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The application submission deadline was March 15.
Blake Hurst was first elected the 14th president of Missouri Farm Bureau on December 7, 2010. Blake was a district board member on the Missouri state board for eight years, and served seven years as Missouri Farm Bureau vice president.
He raises corn and soybeans with his father, brothers, nephews and sons-in-law. He also operates a wholesale greenhouse business with his wife, Julie; daughter, Lee; and sons-in-law, Ryan Harms and Matt Schlueter. The family raises flowers in two acres of greenhouses.
Blake and Julie have three children. Lee works in the greenhouse with her family, Ann is the chief operating officer for their local hospital and Ben practices law in Kansas City. Blake and Julie have six grandchildren.
Blake is also a freelance writer. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The American, Weekly Standard, Wilson’s Quarterly, Reader’s Digest, Today’s Farmer and the Show Me magazine of Missouri Farm Bureau.
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BJ Tanksley is Missouri Farm Bureau’s Director of State & Local Legislative Affairs. In this role, he coordinates the organization’s legislative activities in Jefferson City.
Prior to this position, BJ had served as the Southeast Regional Coordinator since starting with Farm Bureau in 2013. Before this he worked with the state legislature on behalf of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
BJ received a Political Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University. He, his wife Ashley, and their two children live in Ashland Missouri.
Dan Cassidy was appointed as Chief Administrative Officer of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation and Affiliated Companies, effective April 1, 2003. In addition to his administrative duties, Dan coordinates Farm Bureau’s legislative and political action programs and serves as a lobbyist for the farm organization at the state and national levels. Dan has legislative experience from previous state and national positions, and served as the Director of National Legislative Programs for the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation from 1996 – 2002. Prior to joining Farm Bureau, Dan held the positions of Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; Legislative Assistant for Agriculture with U. S. Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond; and Program Director for the University of Missouri Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI).
Eric Bohl serves as the Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy for Missouri Farm Bureau. In this capacity, he directs the organization’s media and communications activities, creates and strengthens relationships with agribusinesses and serves on the MOFB legislative team. Eric previously served five years as Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), including handling her work on the House Agriculture Committee, and two years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO). Before entering public service he practiced law in Cape Girardeau, focusing on real estate and commercial transactions.
Eric was born and raised in Harrisonville, Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri for his undergraduate and law degrees and graduated from both programs with honors. While in law school he served as the Managing Editor of the Missouri Law Review. Eric, his wife Sarah, and their three children reside in Columbia.
Kelly Smith is the Director of Marketing and Commodities and has worked for Missouri Farm Bureau Federation since July 1986.
His responsibilities include serving as Farm Bureau’s liaison to state commodity organizations and merchandising councils, working on commodity issues, staff advisor to Farm Bureau’s commodity advisory committees and special interest workgroups, a member of MFB’s legislative team, staff advisor to the East Central Endorsement Committee, provides market information to members vis MFB’s website and ag outlook meetings across the state and serves on many agricultural industry boards, councils and task forces.
Smith attended the University of Missouri – Columbia and has a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics.
Prior to working for Farm Bureau, Smith farmed in Shelby County. He was an active county Farm Bureau leader, holding most county committee chairman opportunities and also serving as county president. Kelly and his wife, Peggy, served on the State Young Farmer Committee. He was appointed Chairman of the State Young Farmer Committee and served as an advisory member to the State Board of Directors.
Smith remains involved in the management of their farm.
Since November, 1985, Diane S. Olson has served as Director of Promotion and Education Programs for the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation.
As program director, Diane develops and coordinates programs that promote agricultural understanding, leadership development and citizenship. Agriculture in the Classroom, an effort to reach students and educators with the message about agriculture, is a major emphasis. This includes teaching workshops, providing in-service and pre-service education opportunities for teachers.
Prior to joining the Farm Bureau staff, Diane was employed as a Child and Family Development Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension Service.
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.
Spencer Tuma is Missouri Farm Bureau’s Director of National Legislative Programs. In this role, Spencer coordinates Farm Bureau’s efforts on Capitol Hill and coordinates the annual policy development process for Missouri Farm Bureau.
Spencer attended the University of Missouri where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Plant Sciences. She also completed her Master’s in Public Affairs with an emphasis in Policy Analysis from MU’s Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs.
Prior to joining Farm Bureau in 2017, Spencer worked for U.S. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler as her Political Director and as a Field Representative. As a student, Spencer participated in Collegiate Farm Bureau and competed at the American Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet. In addition, Spencer served as a legislative intern at Missouri Farm Bureau during the summer of 2015.
Spencer and her husband, Andrew, reside near Jefferson City, Missouri.
Todd Hays, of Monroe City, is vice president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation. He was first elected vice president in 2010, and previously served on the board of director’s 2nd district seat representing northeast Missouri.
Before serving on the board for six years, Hays was appointed MOFB Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) chairman in 2003, serving in an advisory capacity on the board for one year.
Hays is a fifth-generation farmer. Together with his wife, Rosanne, they operate a crop and livestock farm, managing a 600-sow herd and finishing hogs for market, in partnership with Rosanne’s mother and brother. The Hays’ son, Donnie, returned to the farming operation after earning his college degree and manages the sow operation. Donnie and wife, Ashley, live in Monroe City. The Hays also have a daughter, Juliana, who is a junior at the University of Missouri.
The Hays are Marion County Farm Bureau members and Todd is a board member. He has served as county vice-president and county YF&R chairman. At the state level, he serves as chairman of both Farm Bureau’s Resolutions and FARM-PAC Review committees. Community involvement includes the Knights of Columbus, FFA Alumni and Monroe City Agri-leaders. Hays has been a member of the Monroe City R-1 school board. Commodity group involvement includes the pork and cattlemen’s producers, and soybean and corn growers.
In 1984 Hays received the FFA State Farmer Degree and in 2004 was named a FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer. In 1997 he was the Missouri Outstanding Young Farmer.