Atchison County farmer Blake Hurst was re-elected president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation (MOFB) at its 104th annual meeting. Voting delegates elected Hurst, of Westboro, Dec. 4, to a fifth two-year term. He is the 14th president of the organization. Approving 2018 legislative policy and electing board members capped the three-day meeting of Farm Bureau county leaders that represent farmers and ranchers throughout the state.

In keeping with the meeting’s theme of “gratitude,” Hurst was thankful for the support of members. He said the progress the organization has made under his watch could not happen without the leadership in county Farm Bureaus and the staff at Missouri Farm Bureau. He added it is increasingly important that Farm Bureau members be vocal about their rural way of life and their livelihood — production agriculture.

Hurst has proven himself a capable and effective spokesperson for agriculture. A prolific freelance writer, he has written commentaries for nationally-recognized print and online publications. His essays and opinions have been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The American, Weekly Standard, Wilson’s Quarterly, Reader’s Digest, Today’s Farmer and Farm Bureau member publications. He continues to be sought out as a spokesperson for agriculture and is often the sole voice for farmers and ranchers on panel discussions about our food.

Hurst served as MOFB vice president for seven years and represented his area of the state on the board of directors for eight years. He is a past chairman of the MOFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, and served on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. Hurst now serves on the AFBF Board of Directors.

The farmer grows corn and soybeans with his father, brothers, nephews and his sons-in-law. He also operates a wholesale greenhouse business with wife, Julie, daughter, Lee, and sons-in-law Ryan Harms and Matt Schlueter. The family raises flowers on two acres of greenhouses.

Besides Lee, Blake and Julie also have a daughter, Ann, is the chief operations officer for their local hospital, and son, Ben, an attorney in Kansas City. The Hursts have six grandchildren.