Equipping the future

In today’s high-tech world of agriculture, training in proper techniques has never been more important. That’s why MFA has partnered with State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, Mo., to offer a new Custom Applicator, General Technol­ogy program.

The MFA-sponsored program is the only one of its kind in Missouri and provides interested students with hands-on education, two internship experiences and the opportunity for full-time employment with MFA Incorporated after graduation.

“Through this program, students will be equipped with the advanced knowledge, training and confidence they need to succeed as skilled custom applicators,” said Jessica Kueffer, MFA Incorporated recruitment and employee development manag­er. “There is a limited window to apply, so students shouldn’t delay if they’re interested in being part of this program.”

The Custom Applicator program starts during the summer between a student’s high school graduation and his or her first semester at State Tech and continues through a two-year academic program. Students will be taught by State Tech elite educators and MFA industry professionals as they shape their knowledge of sprayers, spreaders, agronomy, steward­ship and true customer partnering.

“The program may be a good fit for young people who want to further their knowledge of agriculture, work in a high-demand field and operate heavy equipment,” Kueffer said. “It allows them to earn a degree while getting hands-on job experience and a fast track to employment.”

Applications are still being accepted for this year. For more information, contact Kueffer at 573-876-5212 or jkueffer@ mfa-inc.com or visit www.statetechmo.edu.

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Closing Missouri's meal gap

Drive to feed kids folderlogoWith the 2019 Drive to Feed Kids campaign now under way, Missouri agriculture is banding together once again to provide food for hungry children and stand in the gap for those who face food insecurity.

According to recent data from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap,” more than 240,000 children in Mis­souri do not know where their next meal will come from. One in five children in our state regularly face hunger, and rural Missouri counties have the highest rates of food insecurity, affecting one out of every three children.

“We continue to see food insecurity grow in rural areas,” said Gary Marshall, Missouri Farmers Care chairman. “Through Drive to Feed Kids, we have the opportunity to raise awareness, while showcasing the tremendous work of farmers and ranchers who leverage sci­ence, technology, their expertise and natural resources to provide food for the world.”

In 2018, farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, FFA members and legislators supplied more than 100,000 meals, donated 18,932 pounds of canned food and packed 2,000 backpack meals for Missouri children. In addition, the drive raised more than $160,000 for Missouri’s six regional food banks to pur­chase child-friendly meals.

“Kids Feeding Kids” is the focus of this year’s campaign, re­flecting the role of youth volunteers such as FFA members who contribute to the cause. On Tuesday, Aug. 13, hundreds of FFA members from across Missouri will again work side-by-side during their “Food Insecurity Service Day” to pack more than 100,000 meals for Drive to Feed Kids at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

That day is also Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive $2 Tuesday. Fairgoers can enter the Mis­souri State Fair for $2 with a minimum do­nation of two canned food items. MFC will present a check from this year’s campaign to Feeding Missouri during the Brothers Osborne/Ashley McBryde concert at the fair on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Companies, farms, individuals and civic groups can participate in the Drive to Feed Kids by becoming a sponsor. If you would like to partner with MFC to benefit the Drive to Feed Kids, contact Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director, at ashley@ mofarmerscare.com. Individual donations can be directed to http://mofarmerscare.com/drive or text Drive2 to 44321. All donations will be dedicated to Feeding Missouri’s network food banks that work daily to alleviate childhood hunger.

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, visit online at www.mofarmerscare.com.

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Seeking stellar stewards

LeopoldAward ScherdersRecipients of the 2018 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award were John and Sandy Scherder along with their daughter and son-in-law, Holly and Curtis Delgman, of Frankford, Mo. Also pictured are the Delgmans’ children, Wyatt, Roxie and Bailey. Together they accomplish major conservation practices utilizing innovative seeding methods, cover crops and crop rotation.Missouri farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding steward­ship and management of natural resources will have an oppor­tunity to win a $10,000 award for their efforts.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award Program, recognizing those who make extraordinary achievements in vol­untary conservation. Nominees will be evaluated on such criteria as conservation ethic, innovation, adapt­ability, resilience, leadership and communications.

The Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit conser­vation organization, presents the Leopold Conser­vation Award to private landowners in 14 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Missouri, the award was presented for the first time in 2017 in conjunction with Missouri Farmers Care and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. Previous winners of the Missouri Leopold Award are 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.

“The Leopold Conservation Award highlights the great work of Missouri farmers, ranchers and for­esters,” said Gary Marshall, chairman of Missouri Farmers Care. “These efforts are firmly rooted in enhancing the stewardship of farming and ranching operations. This program highlights farmers’ best practices and purpose to meet an ultimate goal: leaving the land in better shape for the next generation.”

Nominations may be submitted on be­half of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. All applications must be submitted or postmarked by Friday, July 12. The application can be found online at mofarmerscare.com/leopold-conservation-award/. Email applications to MFC Outreach Coordinator, Kari Asbury, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail to Missouri Farmers Care, 4481 Brown Station Road, Columbia, MO 65202. Finalists will be announced in November with the award presented in December 2019 or January 2020.

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