Mike Parson addressed the crowd at the Missouri State Fair Missouri Department of Agriculture
READY TO LEAD: Last year, Mike Parson addressed the crowd at the Missouri State Fair as a candidate for lieutenant governor. This year, Missouri’s agriculture advocate, now holds the highest office in the state.

A farmer in the governor’s office. It’s about time

Who is Mike Parson? Farmer, statesman, servant, family man.

A farmer is now Missouri’s governor! I don’t care about individual political affiliations, if you are involved in agriculture or living in a rural community, you should be cheering.

However, if you live closer to major metropolitan areas, these individuals do not know much about now Gov. Mike Parson.

Days after the new broke that Eric Greitens had resigned as governor of Missouri, news outlets in St. Louis focused on reporting about then Lt. Gov. Mike Parson. Many led with stories of “Who is Mike Parson?”

I laughed. Apparently, those same news outlets don’t cover Missouri Farm Bureau annual meetings, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association meetings, Missouri FFA Convention, okay, anything that involves Missouri agriculture. If so, they would know Parson. He is a farmer, statesman, servant and family man.

The farmer. It was amazing to read articles from news organizations like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch stating, “Parson said he had been working on his farm when he heard of the pending resignation.” He was at his cattle operation in Bolivar, Mo. Let that sink in.

There are many politicians claiming to have a connection, be it their grandparents or great grandparents, to the farm, but Parson works his own land and cattle.

He grew up on a farm in Hickory County. Today, he is a third-generation famer who runs a cow-calf operation.

The statesman. Parson is no stranger to politics. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-2011 and in the Missouri Senate from 2011-2017.

Missouri Department of Agriculture

RURAL ROOTS: Mike Parson, along with his wife, Teresa, takes time to greet fairgoers during the 2017 Missouri State Fair.

He was chair of the House Rules Committee and championed many rural issues like Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which strengthens the 2nd Amendment, and the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment, which changed the state constitution to guarantee that all Missourians have the right to farm and ranch. In the Senate, Parson chaired the Small Business Insurance & Industry Committee. He also served as Majority Whip.

In the November 2016 election, Parson ran for lieutenant governor. He received the most votes of any candidate in Missouri history, winning 110 of 114 counties.

Now, he is set to lead the state as governor.

The servant. Parson was serving his country and community long before the state. He served six years in the U.S. Army and 12 years as sheriff of Polk County.

The family man. Parson and his wife, Teresa, take great pride in their two children and five grandchildren.

It will be fun to watch a farmer run the state. If there is someone right suited for the role of governor, it is a farmer because he can multitask. He can adjust to weather, maneuver market swings, negotiate prices, harvest hay, buy and sell equipment and livestock, volunteer in his community, and host family gatherings.

And one thing about Parson, he does it with a smile — not the fake politician smile, but the one that conveys just how blessed he is to have the support of his family, friends and farming community.

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