Little did Mitchell Moon know that a conversation at the Missouri Cattlemen’s Convention with then-Lt. Gov. Mike Parson would land him a position working for Parson two days later.
Moon, a parks, recreation and tourism junior, was attending the conference as the Missouri 4-H State President when he told Parson, now Missouri Governor, about his love for Missouri and his goal to eventually work promoting Missouri products. It was Moon’s passion for his home state that led him to major in parks, recreation and tourism.
“I really want to get into a business or a field that promotes Missouri products, promotes Missouri businesses and promotes the Missouri way of life,” Moon said.
After hearing this, one of Parson’s staff pulled Moon aside and told him about Parson’s Buy Missouri Initiative, an economic program that promotes Missouri products. Later that night, Moon received a call to visit Parson’s office on Monday morning.
Moon was hired that Monday, about a year ago, and has been working in the Missouri Capitol Building ever since.
“I’m not a law student, I’m not a political science major, I’m just simply agriculture, but I thought it over and decided to go for it,” Moon said.
Growing up on a long-time family farm outside of Tipton, helped foster Moon’s love for Missouri at an early age.
“My family has been rooted here in Missouri, so there’s a lot of family love and tradition here in the state,” Moon said. “Coming from a small town you get to hear neat experiences about others and I just really love that feeling.”
Talking to Missouri business owners about their experiences has been one of the things Moon has enjoyed most about his current role as Special Projects Coordinator in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
Moon said his work varies day-to-day. He’s helped create films promoting various Missouri businesses enrolled in the initiative. This summer, he worked a booth at the Missouri State Fair informing Missourians of the program and helping new businesses to join.
“Every day is a new day,” Moon said. “It’s always a different day at the Capitol.”
After Parson was sworn in as Governor, Moon spent some time working for him in the Governor’s office.
“I loved the Governor’s office. It was a lot of fun; however, there wasn’t really anything related to agriculture that I could do there, and I wanted to get back to my agricultural roots, so that’s why I went back to the Buy Missouri Program,” Moon said.
Moon said the connections he is making will benefit him in his future career.
“Even a little over a year, the portfolio of friends I’ve made while working there, the acquaintances, the connections that I’ve built has just been really outstanding,” Moon said.
He encourages other students to go after new opportunities too.
“One of my most favorite quotes is ‘the only thing worth more than gold is an opportunity,’” Moon said. “If a student has an opportunity, no matter how crazy it seems, I would encourage them to always take it. Feel it out — maybe it’s great, maybe it’s not. You can always walk away from an opportunity, but you might not always be able to have that opportunity back.”