Nodaway County Extension Awards

2019 Nodaway County State Fair Farm Family

Nodaway County Farm Family. The Hess Family in foreground left to right  Matt, Grayson, Jerrica, Triston and Belinda,

Back Row: Left to Right Dignitaries - Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor for MU Extension & Engagement, & Chief Engagement Officer, UM System, Blake Hurst, President, Missouri Farm Bureau, Nikki Cunningham, Missouri State Fair Commissioner, Christopher Daubert, VC and Dean, MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Christine Chinn, Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Ted E. Sheppard, Missouri State Fair Commissioner, (Seated) Lowell Mohler, Missouri State Fair Commissioner.

Matt and Belinda Hess and family of Maryville were among the families honored during the 61st annual Farm Family Day, Aug. 12 at the Missouri State Fair.

The Hess family was selected as the Nodaway County Farm Family by University of Missouri Extension in Nodaway County and the local Farm Bureau. The family includes Jerrica, Grayson, and Triston

Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state that are active in their communities, involved in agriculture, and/or participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H or FFA.

The Hess family operates a cattle, hay, and row crop farming operation.  The Hess Family motto is “Family Farming for the Future!” They live by this on their farm and in their community.  Matt and Belinda both graduated from Northwest Missouri State University and were married in 2004.  Farming runs deep in their roots going back to the 1920s when Matt’s granddad started farming.  Belinda showed cattle through 4-H and FFA.  They both take pride in continuing the tradition with their children.  Jerrica, Grayson, and Triston have been involved in the operation since the day they were born.  Everyone plays an important role in the day to day operation, from planting, harvesting, haying, calving and even gardening, cleaning, or crop tours.  The family takes great pride in sharing with their friends and family.  They have been able to help share their experiences in their community with their local 4-H group and have even offered job shadow opportunities to local schools. 

The annual event is sponsored by five partner agencies: the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri State Fair Commissioners, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and MU Extension and Engagement.

This year, all 114 Missouri counties plus the City of St. Louis participated, honoring nearly 500 people from the 115 farm families.

The event showcases the impact Missouri Farm Families have on the economy and heritage of the state, said Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe. “These families are involved in agriculture activities in their communities and are active participants in local outreach and extension. As the premier showcase for Missouri agriculture, the Missouri State Fair is most certainly the appropriate place to celebrate these families.”

Prior years State Fair Family


2018 Ag Hall of Fame

JR Schmidt

JR Schmidt has been known throughout his life for his passion for Angus cattle and his support of Agriculture in Nodaway County. He graduated from Maryville High School in 1949, when he purchased his first registered Angus cow, which was the beginning of his cow herd. He attended four quarters of college until he was drafted into US Army, through the Korean War. In 1956, he married Shirley Joyner and they purchased their first farm in 1960, southwest of Maryville. Through the years, he has owned and operated a purebred Angus cow-calf operation, while providing Angus seed stock bulls to fellow cattlemen. In addition, he produced soybeans, corn and hay, while working as a Fontanelle Seed Dealer

JR gave generously of himself through public service,

  • He served as a past board member for the Missouri Farm Bureau in Nodaway County
  • As a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles
  • A past Deacon of the First Christian Church in Maryville
  • A past Executive Board Member of United Producers
  • A past Trustee of Polk Township Board
  • Member of the American Angus Association
  • Served on the MFA Livestock Association Board

Building and maintaining a strong family business, he and his wife of 62 years have raised three children, Debbie, Steve and Dave. They enjoy their seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. They were awarded the Nodaway County Farm Family in 1988, and he has remained active in the cattle industry even beyond retirement. He has continued to serve on the United Producers Executive Board until 2009. Today, he has over 1,100 acres, in addition to cattle, which he rents and leases to his son.

Prior years Ag Hall of Fame


2018 Extension Leader Honor Roll

Each year, the Nodaway County Extension staff is given the opportunity to name outstanding community leaders to the University of Missouri Leader’s Honor Roll. This award recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond their call of duty on behalf of Extension. This year we would like to honor Ralph Johnson and Chris Wallace.

Ralph Johnson, a retired member of the Navy and Air National Guard at Rosecrans teaching small arms, took his knowledge of firearms and teaching them to assist the Nodaway County Shooting Sports Program.  In 1992, Ralph attended the training to be a certified trainer, since then, He along with the other certified leaders host the annual Shooting Sports Clinic in which they teach the youth of the region proper handling of firearms and range etiquette.  Ralph is also the .22 range leader at the annual Nodaway County Shoot at Miller’s Range in Ravenwood.  Ralph is very strict on proper safety and is very proud of the fact that in his time of working with thousands of youth that there has never been any type of incident at the range. We would like to thank Ralph for his 26 years of service and leadership to the Nodaway County Shootings Sports Program and look forward to year 27 and many more on the range.

Christopher Wallace served on the Nodaway County MU Extension Council as the City of Maryville appointee from 2014-2018.  During his term, he served as the county representative to the Northwest Region Extension Council.  Then he was appointed by the regional council to represent northwest Missouri on the State Extension Council.  During this time, Christopher has advocated for MU Extension in the county, region, and State.  He serves in his roles in the maximum capacity and is always looking for ways to connect MU to the local community.  He works hard to make sure the views and needs of the area are well represented at the state level and works hard to ensure everyone is heard.  We truly appreciate all of his efforts to promote and support MU Extension.  We look forward to continue working with him!

Prior years Extension Leader Honor Roll


2018 Missouri Century Farm

The Missouri Century Farm program is jointly administered by the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Jackson Farms - Lloyd T. Jackson - 565 acres near Bolckow has been in the family since 1863.


Prior years Missouri Century Farms