The American Farm Bureau presented its highest honor to Charles Kruse during the annual convention in Oahu, Hawaii, Monday. The Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award went to Kruse who is the former president of the Missouri Farm Bureau.
AFBF established the award to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving farming and ranching. A fourth-generation farmer, Kruse has dedicated more than 40 years to agriculture, including service on a range of local, state and national committees, among them the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission, the Governor's Advisory Council on Agriculture and President George H.W. Bush's Council on Rural America.
For 18 years, until his retirement at the end of 2010, Kruse served as president of Missouri Farm Bureau. Prior to that Kruse was the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 1985 to 1991.
In a press statement announcing the award, AFBF President Bob Stallman says: "Charlie Kruse embodies Farm Bureau as well as any one person could. We are proud to call him our own and honored to have worked along side him to ensure a strong future for American Agriculture."
During his comments when he received the award, Kruse noted the honor, he thanked current Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst for nominating him. And he thanked his wife, Pam, "for walking hand-in-hand with me through all these journeys," he says.
Kruse's resume is long, and distinguished. He has represented U.S. agriculture in numerous efforts to grow international markets for American Food and Fiber. In addition, in 2010, as a retired brigadier general in the Army National Guard, he assisted in creating agri-business development teams in Afghanistan.