JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Three individuals were honored with the Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award December 5. The presentations were made by MOFB President Garrett Hawkins during the opening session of the organization’s annual meeting at the Lake of the Ozarks.
The award is given annually to select individuals who have demonstrated their desire to work closely with Farm Bureau and have supported agriculture throughout their careers. This year, they are Missouri Congressman Jason Smith, retired MOFB Director of Marketing and Commodities, Kelly Smith, and retired MOFB Insurance Companies Director of Underwriting and the MOFB Legacy Life Company, Keith Cramer.
Congressman Jason Smith is a seventh-generation Missourian, a citizen-legislator, and a champion for the rights and values of rural Missourians. He still owns the family farm started by his great grandfather in Salem, Missouri, where he was raised. He attended Salem High School and an active in FFA. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, Smith earned degrees in Agricultural Economics and Business Administration, then attended law school at Oklahoma City University. He returned to Missouri to run the family farm and practice law. Recognizing the harm an overbearing government was inflicting on Missourians and our economy, Smith ran for office. He was elected to the Missouri General Assembly in a special election in 2005. In the General Assembly, Smith worked to shrink the size of state government, eliminate burdensome rules and regulations, increase government transparency, protect property rights, require drug testing for welfare recipients and defend Missouri agriculture. During a special election in June of 2013, Smith was elected to represent Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District in the U.S. House. He now serves as the Republican Leader of the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. Congressman Smith served in House leadership during all four years of President Trump’s term from 2016 to 2020.
Kelly Smith (photo) retired from his role as MOFB’s director of Marketing and Commodities in March 2022 after 35 years of service. Before he was employed by Farm Bureau, Smith was a county leader, serving as Shelby County Farm Bureau president, membership chair and young farmer chair. He later served as MOFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee chair and advisory member on the board of directors. In 1986, Smith began his career at MOFB as a regional coordinator for northeast Missouri. He became marketing and commodities director in 1997. He served as an advisory member to may agriculture groups throughout the state and led the Missouri Farm Bureau Commodity Committees. Smith is known by members for his thorough Market Outlook meetings. He is also known for his cooking and his rug hook artwork has won State Fair competitions. Smith and his wife Peggy reside in Jefferson City and spend time with their three grown children and several grandchildren.
Keith Cramer (photo) served MOFB members and policy holders in several roles throughout his 33 years of service. His most recent role was as the director of Underwriting and director of the Missouri Farm Bureau Legacy Life Company. Keith always took challenges head on and worked to improve the customer experience while positioning Missouri Farm Bureau for the future.