A communications professional at the Missouri Department of Agriculture has received national recognition. Misti Preston, who serves as deputy director of the MDA's Agriculture Business Development Division and as director of strategic communications, received the 2011 National Association of State Departments of Agriculture's highest award for communications professionals.
"This is a tremendous honor and well-deserved recognition for Misti's efforts and accomplishments on behalf of all Missourians," said Director of Agriculture Jon Hagler. "Misti has significantly expanded the department's outreach and promotional efforts, including spearheading our efforts to connect the agriculture industry to consumers and to connect consumers back to agriculture."
Director Hagler nominated Preston for the NASDA Honor Award for Communications in July and stood alongside her as she accepted the recognition from NASDA president and Utah Commissioner of Agriculture Leonard Blackham during the annual conference of agriculture directors, secretaries and commissioners.
Preston has served in the Missouri Department of Agriculture since September 2004. During that time, she has led the department's communication efforts under three governors and five agriculture directors. Her responsibilities include communications efforts, developing printed materials and website content, marketing, special events and long-range planning for the department.
During her seven years with MDA, Preston has developed and strengthened many programs through her creativity, flexibility and dedication. This year, her leadership has helped the AgriMissouri program grow from approximately 250 members to more than 1,100, and launched an entirely new website for the program. She also facilitated the creation of Missouri's Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund and nearly $200,000 in donations for disaster victims this year.
Preston is a graduate of Drury University in Springfield, where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations. She is a native of Republic.
Source: Missouri Department of Agriculture