KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension writer Duane Dailey won the 2018 Agriculture Educator Lifetime Achievement Award at the Missouri Livestock Symposium on Nov. 30.
The award honors an educator making significant contributions to agriculture in northeastern Missouri, says Zac Erwin, MU Extension livestock specialist and symposium organizer.
For 57 years, Dailey “taught through the media.” He writes science stories easily understood. He tells about MU research on forages, cattle and economics. “All go together,” Dailey says. “Cows eat grass and make money for 38,000 Missouri farmers.”
In recent years, he told how to replace toxic K-31 tall fescue. He shares beef reproduction research in common words to help farmers boost profits and save time. He promotes fixed-time artificial insemination. AI led to the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program.
For 30 years, he wrote economic outlooks from the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. He still covers MU economists.
Dailey grew up near Mercer, Mo. The farm boy left to earn a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism in 1957. Then he served two years in the U.S. Army before returning to MU to earn a master’s degree in extension education. He stayed in the Army Reserve, rising to the rank of captain.
He retired 23 years ago after serving as an extension professor and news director in MU Ag Information. He says he “flunked retirement” to return as an MU writer.
An award-winning photographer, Dailey documented stories of more than 100 mule people. A 2014 exhibit, “Missouri Mules and Men,” showed the life of the state animal and its people. His black-and-white photos preserve history. He and the late Melvin Bradley made four books on mules.
For 15 years, Dailey was co-director of the Missouri Photo Workshop. Now he continues to teach professionals there. In 2007, the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame inducted Dailey as a member. He holds numerous honors from media and agricultural groups.
Named in his honor, the F. Duane Dailey MU Student Enrichment Fund helps agricultural journalism students. The fund, still growing, pays student travel.
Dailey lives in Columbia and has two grown daughters.
In acceptance, Dailey said the award was given too soon. He isn’t done yet.