MO Dairy Hall of Honors Foundation highlights industry achievements

The Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors Foundation recognized contributors to the state’s dairy industry during its recent annual meeting. 

The former executive director of the Missouri Dairy Association, Dave Drennan, was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for his 23 years of work in Missouri’s dairy industry. During his time at the association he focused on dairy promotion, education and policy in the state. This includes starting a multi-state dairy meeting and helping raise money to build the Gerken Dairy Center at the Missouri State Fair. He tells Brownfield a lot has changed for the state’s dairy industry from when he started in that role in 1995.

“We were the 10th largest dairy state and then, it was a steady decline. When I retired in 2019, we were the 26th largest dairy state. It’s not only happening in Missouri, but other states across the country where dairy farmers are going out of business.”

But Drennan tells Brownfield he remains hopeful young farmers can adapt to new technology, consume the latest information and stay involved for the future. He says there are also efforts underway at the state capitol to help encourage new farmers.

“I noticed the Missouri Corn Growers Association is trying to develop a program to bring young farmers in. I applaud that and think it is a great effort.”

Drennan tells Brownfield he’s proud of the relationships he built throughout his time working in Missouri agriculture. The Meritorious Service Award was one of four awards given during the annual meeting.

Additional recognition for the event includes the Dairy Leadership Award given to Tom Oelrichs; the Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award given to Ridge View Farm from Lancaster, Missouri; and the Pioneer Dairy Leader Award presented posthumously to Sam and Ethel Messer from Cairo, Missouri.

Hear the interview with Dave Drennan.

  • Dave, I was so proud to hear this interview. When you said what you did (about what will you miss most), it made me realize that’s exactly the way I feel. My statistics for eggs are worse than yours; when I started in 1976, there were over 200 egg producers. Now, not counting the Mennonites 3-state coop, and hobby farmers, there are only two big ones. You gave it the best effort and you ‘drank Holy water!” Your laurels are stacked hi, rest on them.

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