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Blake Hurst announces retirement from Missouri Farm Bureau presidency

The Missouri Farm Bureau will have a new president next year. After ten years in that position, Blake Hurst has announced he will retire at the end of this term. Hurst – a greenhouse and row crop producer from Tarkio – tells Brownfield it’s time for new leadership, and stepping down will give him more time at home.

“It’ll nice to get to work on the farm and not have to pick up and leave tomorrow, or the day after, or whatever as my schedule demands,” Hurst told Brownfield Ag News. “I’m looking forward to being able to do just a good block of farm work without distractions.”

There is, however, a chore for which Hurst has given little assistance in the last decade, but he has no regret.

“The worst job in the greenhouse business is replacing the plastic on poly greenhouses, and I’ve been able to miss that for years and years and years,” Hurst admitted. “I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but I’m going to spend some time recovering greenhouses.”

State Farm Bureau leaders are road warriors, which is the case for Hurst, but he and his wife Julie look forward to travel after he officially no longer presides over the statewide organization. In fact one of his favorite parts of being Missouri Farm Bureau President is seeing much of the Show Me State.

“I particularly enjoy just driving around Missouri going to county annual meetings and regional meetings we’ve held around the state,” he said. “After ten years of doing this I feel like I really know our state having traveled to every corner of it, and that has been a source of pleasure for me from day one and, honest to gosh, I’ve really never gotten tired of it. So I imagine we’ll continue to explore the lesser traveled roads in Missouri as well as the rest of the country.”

Hurst – who was elected in 2010 following the retirement of Charlie Kruse – says he’s announcing his departure at an appropriate time. “An old saying I like to repeat is that ‘All political careers end badly,’ meaning that often times people in public roles stay too long.”

Hurst says he’s grateful the Missouri Farm Bureau has continued to grow even through the pandemic, and is financially strong as well as influential in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C.

“I think I’m leaving at a great time for the Missouri Farm Bureau and I’m proud of, as I often say, not leaving this job feet first,” said Hurst. “I’m walking out under my own steam and proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

A new president is to be elected in December.

AUDIO: Blake Hurst

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