Each year MU Extension in Osage County and the Osage County Farm Bureau selects a local farm family as the Farm Family of the Year to represent Osage County at the Missouri State Fair. The farm family chosen should meet the following criteria:
Farm families who are actively engaged in agriculture and rely on University of Missouri Extension and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources for their programming and technical assistance.
Active supporters and cooperators with University of Missouri Extension
Active in their community and in leadership roles with organizations such as Farm Bureau, church, school and other farm organizations.
Actively involved or support youth organizations such as 4-H, FFA and other youth organizations.
Respected by their neighbors and community for their leadership and engagement.
The family is interested in attending and agrees to represent their county at the Missouri State Fair.
The annual event is a partnership of Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri State Fair and Commissioners, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and University of Missouri Extension and Engagement.
All 114 of Missouri's counties nominated families this year, plus the City of St. Louis, with nearly 500 family members being honored from across the state. The event showcases the impact Missouri Farm Families have on the economy and heritage of our state. "These families are involved in agriculture activities in their communities, and are active participants in local outreach and extension," said Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe. "As the showcase for Missouri agriculture, the Missouri State Fair is most certainly the appropriate place to celebrate these families."
2020 and 2021 Osage County Farm Family
Mark & Amy Fechtel live in Westphalia, MO with their two daughters, Adrienne and Carley. They own and operate Fechtel South Poll Cattle Co. with Mark's brother Danny on their century family farm located in Osage county Missouri. They practice regenerative farming through adaptive grazing to promote healthy soil. This practice promotes healthy grass, which in return produces healthy grass-fed beef and sheep.
They run around 80 head of registered South Poll cattle and approximately 100 plus head of Katahdin cross sheep. They are currently in the process of switching over to the faster growing and better meat quality breed of sheep called Australian White sheep. This breed is new to the USA and originates from Australia. The cattle and sheep are grass-fed with no added hormones, wormers, supplements or antibiotics. The cows get rotated every 1-2 days while the sheep every 4-5 days. They are moved to a fresh patch of grass, distributing their manure which is used in place of fertilizer.
The Fechtel family was active in 4-H for 7 years as both Mark and Amy were their community's club leader for 5 years and their daughters held officer positions and showed livestock at the county fair. Mark is also a member of the South Poll Cattle association, Australian White Sheep association, Osage County young farmers member, and past board member of the Soil and Water Conservation.
Osage County Farm Family Recipients
2020 & 2021: Mark & Amy Fechtel
2019: John & Janel Juergensmeyer
2018: Chris & Amber Fennewald
2017: Myron & Lindsay Luebbering
2016: Mark & Robin Lieneke
2015: Glen & Lisa Henneke
2014: Duane & Darlene Fennewald
2013: Tom & Stacy Vehige
2012: Terry & Mary Neuner
2011: Bruce & Sunshine Shanks
2010: Mike & Mary Wilbers
2009: Kent & Karen Kuschel
2008: Russell & Miriam Scheulen
2007: Jerry & Donna Weber
2006: Stephen & Julie Wieberg
2005: Wayne & Kim Trachsel
2004: Luke & Elaine Deeken
2003: Doug Lubbering
2002: Keith & Carole Moore
2001: Stan & Donna Luebbert
2000: Veron & Alice Tilly
1999: Leon & Jane Heckman
1998: Randy & Darla Heckman
1997: Sam & Pat Jones
1995: Jim & Debbie Boehm
1993: James & Elaine Brandt
1992: Stephen J. & Nancy Berhorst
1991: Keith & Doris Neier
1990: Paulsmeyer Farms, Inc. - Arthur, Jr. & Eileen, Roger & Carol, Duane & Sabra, Bob & Joyce
1989: Ken & Cecelia Rademan
1988: Loehner Stock Farm: Mark & Roxie, Tom & Becky