Guest speaker Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst

The Audrain County Farm Bureau held its annual meeting Tuesday with more than 130 attending the event at the Audrain County 4-H Center.
Darren Reynolds, president of the Audrain County Farm Bureau, gave opening remarks and welcomed members and guests attending the dinner meeting. He introduced state and local dignitaries present, as well as the local board members and committee chairpersons.
The guest speaker for the evening was Blake Hurst, President of Missouri Farm Bureau. Hurst was elected the 14th president of MFB on Dec. 7, 2010 and reelected in 2012. He has a long record of Farm Bureau involvement and leadership.
Hurst had high praise for the local Farm Bureau. He talked about the importance of the Farm Bureau and agriculture. Hurst also voiced his concerns about not having a Farm Bill. "We need one (Farm Bill)," he told those attending. He added there are eight legislative days before the current Farm Bill expires.
After the meal and before the meeting, Callie Cox sang the National Anthem and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
As custom at the annual meeting, teachers in the community were awarded mini-grants for their classroom projects. This year's recipients were Kayla Long, McMillan Elementary; Theresa Farnell, Vanessa Kerr, both from St. Brendan; and Kendra Allen, Mexico High School FFA. Accepting the award with Allen was FFA member Cheyenne Hunt.
Farm Bureau members and guests were entertained by a team of FFA members from Centralia High School. They presented an Ag issue forum on Hydraulic Fracturing or "fracking." Hydraulic fracturing is a process used in nine out of 10 natural gas wells in the United States, where millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart the rock and release the gas.
The students' presentation was titled "The U.S. People vs. Hydraulic Fractoring." The forum had to be an ag related issue and be under 15 minutes. Austin Stanton was the prosecutor and presented the con side; Sam Sudbrock was the defense attorney in favor of fracking. The team took first at the State FFA Convention and will compete later this year at the National Competition. They were accompanied by their adviser Scott Stone.