Cooperator Spotlight

2016 Cooperators of the Year

Pasture Management Award Recipients

Jim and Norma Jeffreys

Jim and Norma Jeffreys

The Pasture Management Award is presented to landowners who are doing an outstanding job of forage management and have an understanding how their management style effects the environment.

Jim Jeffreys has called Mansfield home since 1981.  Before moving to Missouri Jim farmed 500 acres in Colorado where he ran 100 head of cow calf pairs.  Along with the cattle Jim cropped sugar beets, alfalfa, corn and milo for the cattle and grew watermelon and cantaloupe that he hauled to Denver to sell.  To supplement the farm in the beginning he worked for the railroad for 15 years until the farm required more time and attention.

Jim and his wife Norma are settled on 170 acres just south of Mansfield where he now runs 40 cow calf pairs.  He has been retired from the post office for over 10 years where he ran a sub route 7 years and eventually a full time route for 11 years.  Jim's grazing system was well under way before starting to work with the soil district.  Jim had already installed a majority of the cross fences but he was limited by water access. Cost share was completed installing tire tanks in an effort to better utilize the forages the on his farm.  Jim has also participated in the pest management program and has built a forage feeding facility.

We are pleased to present this year’s Pasture Management Award to Jim & Norma Jeffreys. 

Gary Raney Memorial Young Farmer Award Recipients

Gary Raney

This award was established in 2006 in memory of our friend Gary Raney.  It is intended to recognize young farmers who are doing an outstanding job of using innovative practices and techniques to improve the management of their farms while protecting and conserving our natural resources. 

Douglas Turner has been helping his dad, Larry, work on the farm since he took his first steps.  Working on the farm that his grandpa bought over 60 years ago gives Douglas a sense of pride that can’t be achieved in any other way.  Douglas graduated from Mountain Grove High School in 2002 and has been building his herd of dairy cows slowly as the years have passed.  He has currently worked up to the point that he and his dad are 50/50 partners.  Douglas has worked with the soil district office to establish a grazing system for the heifers they raise and has also worked on the holding pen and feeding area for the milk cows with cost share. 

We are pleased to present the 2015 Gary Raney Memorial Young Farmer Award to Douglas Turner.

J.D. Hutsell Honorary No-Till Award Recipients

Jason Collins

In 2012 the No-Till Award was presented to, J.D. Hutsell, in honor of his 46 year commitment as a board member with a vision to make no-till drills available to landowners.  At that time, the name of the award was changed to the J.D. Hutsell Honorary No-Till Award.  This award is normally given to individuals who are using the no-till drill to improve and renovate pasture and hay fields while improving forage quality and reducing erosion. 

In 1995 Dwight Collins purchased a piece of ground south of Mountain Grove and began the process of building a dairy facility.  With the help of NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of Missouri Extension the Collins Dairy is state of the art.  In 2013 Dwight was able to pass the farm onto the next generation when Jason purchased it from him.  Today Jason no-tills approximately 200 acres of corn which is then double cropped with wheat and rye.  While this doesn’t give him all the necessary feed for his 250 dairy cows, plus heifers that he raises for replacements, it does provide him with cheaper forage than purchasing all the ingredients.  Wright County Soil and Water pumping technicians pump the waste from the dairy lagoon back onto the fields to assist with nutrient requirements.  Realizing the importance of maintaining the topsoil Jason makes every effort possible to stop erosion.

We are pleased to present this year’s J.D. Hutsell Honorary No-Till Award to Jason Collins. 

Click here to see Past Cooperators of the Year