Editor’s note: Due to the cancelation of the 2020 Farm City Banquet, the Nodaway County agriculture committee held the 2020 induction into the Agricultural Hall of Fame at the Nodaway County Fair’s Youth Livestock Premium Sale July 15. The following is the presentation by Will Goodspeed, president of the Nodaway County Extension Council.

The Nodaway County University of Missouri Extension Council has been presenting the Agricultural Hall of Fame award annually since 1976. Hall of Fame nominees must have been born or spent a significant part of their lives as a resident of Nodaway County and have a direct relationship to agricultural progress in the county.

This annual award is sponsored by the Nodaway County University of Missouri Extension Council.

The 2020 Nodaway County Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductee is Don Laughlin, Guilford.

Laughlin has worked for the American Angus Association in St. Joseph for many years, first as regional manager for 28 years, then as director of member services. In both of those roles, he provided association services to many Angus breeders, including during the challenging times breeders faced relative to genetic abnormalities.

He is active in the Missouri Angus Association and has served the association and its membership in leadership roles, serving a term as president elect.

Laughlin is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s animal science program and a proud alum. This pride in the program and feedback to the department helped to encourage improvements to the MU Trowbridge Livestock Arena and connections between the department and its alumni.

He is on the planning committee for the beef producers seminar, an annual program offered for many decades by MU Extension and industry partners. He has served on the planning committee for a number of years and always contributes thoughtfully to the discussion.

Laughlin is a thoughtful-leader and is passionate about the beef business. He is very connected and respected in the industry. He enjoys visiting with others about all things cattle, and encourages and mentors young people just getting started and wanting to get more involved.

He is most deserving of recognition for his contributions to beef production in Nodaway County and beyond.

Another 2020 Nodaway County Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductee is James “Arley” Larson, who was unable to attend the presentation.

Dr. Arley Larson, associate professor of agricultural economics in the Northwest Missouri State University’s School of Agricultural Sciences, retired on September 1, 2020 was a faculty member for 33 years providing instruction in microeconomics in agriculture, agricultural law, agricultural marketing, agricultural prices, agricultural finance, and rural real estate appraisal.

Larson joined the Northwest faculty in 1987 after earning his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and spending several years working as an economist for Agricultural Research and Management Services Inc. and the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. In addition to his teaching duties, Larson served as the chairman of the university’s department of agricultural sciences from 1993 to 2012. During his tenure as chairman of the department, Larson oversaw the day-to-day operations of the academic unit that experienced enrollment growth from nearly 300 students to 500. Furthermore he was heavily involved in the university’s early efforts related to alternative energy, alternative crops and contract broiler production.

In 2008, Larson was recognized with the Friends of GROWMARK Award for his work in promoting Northwest students qualified to fill both internships and full-time positions within the company. In 2011, Dr. Larson was recognized with the Honorary American FFA Degree, an award given to individuals who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. In 2012, he was honored with the distinguished service award for his outstanding service to the American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources (AASCARR). Larson has served AASCARR in various leadership capacities, including as president from 1998 to 1999 and as secretary. He also was involved in a successful effort to obtain authorization and funding for non-land grant capacity building grants through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture.