Agricultural Business Council to honor two agribusiness leaders

The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City will honor two of the region’s leading agricultural figures for being champions in separate but very key areas in the region.

The first honoree is Lowell Mohler, former director of Missouri Department of Agriculture. A native of Holt County, Missouri, Mohler served for 26 years as the chief administrator of the Missouri Farm Bureau. He later served as Missouri Director of Agriculture under Governor Bob Holden. He is a long-time member of the Missouri State Fair Commission. He has also served on boards of the Missouri Ducks Unlimited, Missouri Conservation Foundation and 4-H Foundation of Missouri. He also served on the Missouri Conservation Commission from 2001 to 2009. He has been honored by many Missouri agricultural groups, including ALOT, Missouri Ag Industries Council and the University of Missouri Alumni Association.

The second honoree Ken Odde has spent his career serving the animal industry including the last 10 years leading the Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry Department. During his tenure as department head, undergraduate enrollment grew from 793 students in 2007 to 1,226 students in 2017 while also increasing faculty and research productivity. Also, under Odde’s leadership, $32 million in new and renovated facilities were added to the department. Odde retired as department head in January 2018 and he currently serves in a faculty role at K-State with a research and teaching appointment. A native of South Dakota, Odde holds degrees from South Dakota University and Kansas State University.

The honorees will receive the Council’s highest award, the Jay B. Dillingham Award for Agricultural Leadership and Excellence.

“These individuals have had a positive and lasting effect on our community,” said Council Chairman Thompson. “They are strong examples of what being an advocate for agriculture can accomplish.”