In 1915, the first meeting of the Missouri Association of Farm Bureau Counties formed the first state Farm Bureau in the United States. Over 300 farmers attended this two-day meeting in Slater, Missouri, March 24 and 25. It was immediately apparent how much influence counties could have on improving agriculture.
Thirteen county Farm Bureaus had already formed in Missouri by this inaugural state convention. Pettis County Farm Bureau was the first, established in 1912, and sent 34 delegates to the convention.
In early years, Farm Bureau advisors hired by county Farm Bureaus were the precursors to today’s Agricultural Extension agents, assisting farmers and ranchers with production and management advice. Although formal financial ties between county Farm Bureaus and Extension agents were long ago dissolved, Farm Bureau members continue to play active roles on Extension and 4-H youth councils.
Missouri Farm Bureau has grown to more than 143,000 members . In the halls of Congress and the General Assembly, Farm Bureau continues to be the voice of agriculture, helping farmers and ranchers do the job of producing food for the world. Members enjoy insurance coverage from what is now the largest insurer for farmers and ranchers in the state. The organization’s clout allows it to provide discounts for members on cars, trucks, hotel stays and a multitude of other items.