Ag Icons Recognized For Leadership and Excellence

Ag Icons Recognized For Leadership and Excellence

The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City honored three individuals whose leadership in agriculture policy, practice and academia have contributed to the economic growth of the Heartland’s agriculture industry. Senator Bob Dole, Brady Deaton, retired Chancellor of the University of Missouri, and Dee Likes, Chief Executive Emeritus of the Kansas Livestock Association, all received the Jay B. Dillingham Award for Agriculture Leadership and Excellence at a luncheon ceremony June 17 in the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Board Room at Union Station.

 “These three individuals have had a positive and lasting effect on our community. They are strong examples of what being an advocate for agriculture can accomplish,” says Mike Johanning, Chairman of the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City.

Appearing live via Skype from Washington, Sen. Dole – who was introduced by Council founder Gina Bowman – said it was vital that ag production and agribusiness work together. He also noted there has to be bipartisan compromise to craft effective agriculture policy that is good for farmers, industry, and American citizens: “You have to give a little.”

Sen. Dole holds the record as the nation’s longest serving Republican lawmaker. He is a national leader and Kansas legend, as well as 27-year veteran of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Sen. Dole worked on virtually every major piece of farm legislation during that time, but perhaps none was more important than the 1985 Farm Bill. As he approaches his 92nd birthday this summer, Sen. Dole teased Council members that he was thinking about running for office again “when I get a little older.”

Brady Deaton was described as epitomizing what the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 was intended to accomplish.  He, himself, called the Land Grant Act the “most powerful institution Congress has created.” His efforts in agriculture academics over more than half a century have strengthened global agriculture and economic development.

Deaton served as chancellor of the University of Missouri (MU) from 2004-2013, after joining the University as a professor and chair of the agricultural economics department in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in 1989. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Deaton the chairman of the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD).  He is Director of the Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development at the University of Missouri.

Known as the “face of the Kansas livestock industry,” Thomas “Dee” Likes served as CEO of the Kansas Livestock Association for three decades, working tirelessly on behalf of Kansas livestock producers. During his tenure, Likes positioned KLA as one of the most respected lobbying organizations in Kansas. Most recently he received a commendation by proclamation from Governor Sam Brownback and the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives for the leadership he provided to cattle ranchers and the beef industry in the state.

Tom Brand, Executive Director of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, served as master of ceremonies at the luncheon. John Deere and JE Dunn Construction sponsored the event.

Source: Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City 

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