Agricultural Business Council honors two agribusiness leaders

The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City recently honored two of the region’s leading agricultural figures, Lowell Mohler and Ken Odde. Agricultural Business Council Chairman Robert Thompson noted the honorees are champions for agriculture in separate but very key areas in the region.

Lowell Mohler, former director of Missouri Department of Agriculture, is 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.

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, today he 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 received 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.”