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Chris Chinn Guest Speaker at KC Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
By Crystal Howerton
Approximately 50 people gathered at the Knox County High School cafeteria on Thursday evening, September 4, 2008 for the Knox County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. President Leon James gave the welcome at 6:00 p.m. Prior to the meal, Nancy Douglas gave the invocation.
Guest speaker Chris Chinn was introduced by Leon James. Chinn resides on her family’s hog farm near Clarence with her husband, Kevin and their two children, Rachelle and Connor. Chris manages the production and financial records for the family’s 2,400 sow farrow-to-finish hog operation. The Chinn’s own their livestock and use production contracts with local farmers to finish their hogs to market size. They also own and operate their own feed mill, which enables the family to purchase all of their grain locally from area farmers.
Chinn served on the Missouri Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. She is the past Chairman for the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, and served on the Board of Directors for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Chris represents farmers and ranchers on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee. She has traveled the United States speaking about the importance of telling the story of agriculture, as well as putting a face on agriculture to ensure our consumers know their food is produced in an environmentally friendly method, as well as humanely caring for our farm animals. Chris testified before the U.S. Senate regarding the impacts, if any, of Confined Animal Feeding Operations.
Chinn spoke to Knox County’s Farm Bureau members about her various experiences and encouraged local members to get involved in spreading the word about agriculture. She advised farmers to tell their story to the local media.
Annual business was conducted following Chinn’s message. The minutes from the 2008 annual meeting were approved, as well as the financial statement. Nominations for the Election of Directors were heard from Gail James: The following 2008-09 directors were elected: Northwest District – Karie Holman and James Penn; Northeast District – Stacy Harder and Miranda Glasgow; Southwest District – none; Southeast District – Lynn Douglas and Karisha Devlin.
The 2007-08 Officers retained their offices. They are: President – Leon James; Vice-President – Rhett Hunziker; Secretary – Barb Hunziker; and Treasurer – Pam Morford.
Rhett Hunziker showed a short video regarding Missouri Farm Bureau policy and asked members to fill out the 2008 Policy Development Questionnaire on energy and other policies. Then, legislative updates were heard from Senator Wes Shoemyer and Representative Brian Munzlinger.
Hunziker announced the Missouri Farm Bureau has endorsed Republican candidate for Governor, Kenny Hulshof, instead of Democratic candidate for Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, who Hunziker said did not return the Farm Bureau’s questionnaire. For 9th District Congress, Republican candidate Blaine Luetkemeyer was endorsed over Democratic candidate Judy Baker. According to Hunziker, Luetkemeyer has a 100% record of voting with the Farm Bureau organization, while Baker’s record is 50%. Baker also did not return the Farm Bureau questionnaire.
Leon James announced that the Knox County Farm Bureau Pepsi wagon earned $400 during the Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair in June. The proceeds were donated to Knox County’s 4-H and FFA organizations. Treasurer Brady James accepted $200 on behalf of the Knox County FFA. The portion for the Knox County 4-H will be delivered at a later date.
Missouri Farm Bureau policy was also discussed by 2nd District Farm Bureau Board Member Todd Hays, as well as issues pertaining to the humane society and other such organizations. He stated that the average age for a Farm Bureau member was 58 years old and that the organization needed to start recruiting younger members.
Hays also recognized Representative Munzlinger as the recipient of the Friend of Agriculture Award for the third consecutive year.
Prior to adjourning, Leon James recognized Insurance District Manager Jim Berry, thanked Farm Bureau Secretary Tammi Mallett for her efforts in organizing the annual meeting and those who prepared the meal, as well as announcing Sean Bonnell as the new Edina agent, who was unable to attend due to family illness.