Meeting Schedule

 Luncheon Meetings are 
 from September to May, 
 11 am Networking,
Meal/Speaker 11:50 am -  1:30 pm

 Member Services


Each year, the St. Louis AgriBusiness Club selects the AgriBusiness Leader of the Year, a person who has made a substantial contribution
to the well-being of agriculture in the St. Louis area, either on a local or national scale. The recipient may or may not be a resident of the St. Louis area.

The individual’s service to agriculture reflects exceptional personal accomplishments and leadership that demonstrates outstanding abilities in administration, initiative in serving others, and a commitment to the improvement of agriculture.  These contributions may be through individual efforts as a farmer or businessperson, through his/her position with a company or organization/association, through a role as an educator, or as a government or other public service representative.

In addition to the individual’s accomplishments in agriculture, the person demonstrates community, area or national leadership through involvement in civic, church and other organizations and public service activities.

Since the award’s beginning in 1981, the following people have been named AgriBusiness Leaders of the Year (shown with their affiliation at the time of the award).


2018 Thad Simons
     Managing Director, The Yield Lab and President & CEO, Novus International, Inc.
2017 Dr. William H. Danforth
    Founding Chairman of the Board of Directors, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
2016 Bert Vescolani
    President & CEO, St. Louis Science Center
2015 Dean Dittmar

     Program Advisor, Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education(FCAE)
  2014 Fiscal Year Change - Short year (No award given)
2013 Stephen Censky
    CEO, American Soybean Association
2012 Dave Drennan
 Executive Director, Missouri Dairy Association
2011 John Shimkus
     US Congressman, Illinois-15th District
2010 Rick Tolman
     Chief Executive Officer, National Corn Growers Association
2009 Molly Cline
     Sr. Director-Industry Affairs, Monsanto
2008 John Becherer 
     CEO, United Soybean Board
2007 Greg Guenther
     Farmer, Guenther Farms, Belleville, IL

2006 Steve Drake
     President and CEO, Drake & Company

2005 Jim Talent
     U.S. Senator, Missouri
2004 Roger Beachy
     Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
2003 Kenny Hulshof
     U.S. Congressman, Missouri
2002 Christopher Brescia
     Midwest Area River Coalition 2000
2001 *Ron Scherer
     Owner, Ron Scherer & Company Marketing Communications
2000 Warren Stemme
     Grain Farmer, St. Louis County
1999 David Schumacher
     Agricultural Director, 550 KTRS Radio
1998 Morris Larson
     Agricultural consultant
1997 Christopher "Kit" Bond
     U.S. Senator, Missouri
1996 Dale Ludwig
     Missouri Soybean Association
1995 Richard McWard
     Bunge Corporation
1994 *Bill, *John and Louis Keller
     Horseradish Growers, Collinsville, IL 
1993 *Jerry Neff
1992 Richard Stegmann
     CEO, Lange-Stegmann Fertilizer
1991 Jim Russell
     MO-AG Industries
1990 *James Keast
     Former General Counsel, USDA
1989 Charles Kruse
     Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture
1988 *John Pellet and *Earl Stolte
     St. Louis County Farmers
1987 Peter Meyers
     Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, USDA
1986 John Campbell
     Dean, College of Agriculture, Univ. of Illinois
1985 Jeffrey Gain
     CEO, National Corn Growers Association
1984 Nicholas Reding
1983 *Glenn Heitz
     CEO, Farm Credit Banks
1982 R. Hal Dean
     CEO, Ralston Purina Company
1981 Dr. Ken Bader
     CEO, American Soybean Association

Outstanding Member of the Year
2018 - Warren Stemme, Farmer, Warren Stemme Farms
2017 - Denny Mertz, Farmer and St. Louis County Farm Bureau
2016 - Steve Launius, Farmer and Washington County Farm Buruea(IL)

Criteria for Awards
1 – Individual’s contribution to the promotion, development, improvement, and well-being of the agricultural industry in the St. Louis area, either on a local, state, or national scale. While it would be generally advantageous for the recipient to be from the St. Louis area, it is not required.
2 - Individual’s service to agriculture reflects exceptional personal accomplishments and leadership that demonstrates outstanding abilities in administration, initiative in serving others, and a commitment to the improvement of agriculture. These contributions may be through individual efforts or through their position with a company, organization, association, agency, educational institution, governmental office, or other public/private entity.
3 - Individual’s leadership and involvement in community and civic events and activities.

The nomination should be made on individual or company letterhead stationary and include the following information:
-Name of award nominee
-Name, signature, and contact information of the person submitting the nomination
-2 page maximum summary in paragraph form including reasons and qualifications relating to the selection criteria