Conservation-minded landowners sought for Leopold Award

2020 Leopold Yoder 2 23Recipients of the state's 2020 Leopold Conservation Award were the Yoder family of Shelby County - Joshlin and Addie and their children, Aliza, Hazel, Scarlett and Linus.Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award Program, recognizing farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who go above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources. Nominees could win a $10,000 award for their efforts.

The Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, presents the Leopold Award in 23 states based on such criteria as innovation, adaptability, resilience, leadership and communications. Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of agricultural organizations including MFA Incorporated, partners with the foundation to bring the award to the Show-Me State.

In Missouri, the 2020 winners were Joshlin and Addie Yoder of Leonard, Mo. Previous state award recipients are the Brinker family of Auxvasse in 2019, the Scherder family of Frankford in 2018 and the Lambert family of Laclede in 2017.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes those who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate them­selves. Applications can be found and submitted online at or mailed to Missouri Farmers Care, c/o Kari Asbury, 4481 Brown Station Road, Columbia, MO 65202. All applications must be submit­ted or postmarked by June 30.

Finalists will be announced in September with plans to pres­ent the award in November 2021 at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture.

More information on the award and its recipients can be found at

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Drive to Feed Kids donates 1 million meals in 2020

Like many activities in 2020, the Missouri Farmers Care (MFC) Drive to Feed Kids looked a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the mission—to raise awareness of childhood food insecurity and support for food banks across the state—became even more critical.

“Farmers and ranchers work 365 days a year to produce abundance from our farms and ranches,” said Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director. “The Drive to Feed Kids addresses the disconnect where that abundance doesn’t reach our neighbors’ dinner tables. We are again heartened by the gener­osity of Missouri agriculture that shines through the Drive to Feed Kids.”

According to Feeding Missouri, the association of the state’s six regional food banks, more than 800,000 Missourians faced food insecurity before COVID-19. The association estimates that number has now increased by 39% to 1.1 million Missourians, including 335,260 children.

“In 2020, that need was greater than we’ve ever seen,” said Scott Baker, state director of Feeding Missouri. “As demand has spiked at food banks and pantries across the state, so, too, has the help provided by Missouri’s farmers.”

Even after adjusting to the challenges of 2020, the year­long Drive to Feed Kids still resulted in 1 million meals for food-insecure Missourians. The program benefited from several key partnerships and programs, including:

  • MFC and the Missouri Pork Association created the Pork Partnership to help bridge the gap between families in need and producers who faced a reduction in process­ing availability due to coronavirus-related slowdowns. All told, Missouri farmers provided 69,670 pounds of ground pork to Feeding Missouri.
  • Both Missouri 4-H and FFA initiated major community ser­vice activities to support the Drive to Feed Kids. This past spring, 4-H members provided 297,132 meals during a four-month 4-H Feeding Missouri campaign. Even though FFA members were not able hold their service day at the Missouri State Fair, a mini-grant program was created in which 63 FFA chapters each received $300 to fund food insecurity projects.
  • Missourians met a 50,000-meal challenge by giving indi­vidual donations. These contributions, along with $1,145 raised by FCS Financial employees, allowed Missouri ag­riculture to reach its goal. Missouri Soybean Association matched every dollar contributed to the challenge for a grand total of $10,000, providing the purchasing power of 50,000 meals.

MFA Incorporated is among industry sponsors of Missouri Farmers Care’s Drive to Feed Kids. To learn more, visit

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Clean out the chemicals

PesticideCollection MontgomeryCityDuring the Aug. 1, 2020, pesticide collection event at MFA Agri Services in Montgomery City, approximately 13, 287 pounds of waste chemicals were collected from 33 participants. The free program continues at different locations in 2021 starting this month. When you’re thinking about spring cleaning this year, don’t forget about those old, unwanted or leftover pesticide products sitting in your barn, shed, garage or home. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Pesticide Collection Program is offering free events throughout the state to properly dispose of agricultural and household chemicals.

Simply throwing away pesticides or pouring them down the drain can be detrimental to the environment, septic systems and the water supply. At these collection events, approved hazardous waste contractors will take these products and send them to a permitted inciner­ation facility. Accepted materials include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, dewormers, fly tags and fertilizer containing pesticides.

From 2012 to 2020, the Missouri Pesticide Collec­tion Program conducted 56 events, collecting nearly 630,000 pounds of waste pesticide from 1,751 partic­ipants.

In 2021, six collection events are scheduled from March through September, including two at MFA facilities in Lincoln and Marthasville. All events run from 8 a.m. until noon.

  • March 13 — Baker Implement Company, Homecrest St., Kennett
  • March 20 — S & H Farm Supply, 7 State Road A, Lockwood
  • June 5 — MFA Producers Exchange No. 84, 21127 Hwy. 65, Lincoln
  • June 26 — Ricketts Farm Service, 29394 Sterling Ave., Salisbury
  • Aug. 28 — Prairieland FS, 23922 State Rt. 81, Kahoka
  • Sept. 25 — MFA Agri Services, 304 Depot St., Marthasville

Keep all pesticides in original containers and identify those not in original contain­ers or with missing labels. Do not mix the pesticides with other materials, like used motor oil or antifreeze. Make sure lids are tightly sealed. If the container is leaking, place it in a larger container with a nonflam­mable absorbent, such as clay-based cat box litter. Secure waste pesticides upright in a cardboard box and transport in the back of a pickup truck, trailer or car trunk. Keep flammables out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat.

A hazardous waste contractor will unload the pesticides from your vehicle at the collec­tion event. Non-pesticide waste brought to the event will be rejected and sent back with the participant.

For more information, call 573-751-0616 or visit online at

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