Jim Murphy & Sons

Ash Grove farm family chosen for state fair recognition

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Inside the arena at the 2016 Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Inside the arena at the 2016 Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., – Rick and Brenda Whitehead and family of Ash Grove were among the families honored during the Missouri Farm Family Day, Aug. 15 at the Missouri State Fair.

The Whitehead family was selected as the Greene County Missouri Farm Family by the Greene County Extension Council and local Farm Bureau. The family includes their daughters Angela Perusse and Carrisa Thomas and grandchildren too.

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

The Whitehead family operates a successful hog operation south of Ash Grove and has been showing hogs at the Ozark Empire Fair for 40 years. The Whitehead’s children and grandchildren have been actively involved as members and leaders in 4-H Clubs and FFA. The Whiteheads themselves have also been very involved in the Ash Grove 4-H Youth Fair for 30 years.

The annual event is sponsored by five partner agencies, including the 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.

This was the first year in its 58-year history that all 114 counties participated by nominating a family.

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.”

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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