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Missouri Minutes: Durham appointed to serve on the soybean board; corn growers take on leadership roles; new state fair director named.

Mindy Ward

November 14, 2023

3 Min Read
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KEY PLAYERS: These eight Missouri farmers will help guide and direct state and national commodity boards in 2024. And the Missouri State Fair has hired a new director. Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

Missouri farmers are taking on new leadership roles both at the state and national level.

Kyle Durham has been appointed to serve on the United Soybean Board, according to an announcement by USDA.

As a sixth-generation farmer, Durham manages a corn and soybean operation alongside his father near Norborne, Mo. His primary responsibility as a USB director will be to bring forward the issues and challenges farmers face, ensuring that the checkoff funds are used effectively to address these concerns.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with farmers across the country who share the same dedication to the soybean industry and are committed to the producers we serve and who fund the checkoff,” Durham said in a news release. “I am eager to be engaged in the breadth of USB’s research portfolio and use their mission to help build a strong demand for soybeans. During this experience, I hope to serve the farmers in Missouri and nationwide to the best of my ability.”

Durham previously served as the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council chair and representative from District 2.

“I am always impressed by Kyle’s deep-rooted commitment and connection to agriculture,” said Gary Wheeler, Missouri Soybeans CEO and executive director in a news release. “Kyle exemplifies the dedication and innovative mindset that makes our industry thrive. His selection to USB is well deserved and serves as a testament to his genuine concern for farmers’ needs, making him a strong advocate for utilizing checkoff funds to drive positive change.”

Durham's passion for the soybean industry extends beyond the borders of the Show-Me State. He enjoys engaging with international buyers of the state’s soybeans, using these interactions to gain insights into Missouri's role in the global market. His firsthand knowledge and experience will contribute to USB's efforts in promoting and expanding the demand for U.S. soybeans worldwide.

Durham joins three other farmer-leaders appointed to USB and 15 reappointed directors serving the soybean sector in the U.S. These farmer-leaders, representing 18 states, will serve three-year terms, with one alternate serving two years.

Corn growers move into leadership roles

With the start of a new fiscal year, the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and the Missouri Corn Growers Association announced a new slate of officers, the appointment of recently elected board members and national committee assignments.

The election of the Merchandising Council officer team took place during an August board meeting in Branson. The following leaders assumed their new roles Oct. 1:

Chairman. Matt Lambert, District 2

Vice chairman. Patrick Seyer, District 7

Secretary. Adam Casner, District 2

Treasurer. Dylan Rosier, District 1

Also elected in August to serve as MCGA officers are:

President. Bret Hoerr, District 3

Vice president. Brian Lehman, District 5

Secretary/treasurer. Ryan Meyerkorth, District 1

New MCMC board member Brian Willott of Mexico, Mo., was recently elected by growers in District 3 and assumed his new role Oct. 1. He will be nominated as a candidate for the MCGA board at the organization’s annual meeting in January.

New state fair director announced

Jason Moore has been named director of the Missouri State Fair.

Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn and Missouri State Fair Commission Chairman Kevin Roberts made the announcement in early October.

“The commission is excited to have Jason as our new director of the Missouri State Fair,” Roberts said. “He will bring a wealth of experience and fresh zeal to the position, and we look forward to his leadership.”

Moore has been a member of the Missouri State Fair staff since 2007 and serves as facilities manager. He will replace director Mark Wolfe when he retires from the position Dec. 31, after 15 years in the role.

Read more about:

Missouri State Fair

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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