New fence at Rock Hill

Written by TF staff on .

Cemetery at Rush Hill, Mo. is final resting place of MFA founder.

Rock Hill Cemetery near Rush Hill, Mo., is MFA organizer William Hirth’s final resting place. The remote cemetery is as peaceful as ever, but a little brighter thanks to a nearby farmer. With support from the MFA Charitable Foundation, local farmer Harry Riechers led an effort to replace an old woven-wire fence with a white three-rail ranch fence. The project was finished in late summer.

Hirth, who spent his youth near the cemetery, was a great leader of the cooperative movement in the Midwest. In 1908, Hirth started the Missouri Farmer and Breeder Magazine (which evolved over the years to become Today’s Farmer). Hirth saw the difficult times farms were going through in the early 20th Century and figured cooperative action the best way to bring farmers into the mainstream of “modern” life. He used his publication’s editorial platform to call for the formation of farm clubs. Eventually, he became the clearinghouse for farm clubs that were springing up around Missouri, collecting group orders and submitting them en masse to manufacturers for tremendous discounts. Those cooperative efforts were the beginnings of MFA. Until his death on Oct. 24, 1940, Hirth had been elected president of MFA every year from 1928, resigning only 18 months to run unsuccessfully for the Missouri governorship. The epitaph tomb stone reads, “He loved agriculture and all things beautiful.”

Reserve Grand Champion MO State Fair steer fed MFA

Written by TF staff on .

Evan Kempker, 21, of Jefferson City, Mo., won Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the 2011 Missouri State Fair. His steer weighed 1,295 pounds. Evan is the son of Dan and Diane Kempker and a member of the Eugene FFA Chapter.

Kempker sold the steer for $17,250 to MFA Incorporated along with Youth in Agriculture and hometown supporters. Kempker purchased feed from the Lohman MFA Agri Services.

Other winners who fed MFA feed included Claire Silvers of Eldorado Springs, Mo., who won overall Reserve Champion in the steer carcass contest. Silvers purchased MFA Feed from Golden City Produce Exchange. Austin Lasher of Hamilton, Mo., took grand champion honors in the lamb carcass contest. Lasher purchased feed from MFA Hamilton.

Missouri Farmers give away free groceries

Written by TF staff on .

Sharon Payne of Halfway, Mo., is selected as the third and final winner in a summer campaign to increase awareness of Missouri agriculture
The Missouri Farmers Care coalition awarded Sharon Payne of Halfway, Mo., $500 worth of free groceries on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the MFA Bolivar Farmers Exchange in Bolivar, Mo. Payne was randomly selected as the third and final winner in an educational campaign with the St. Louis Cardinals to help make a connection between consumers and the farmers who feed them.
"This gift will go a long way for a family of two, so I was very excited to win this--especially in this tight economy," Payne said. "The state of the economy the last couple of years has really affected my husband's work."
Payne works as a bookkeeper for Independent Printing in Springfield, and her husband Michael is a self-employed floor covering installer.  The Payne family said they appreciate Missouri farmers reaching out to Missouri communities.
"I think some people forget that their food doesn't just come from a grocery store," Payne said. "Farmers work very hard and are the backbone of America."
Coordinated by Missouri's major agricultural groups and agribusiness organizations, the Missouri Farmers Care Grocery Giveaway began June 1 as part of a comprehensive outreach effort through the St. Louis Cardinals. Through the grocery giveaway promotion, MFC selected contest winners in June, July and August. Missouri consumers signed up for their chance to win at by watching videos featuring Missouri farmers and completing an online entry form.
Other elements of the Safe at the Plate summer education campaign with the St. Louis Cardinals include radio ads featuring Missouri farm families, videos of Cardinals mascot Fred Bird visiting four Missouri farms, an AgriMissouri™ gift basket giveaway at every Friday night home game, print advertising and promotional materials.
Sponsoring groups of the Safe at the Plate campaign and the Missouri Farmers Care Grocery Giveaway include the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Midwest Dairy Association, MFA Oil, FCS Financial, Missouri Farm Bureau, MFA Incorporated and the St. Louis AgriBusiness Club.
Additional information regarding Missouri Farmers Care and Missouri agriculture can be found at  

Never mind those new rules

Written by stevefairchild on .


Papers, please.

Hanlon's Razor , the best I can trace it, is typically delivered: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” This keeps me from expending too much energy figuring motives when bureaucrats line up square pegs and pound at round holes. In the case of requiring farmers to comply with federal Department of Transportation commercial driver’s license rules under the Motor Carrier Safety Act, we witnessed in action just what the huge uptick in federal hiring will continue to deliver. 

As the rule changes were suggested, the normal cycle came into full view.

It goes something like this:

1) Non-elected federal rule makers float a new regulation that would turn an industry upside down.

2) Members of said industry funnel time, money and energy away from their usually productive schedule to point out how ridiculous and damaging the new rules would be.

3) Public relations professionals, lawyers and lobbyists draw up grand plans and multi-layer billing schemes to counter the proposed rules in the sphere of public opinion.

4) Mass media smells a story that will get emotional reaction from readers and viewers, dispatching staff to capture the drama. 

5) The public is duly outraged.

6) The bureaucrats at the rule-making agency respond by saying they’re just doing their jobs to make everyone’s life safer, longer and more fulfilling, but that, obviously, they never intended such a ridiculous rule be inflicted on the affected industry. 

And once that’s done, Media Matters reminds us it was all an right-wing conspiracy. Never mind that pesky Federal Register. 

It’s our great republic at work. 


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