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25 YEARS-The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council (MCMC) celebrated their 25th anniversary at their annual meeting March 17 in Jefferson City, Mo. Current and retiring MCMC board members celebrated the anniversary. Pictured (L to R) are: Front row-Terry Hilgedick, Hartsburg, Mo.; Charles Krueger, Kahoka, Mo.; John Quinn, Chillicothe, Mo.; Jayne Glosemeyer, Marthasville, Mo.; B.J. Bailey, Oregon, Mo.; Mike Geske, Matthews, Mo.; Paul Gross, Corder, Mo.; back row-Greg Schneider, Warrenton, Mo.; Rob Korff, Norborne, Mo.; Kevin Hurst, Tarkio, Mo.; Keith Witt, Warrenton, Mo.; Billy Thiel, Marshall, Mo.; Jim Steuver, Dexter, Mo.; Kerry Rose, Liberal, Mo.; Gary Porter, Mercer, Mo.; and Morris Heitman, Mound City, Mo. (Journal photo by Doug Rich.)

Hagler addresses MCGA annual meeting

By Doug Rich

Dr. Jon Hagler, recently appointed Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, presented the keynote address at the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) annual meeting. The annual meeting was held Feb. 17 in Jefferson City, Mo.

Hagler told the corn growers that it is not Thomas Jefferson on top of the Capitol building in Jefferson City but the goddess of agriculture.

"She is up there for one reason--because of how important agriculture is to the state of Missouri," Hagler said.

"The farmer is the link between yesterday and tomorrow, between the values we hold so dearly and the future we cannot always see clearly, and between what consumes our children and what our children consume," Hagler said.

Hagler said farmers are the stewards of our land and water resources and, when they thrive, we all thrive. When farmers don't thrive, the rural economy does not thrive, rural communities do not thrive, and the state does not thrive.

"It has been said that the future belongs to those who see the possibilities before they become obvious," Hagler said. The new economy is in front of us and the possibilities are endless."

Hagler received Senate confirmation to his position as Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture on Jan. 29. Hagler is a lifelong horseman and continues to operate a small farm near St. James, Mo., where he raises, trains, and sells Missouri Fox Trotters. Over the past three years, Hagler served as Gov. Nixon's principal adviser and liaison on agriculture issues and was instrumental in drafting the governor's agricultural and environmental policies.

Prior to this, Hagler served as the senior corporate development officer for the University of Missouri-Rolla. From 2001 to 2003, Hagler was executive director of governmental and external affairs at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Calif.

Doug Rich can be reached by phone at 785-749-5304, or by e-mail at richhpj@aol.com.

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