The 11th annual University Extension Pettis County Fundraiser dinner and auction for 2023 was held last Saturday at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 3700 West Broadway.

Attendance at the event was by far the best ever, with about 205 people served, raising $9900 before expenses, according to Patty Wood, Extension Council President and Extension Fundraiser Chair.

"What a tremendous turnout for our 2023 event! We are fortunate to have a supportive community for our extension programs and we know that these funds will ultimately help our county carry out those innovative and exciting opportunities!" Wood commented.

Matt Boatright was the emcee for Saturday’s presentations.

Pettis County Presiding Commissioner Bill Taylor served as auctioneer for the live auction. In addition, there was a silent auction of numerous donated items.

Pettis County Extension honored their 2022 Missouri State Fair Farm Family – Brad and Jessie Elwell and family.

The Missouri State Fair Farm Family can be actively engaged in agriculture, be a supporter of the State of Missouri, MU College of Ag, Food and Natural Resources and the Missouri Farm Bureau. Farm Families are active in their community and are in leadership roles with their Church, Farm Bureau, school, or other organizations.

They are actively involved in 4-H, FFA and other youth organizations. They provide opportunities for youth to have exposure to agriculture.

The Elwell Family did not want to accept the honor, until it was pointed out that just because they do not reside on a farm, they do exemplify what a Missouri State Fair Farm Family is.

Daughters Keely and Ivy along with all of the other LaMonte FFA Chapter youth attended CDE Contests around the State, and packed 25,000 meals in Smithton for the Pettis County Community. Ivy was chosen as the 2023 Area VIII President.

Next month, Keely will receive her State FFA Degree. Brad and Jessica lead the Muddy Creek Saddle 4-H Club and host the Muddy Creek Horse Show and are a big part of the Pettis County 4-H/FFA Horse Show.

The Family is also involved in the Church and assist with the LaMonte Food Bank.

The next presentations were for the Century Farm recipients.

In 1976, the Centennial Farm project was initiated in Missouri to award certificates to persons owning farms that had been in the same family for 100 years or more. Interest in the program continued, with the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and University of Missouri Extension planning a 10-year update in 1986 called the Century Farm program.

This program has continued to grow, resulting in it becoming a yearly event with over 100 farms recognized each year.

This year Pettis County recognized two farms:
Greenhill Farms, LLC 1914, Tommy and Tim Summers, 22656 Highway O, Smithton.

Tommy Summers came to the Extension office with a copy of the Deed. In April of 1914, Frank Summers purchased Greenhill Farms for $3,000 and the tract measurements were in poles and links.

Phillips-Isaac Farm 1869, Wanda Isaac, 18886 Hwy EE

Mrs. Issac came into the Extension office with a binder of information on the family farm, with deeds and land grants and other interesting paperwork.
Pettis County Missouri Century Farm Families have carried on the tradition of the family farm for 100 years or more.

The final presentation was the Leaders Honor Roll. The Leaders Honor Roll is designed to honor those individuals that show true leadership in their community and who have helped Extension build a strong and healthy community through their continued support and involvement in local programming. Upon selection, the names are engraved on a Leaders Honor Roll plaque which is on display at the Extension office.

Extension then showed their deepest appreciation for the leadership, support and involvement that Eastern Commissioner Israel Baeza gives to the community by naming him to the Leader Honor Roll. Israel serves as the Pettis County Eastern Commissioner, has been on the Extension Council for four years, was instrumental in getting the Extension's Administrative Assistant, Sherol Bose, on the county insurance plan, and played a huge role in the increase in the 2023 budget for Pettis County Extension Council.

Israel had a previous engagement Saturday night, so he was unable to attend, therefore Noah Shepard, assistant to the commissioners, received the award on Baeza's behalf.

Pettis County Extension Council members who have fulfilled their term of four years and rotating off the council were recognized.

Dana Binder, Jane Henderson and Kevin Gibbs were each given certificates of appreciation for all their hard work.

More From AM 1050 KSIS