The 50th anniversary of Farm Family Day was celebrated recently, at the Missouri State Fair. Over 100 counties across the state were represented on the fairgrounds by successful farm families, including 16 families from southwest Missouri.

Each year the Missouri State Fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families with a special day at the fair, a dinner in the director’s tent on the fairgrounds and a plaque. Local MU Extension Councils also typically provide funding to help the families with their expenses to the State Fair.

The honored families from southwest Missouri this year included: Chong, Haou and Yia Yang, Barry County; Doug, Cathy, Caitlyn, Chad and Chase McKibben, Barton County; Mark, Karen and Audra Beason, Cedar County; Art and Juanita Steinbaugh, Christian County; Tim, Lori, Joseph and Thomas Eggerman, Dade County; Robert, Sherry, Robert Jr., Vernie, Tiffany and Becky Doehring, Dallas County; Mike, Rochelle, Sedalia and Jebediah Shumaker, Greene County; Clayton, Karen, Joel and Charlie Stokes , Hickory County; Jeff, Jazan, Jenilee, Jacob Martin, Jasper County; Todd, Kelley, Tanner, Riley, Kassidy, Bo and Dakota Schubert, Lawrence County; Justin, Jessica, Colton and Emerson Ruddick, McDonald County; Steve, Rebecca, Jessica and Jacob Johnson, Newton County; Shannon, Janieca and J.W. Hancock, Polk County; Joe, Dee , Chad, Cassi, Kyle, Brian, Cody, Adam, Jacob, Rylee, Mason and Dustin Murray, Stone County; Glenn, Cindy, Makyna, Logan, Sundee, Southards and Ralen Dalton, Taney County; and Tim and Vicki Essary, Webster County.

The honored farm families are selected by County Extension Councils based on set criteria. Farm families must be active supporters and cooperators with University of Missouri Extension, active in community and leadership activities, have a child involved in 4-H, FFA or other youth activities and be respected by their neighbors.

“Farm Family Day is an opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions Missouri farm families make to the State of Missouri,” said David Baker, assistant dean and program director for the agriculture and Natural resources, University of Missouri Extension. “We feel it is important to recognize those who do so much to support Missouri’s Extension offices.”

According to Baker, the program recognized farm families from 106 of Missouri’s 114 counties.

The event was sponsored by Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Fair, University of Missouri Extension and the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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