State Fair Farm Family Named

State Fair Farm Family Named

The Clark County Extension Council held their annual picnic on July 17 at O-Mak-O-Hak Park and honored the James and Laura Gray family as the recipient of the 2008 Clark County State Fair Farm Family Award. This family was chosen according to specific criteria that includes: farm family engaged in agriculture; active supporters and cooperators with University Extension; active in community affairs and leadership; have children involved in 4-H, FFA, or are active in other youth organizations; and respected by their neighbors and community.

The Gray family will be entertained and recognized during a dinner at the Missouri State Fair on Monday, August 11. The purpose of Farm Family Day is to recognize the outstanding contribution farm families make to the State of Missouri and to Missouri agriculture. University of Missouri Extension, University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Missouri State Fair and Missouri Farm Bureau jointly sponsor this event.

The Clark County Extension Council chose the James and Laura Gray family as their 2008 State Fair Farm Family. The Gray family will be entertained and recognized during a luncheon at the Missouri State Fair on Monday, August 11. The purpose of Farm Family Day is to recognize the outstanding contribution farm families make to the State of Missouri and to Missouri agriculture. University of Missouri Extension, University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Missouri State Fair and Missouri Farm Bureau jointly sponsor this event.

This family was chosen according to specific criterion that includes: farm family engaged in agriculture; active supporters and cooperators with University Extension; active in community affairs and leadership; have children involved in 4-H, FFA, or are active in other youth organizations; and respected by their neighbors and community.

The Gray family is very involved in all aspects of farming. James has been engaged in farming since 1986 and has row crops, but is mainly a cattle stocker. He is a member of the Clark County Cattlemen’s Association. Laura is a Registered Nurse and has been employed at Keokuk Area Hospital for the past 20 years. She serves as leader of the Shamrock 4- H Club.

The Grays have four children, Britten, 15 years, Abigail, 13 years, Alexandra 11 years and Nickalus, 7 years old. Britten assists with all aspects of the farming operation. He is a member of the Clark County FFA and Indian Football Team. Abigail is involved in basketball and track and is President of the Shamrock 4-H Club and member of the National Junior Honor Society. Alexandra enjoys playing traveling team basketball and is secretary of the Shamrock 4-H Club. Nickalus is a member of the 4-H Clover Kids
and loves the farm life along with playing T-ball. The Gary family is active members of the Shrine of St. Patrick Catholic Church

The Gray family enjoys working together as a family. All are a helpful part of the farming operation from feeding livestock, sorting cattle, mowing, raking, bailing and moving hay and driving tractors. They enjoy spending time together, fishing, swimming, riding 4-wheelers and many other activities. As Laura said, “It is not unusual to see the entire Gray family working together on every part of the farming operation.” They are a family that works and plays together. According to Whiston, “the Gray family epitomizes the farm family ideals and characteristics set forth for this recognition.”

The Clark County Extension Council felt the Gray family was very deserving of the award because of their strong leadership and commitment to agriculture in Clark County.
Debby Whiston, Clark County Extension Program Director recognized the Gray family and welcomed all extension council members and their families. Those attending the picnic were Bill Bonine, Steve and Pam Oilar, Trudi Baker, Mike Scott, Dorothea Hunziker, Barb Parrish, Teresa Miller, David, Pam, and Amelia Boudreau, Marilyn Hall, Susan and Kylie Selway, Joe and Susan Thomson, Lowell and Linda Gordy, Wendy and Jayvin Ray, John, Mandy, Alex, and Tristen Shores.

After a delicious picnic supper, members held a brief meeting to conduct council business.

“University of Missouri Extension Programs Are Open To All”

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