By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. -- Luray farmer Harold Trump always brings home plenty of good information from the Missouri Livestock Symposium.
This year he'll bring home something extra -- the Missouri Livestock Person of the Year Award.
The award, recognizing a significant contribution to the livestock industry in Northeast Missouri and/or beyond, will be presented Friday night in Kirksville.
It's a nice honor, which includes induction into the Northeast Missouri Livestock Producers Hall of Fame, but "plenty of other people deserved it as much as I," Trump said.
That's a typical comment from Trump, who's pretty humble and not much of a talker, said Bruce Lane, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist and county program director in Adair County and the Northeast region.
"Harold truly is one of the top livestock producers that we have in Northeast Missouri. He does a great job with management, with selection, with everything he does pertaining to cattle. In addition to all the good things he does with livestock in general, he's also heavily involved in the community," Lane said.
"When we look at selecting somebody for this prestigious award we take into consideration livestock abilities at the local, state and national level and also how helpful the individual is to the industry and the community. Harold's been involved every time we ask him to help out with an educational program. He's allowed us to do some research projects out there. He's involved with the Show-Me Select program."
For Trump, it's just doing what he always wanted to do -- farm and raise livestock.
He started with four free pet lambs from Clell Gutting, then had a flock of registered Corriedale sheep, was driving his first tractor and was baling hay by the age of 9. By the age of 20, he began to build his registered Angus female herd, and from 1970 to the present he raised and sold commercial bulls.
"I was just interested in the breeding of cattle, the different genetics," the Luray farmer said. "I always wanted to see next year how one bull worked on a bunch of cows and looked forward to always seeing what you'll get the next year and the next. That's what kept me going."
It kept him going even this year when dry weather and hot temperatures hurt row crops, hay and pasture.
"Whatever happens, whatever comes your way, you have to contend with it," Trump said. "Some years you make money. Some years you don't. Some years you break even."
A pretty good hay crop helped this year along with silage cut from drought-hindered corn and grazing some Conservation Reserve Program acreage, but Trump said 2012 was one of the worst he's seen.
"1954, "55 and "56 was bad. I was helping at home," he said. "You might say this was as bad, especially if you get another two years of it."
Eligible applicants for the award can be producers of livestock, agribusiness personnel, agency personnel or agriculture researchers along with long-time supporters of the Northeast Missouri livestock industry. Past winners were Bob Perry of Bethel, Paul Wilson of Shelbyville, the late Charles Selway of Williamstown, Dr. Kyle Kent of Green City, the late Kenneth Eitel of Green Castle, Garry Mathes of Greentop, Dale Watson of Kirksville, Dr. Wayne "Doc" Smith of Winigan and Bill Sidwell of Queen City.
The Missouri Livestock Symposium will be held Friday night and Saturday at the Kirksville Middle School, 1515 S. Cottage Grove in Kirksville.
Hours are 4-10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
The symposium features nationally known speakers on beef cattle, forages, sheep, meat goats and stock dogs. Friday night's program will feature keynote speaker Tony Clayton of Clayton Agri-marketing on "Livestock Exports and the Effect on U.S. Agriculture," along with presentation of the Livestock Person of the Year and the Agriculture Educators Lifetime Achievement awards.
A free beef dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Friday night with a free Governor's Style Luncheon at noon on Saturday.
No registration is required for the free event.
More information on the program and trade show is available by calling the Adair County Extension Center at (660) 665-9866 and online at missourilivestock.com.
State Rep. Tom Shively, D-Shelbyville will receive the Agriculture Educators Lifetime Achievement Award Friday night at the Missouri Livestock Symposium.
The award recognizes a person who has contributed greatly to the agriculture industry through his or her role in agriculture education.
Shively grew up on a farm, learned the principles of 4-H and FFA and spent 30 years as a vocational agriculture teacher.
He was elected a state representative in 2006, but lost a bid for another term in November.
"He's always been a supporter of ag education in the state of Missouri and done a lot of things that have assisted that kind of educational program statewide," said Bruce Lane, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist and county program director in Adair County and the Northeast region. "A classroom teacher, who also was involved on the legislative end helping agriculture, he serves on a lot of different boards related to ag. He's been somebody involved with ag his entire life. We're pleased to recognize him."