line: Award Nomination). Forms are available on the Missouri Department of Agriculture web site. A list of last year’s winners is online as well.

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit agriculture.mo.gov