Sponsored By
Missouri Ruralist logo

Missouri governor celebrates FFA Week with tractor rideMissouri governor celebrates FFA Week with tractor ride

Driving a tractor to work and celebrating FFA are all in a day’s work for Gov. Mike Parson.

Mindy Ward

February 21, 2019

9 Slides

It is not often you see a tractor pulling out of the Missouri governor’s mansion driveway, but that is what took place as Gov. Mike Parson and Missouri State FFA President Paxton Dahmer took a short drive up Capitol Avenue in Jefferson City, Mo., to draw attention to National FFA Week and agricultural education.

More than 80 FFA members from eight schools across the state cheered as the governor and Dahmer rounded the Capitol building. Stepping out of the cab, Parson told the group that being able to drive to work in a John Deere tractor was a “special day,” noting that agriculture is the top industry in the state.

He praised the young men and women gathered in the cold temperatures for their commitment to the industry. The group then moved inside the Capitol rotunda to hear more from the governor.

“A lot of times, we get to be known as farmers,” Parson said. “I like that title. But the reality is we are a business in the state of Missouri. Every farmer is a businessman or woman who runs a farm.”

The governor shared how the future of the industry will be decided by technology, science, engineering and math, all taught through agriculture education classes. He added the industry must grow to meet the needs of an expanding population.

“You guys are going to have the daunting task of figuring out where do we go in the future of Missouri,” Parson says.  “How do we meet those demands? That is going to be up to you. Regardless where you go when you get out of school, you are going to be part of the future of agriculture.”

Parson homed in on the importance of sharing agriculture’s vision.

In 1940s and 1950s, 50% of people in this country were farm-related, Parson explained, which means someone in their family was a farmer.

“As you sit in the Capitol today, it is less than 2%,” he said. “You are the ones that will tell the story. You are the ones that will carry the message. You are the ones that will make a difference in the future of our state and where we go, but it is up to you.”

Then the governor made a promise.

“Agriculture will always be important to me,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to make sure that farming and ranching and agriculture is passed down to that next generation, so that you that are wearing those jackets today can have the same opportunities that I had.”

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like