Farm Progress

Farmers honored for legacy in agriculture

Missouri Minutes: Farmers and ranchers received legacy awards during ag convention.

Mindy Ward

January 12, 2017

2 Min Read
CORN LEGACY: Past Missouri Corn Growers Association President Morris Heitman of Mound City (from left) was presented the 2016 Missouri Agriculture Legacy Award for corn production during the Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture Dec. 16 at the Lake of the Ozarks. Richard Fordyce, then-Missouri director of agriculture (center), and Chris Klenklen (right), grain inspection and warehousing division director, presented the award.Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Agriculture

Corn farmers Gary Porter of Mercer and Morris Heitman of Mound City were recognized during the Dec. 16 Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture for their contributions to the industry.

Heitman, past president of the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA), was presented with the 2016 Missouri Agriculture Legacy Award for corn production.

"Morris is deserving of this recognition for his steadfast commitment and tireless efforts in growing and defending today's corn industry," noted Gary Marshall, MCGA CEO. "Serving corn growers as a volunteer for nearly 10 years, his leadership centered around collaboration and developing corn markets at home and abroad."

Legacy awards are presented to Missouri producers who have exemplified great leadership in their field of agriculture through innovation, land stewardship, value-added opportunities and/or international success. Heitman has represented corn farmers in the northwest region of the state for nearly a decade, serving on both the MCGA and Missouri Corn Merchandising Council boards of directors. He has also worked on behalf of growers nationally, serving on both National Corn Growers Association and U.S. Grains Council action teams.

Innovation through multiple channels
Richard Fordyce, then-Missouri director of agriculture, also honored MCGA President Gary Porter. Porter was presented the Missouri Farm Innovation Award during the recognition banquet for his use of technology and progressive management practices.

FARM INNOVATOR: Missouri Corn Growers Association President Gary Porter of Mercer (center) was recognized with the Missouri Farm Innovation Award at the Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture on Dec. 16. Ron Hayes (left), weights, measures and consumer protection division director, and Richard Fordyce (right), then-Missouri director of agriculture, presented the award. (Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Agriculture)

"Cover crops, GPS mapping and prescription fertilizer applications are central practices in their operation," said Marshall. "Through constant field trials, the adaptation of new technology and the promotion of higher ethanol blends in the family's local fueling station, Gary is driven to leave their farming operation in better shape so his sons can continue the family tradition." Earlier in the conference, Porter took center stage along with Missouri dairy, cattle, pork, soybean, rice and forest product representatives for an industry panel discussion. Porter provided attendees a recap of the issues and successes of 2016, as well as the challenges the corn industry is facing in the year ahead.

Additional agriculture leaders from across Missouri received honors during the conference.

The 2016 Missouri Agriculture Award recipients include:

Missouri Agriculture Beef Cattle Legacy:
Glen Cope of Aurora
Missouri Agriculture Cotton Legacy:
Riley James of New Madrid 
Missouri Agriculture Dairy Legacy:
Arlen Schwinke of Morrison 
Missouri Agriculture Forestry Legacy:
Leroy McGinnis of Cuba 
Missouri Agriculture Pork Legacy:
Phil Howerton of Chilhowee
Missouri Agriculture Poultry Legacy:
Galen Davis of Jasper
Missouri Agriculture Rice Legacy:
Scott Wheeler of Grayridge
Missouri Agriculture Soybean Legacy:
Robert Alpers of Prairie Home


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.

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