Courtney Leeper, Trenton, Mo., has been selected as the Missouri Ruralist College Farmer columnist. Leeper is a junior studying science and agricultural journalism at MU.
Missouri Ruralist is a monthly publication and part of Farm Progress Companies, Inc. The company provides marketing services and market research to clients who serve and want to understand America’s farmers, ranchers and rural-living consumers. The history of Farm Progress Companies Inc. dates back to 1819 with American Farmer magazine. Missouri Ruralist chooses a student with an agricultural background as the College Farmer columnist once a year.
Leeper is passionate about agriculture, the people within agriculture, and being able to share their stories. She is pursuing magazine journalism, allowing her to do more feature writing. She says her hope is to start out in agricultural publications, but can see herself freelancing.
“I chose science and agricultural journalism because I love agriculture, and knew I wanted to do something within agriculture,” Leeper said. “I am hoping to combine my interests and skills with my passion for agriculture.”
Farming has been in Leeper’s family for years. Her grandfather purchased the first acre of family farmland in Grundy County, Mo. Today, the family farm is a 500-acre operation of primarily corn and soybeans. Her father also maintains a small beef herd. Leeper was involved in 4-H and FFA growing up.
Leeper says she is very thankful for the support she receives from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
“My favorite part of CAFNR is the family feeling and support,” Leeper said. “The advisors and faculty truly want us to succeed. Sharon Wood-Turley, my advisor, has been extremely influential and supportive. The faculty and staff are extremely intelligent and successful, and they want us to be too.”
“This will help me with my future career in many ways,” Leeper said. “Besides writing practice, it will help me form my own insights and figure out how to put them in words. I have many opinions, and this is giving me an experience to connect to an audience, including other professionals in my field.”