Five individuals were honored with the Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award December 9. The presentations were made by MOFB President Blake Hurst during the annual meeting’s opening session at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Each year the award is given to select individuals who have demonstrated their desire to work closely with Farm Bureau and have supported agriculture throughout their careers. This year, five join the list of honorees. They are Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, past Senior USDA Advisor Brian Klippenstein, retired MOFB Chief Financial Officer Randy Campbell, and MOFB Director of Promotion and Education Programs Diane Olson who retires December 31.
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer has represented Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District in east central Missouri since 2009. He is a native of St. Elizabeth, where he operates a 160-acre farm. His family has lived in the district for four generations. A graduate of Lincoln University, before entering public service, he worked in banking and insurance and served as a bank regulator for the state of Missouri. Luetkemeyer served six years as a State Representative before serving as Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee. He and his wife, Jackie, have three children and six grandchildren.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional District in west central Missouri. Hartzler grew up on a farm in Cass County. She graduated from Archie High School, the University of Missouri, and the University of Central Missouri. She taught public school for 11 years in Lebanon and Belton. Hartzler began her public service in 1994 when she served for six years as a State Representative. She was elected to Congress in 2010 and now serves on the House Agriculture Committee and Armed Services Committee, where she is currently Ranking Member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee. Hartzler is the Chairwoman of the House Values Action Team. She, her husband Lowell, and their daughter Tiffany live on a working farm near Harrisonville.
Brian Klippenstein grew up on a 5,000-acre registered beef cattle farm in northwest Missouri. He is a graduate of George Washington University, where he was captain of the rowing team and has since become an accomplished ultramarathon runner. Klippenstein worked 26 years for Congressman Tom Coleman, Senator Roy Blunt, and Senator Kit Bond, serving five years as Bond’s chief of staff. He served as executive director of Protect the Harvest and during that time was instrumental in passage of Missouri’s Right to Farm Amendment in 2014. Most recently, Klippenstein served as a senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. He and his wife, Jackie, have two children and live on a small livestock farm outside of Platte City.
Randy Campbell was employed by MOFB in 1998 as director of corporate accounting. He went on to serve as chief financial officer from 2001 until he retired in May. Campbell led many successful initiatives at Farm Bureau, from a new software development initiative, to the creation of new insurance companies and an agency sales manager program. He developed the plan to restore the Wallendorf log home near the MOFB Center in Jefferson City. Originally from Jefferson City, Campbell attended college at the University of Missouri and is a certified public accountant. He raises cattle with his wife Sharon, who also serves as an Agency Sales Manager for Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Diane Olson has served as MOFB director of Promotion and Education Programs since 1985 and retires December 31. Prior to joining the Farm Bureau staff, Diane was employed as a Child and Family Development Specialist with MU Extension. Diane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Missouri State University and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Olson is responsible for a number of changes at Farm Bureau. As she moved beyond a Women’s Committee structure to our current Promotion and Education Committee, she developed the Ambassador Program and managed Farm Bureau activities like the Thank a Farmer program, the Grow Exhibit at the St. Louis Science Center, Agriculture in the Classroom, and the Missouri State Fair. She and her husband Carl have one son, daughter-in-law and grandson.