James and Jana Brixey and family, above center, of Norwood, Mo. were among the families honored during the 60th Annual Missouri Farm Family Day, held on August 13 at the Missouri State Fair. Standing behind the family, from l to r, are Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor for Extension & Engagement; Blake Hurst, President, Missouri Farm Bureau; Nikki Whitehead, 2018 State Fair Commissioner; Samantha Nelson, 2018 MO State Fair Queen; Ted Shepperd, State Fair Commissioner; Chris Daubert, Dean MU College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; and Christine Chinn, Director, MO. Dept. of Agriculture.
Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state who are active in their communities, involved in agriculture and/or who participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H or FFA. In the urban areas we recognize greenhouse operations, mum pumpkin farms that are a part of Ag Tourism, and Urban gardening that offsets food deserts.
The Brixey family owns and operates a 276 acre 70 cow, jersey dairy farm operation, as well as a small herd of beef cattle and operates another 350 acres. James received an animal science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and Jana received a family consumer science degree from the College of the Ozarks. In addition to the farm, James also currently serves on the Central Equity Milk Coop board and the local school board. Jana is a pre-school teacher at Skyline R-2 School and a 4-H club leader. Jenna and Jacob attend Skyline R-2 School and are members of the Skyline 4-H club. They have shown in the dairy shows at the local fairs for the last 6 years. The Brixey family are members of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Mountain Grove.
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.”