David Baker, assistant dean and program director for agricultural and natural resources extension at the University of Missouri, was presented the Missouri Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Service to Ag Award.
The award is the highest honor bestowed to an individual by the farm organization.
Chosen individuals have a close working relationship with the Farm Bureau and have supported agriculture throughout their careers.
The presentation was made during the organization’s 96th annual meeting.
Baker grew up near Kankakee, Ill., where he was a member of 4-H and FFA. He received bachelor and master’s degrees from Illinois State University before working as a county agent with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service.
He moved to Missouri to become a state extension safety and occupational health specialist. Known as “Safety Dave,” he developed curriculum and educational materials on a broad range of agricultural safety and health topics, including machinery, protective equipment, hearing loss prevention, grain storage and chemicals.
As part of his public outreach efforts, Baker led the development of safety education programs for youth and adults across the state.
Baker joined the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in 1975 as assistant professor of agricultural engineering and state safety and occupational health specialist.
As assistant dean, Baker is responsible for day-to-day leadership including development, implementation, coordination and evaluation of the campus and statewide agriculture and natural resources extension programs for Missouri.
He currently serves on the North Central Agricultural and Natural Resources Program Leader Council and the Homeland Security Committee of the Extension Disaster Education Network.
He is past president and executive director of the National Institute for Farm Safety and past chair of the Agricultural Division of the National Safety Council.
Baker’s partnership with Missouri Farm Bureau began 36 years ago. His work focused on fiscal allocations, legislation, promulgating rules and regulatory compliance. Farm Family Day and the Century Farm program are two of his collaborative efforts with Farm Bureau.
He has been a member of Missouri Farm Bureau since 1975.
Baker has received numerous honors including the outstanding CAFNR faculty award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri Association of County Agents, the Extension Teamwork Award, and the Honorary State Farmer Degree from the Missouri FFA Association.
Baker is married to Robin Walker and the couple lives in Columbia. He has three daughters and two grandchildren.
Caption for photo above: Charles Kruse, MFB president (left), presents the organization’s Outstanding Service to Ag Award to David Baker.
Alumnus Larry Case Receives MFB Award
Also awarded an Outstanding Service award by the Missouri Farm Bureau was Larry Case, coordinator of agricultural and rural education for the U.S. Department of Education, and a 1966 CAFNR graduate in agricultural education.
Case is also chief executive officer and advisor of the National FFA organization and has held this position since 1984. Case began his career 44 years ago as a high school agricultural education instructor in Missouri and will retire from his current career Jan. 1.
Case has distinguished himself as a pioneer in the field of agricultural education and a leader within FFA. During his tenure as national FFA advisor, Case guided the creation of a strategic plan and strong management team that resulted in membership growth and innovation within FFA and agricultural education. He helped form the National Council for Agricultural Education and was instrumental in the revitalization of agricultural education found today in more than half of the nation’s school districts.
His career began in Stet, Mo., where he was an FFA member and named Star Greenhand, Star Chapter Farmer, FFA Chapter Farmer and was cited for achievement in public speaking. He earned a master’s degree in vocational education and a doctor of education degree from the University of Missouri.
Prior to being named to the national position, Case was director of agricultural education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education where he previously served as a district supervisor of agricultural education.
Case and his wife, Joy, have three children, Jeff, Rebecca and Matthew, and four grandchildren.