Madison County Farm Supply recently hosted its annual breakfast in advance of Thank a Farmer week, which was held March 6-10. More than 932 years of farming experience was represented at the March 4 breakfast.
During the awards portion of the breakfast, the Toppins Family was recognized for being chosen as the 2023 Missouri Commercial Angus Producer of the Year.
"We are here to honor and recognize George and Becky Toppins, and their son Brandon, as Angus producers," David Royer said. "It's hard work, we know that, to take care of cattle, and a lot of us, we have farms and take care of cattle and work another job."
Royer said the Toppins family works as an unbelievably efficient team using calm and compassionate cattle-handling skills on a daily basis.
"There are no additional people hired to spread fertilizer, plant seed, cut and bail hay, brush hog, vaccinate or feed the cattle," Royer said. "George is quoted as saying 'I am kinda picky the way I want cattle handled, fences built and equipment ran.' I describe that character trait as being articulate and being articulate pays off for the Toppins family."
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Royer read a quote from George Toppins, "Success in the cattle business is, if you can make enough money when you sell your yearlings, that you can do it again next year. This is true success."
Royer said, as a result of this driven and focused effort, the George Toppins Family has had more than 30 years of success and they continue to build a better and more sustainable tomorrow.
Next, Eric and Kylie Jones were recognized as the Young Farmers for 2023.
"We want to recognize a young family that is very educated and very much an upbeat family," Ivan Kranjec said. "They are really a beautiful family that has a tremendous amount of desire to get a better quality cattle. Eric and Kylie Jones are young farmers who have really put their heart into their farm. We are really proud of them."
The Lifetime Farmer recognition was given to Elvis and Janet Chamberlain.
"For the Madison County Lifetime Farmer, they choose someone who has lived in Madison County all their lives and the person that is nominated this year is still living in the house that his father built," Rita Yount said. "The only time he has been off the farm was when he did his two years of service in the army."
Yount said Elvis and Janet would drop anything to help one of their friends or neighbors and she was honored to present them with this recognition.
The final recognition, Good Neighbor, was given to Rita and Andy Yount.
"When I think of a good neighbor, a good neighbor is someone who is going to help you out regardless of what happens and they will say 'I'm here, let me know what you need,'" Donna Kranjec said. "Well, for years and years, and I'm not going to tell you how many years, I have had a good neighbor."
Earlier in the presentation, the president of the Fredericktown FFA chapter, Leah Thompson, gave a speech for which she won first place at state earlier this fall, entitled "Missouri Forest, a Success Story."
Katie Fennewald from Madison County Farm Bureau began the presentation with a joke and a summation of the annual week-long observance.
"This is Thank a Farmer week, we give books to schools, we do a lot of exciting things," Fennewald said. "But the most exciting thing is bringing farmers together."
IN PHOTOS: Thank a Farmer Breakfast gallery
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Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at email@example.com