Missouri agriculture awards presented at Governor’s Conference on Agriculture

Six agriculture leaders from across Missouri were recognized by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn during the 49th Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture. The award recipients were honored at the Missouri Agriculture Awards Luncheon for their commitment, service and impact on Missouri agriculture.

“It is a privilege to recognize these individuals and businesses for their impact on Missouri agriculture,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Each of them set a tremendous example as they continue to innovate and lead in their communities. They are all very deserving of this honor.”

The Missouri Agriculture Awards recognize individuals who strive to innovate their farm or ranch, give back to their communities, help tell the story of agriculture or stand as a great example for future generations. Recipients were nominated by fellow farmers, ranchers and agriculture leaders who were inspired by their contributions to Missouri agriculture.

The 2021 Missouri Agriculture Award recipients are:

Missouri Agriculture Education Leader: Leon Busdieker of Hawk Point

Missouri Agriculture Communicator: Joyce Cutright of Springfield

Missouri Agriculture Volunteer: Caroline Sicht of Ashland

Missouri Farm Innovation: Ozark Mountain Creamery of Mountain Grove

Missouri Food Animal Veterinarian: Jack Coleman of Monroe City

Missouri International Exporter: International Dehydrated Foods of Springfield

The 49th Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture was held Nov. 18-19 at Tan-Tar-A Conference Center in Osage Beach, Mo.

Dalwhinnie Farms names new CEO

Dalwhinnie Enterprises, LLC, the Ridgway, Colo., based cannabis purveyor, names Brandon Barksdale as CEO. The Dalwhinnie family of companies includes the Dalwhinnie Farms vertically integrated luxury cannabis brand, Shift Cannabis, Ridgway Hemp Company, and the Dalwhinnie Farms destination boutique in Aspen.

With years of experience advising a variety of cannabis companies from small start-ups to the largest publicly traded multi-state operators, Barksdale joins Dalwhinnie from CohnReznick’s Advisory Practice, where he had a front row seat to the growth of the fledgling industry since its infancy.

For nearly a decade, Barksdale’s professional services experience has been primarily focused in the cannabis space. Providing strategic direction to preeminent organizations through the complexities of operational challenges, regulatory changes, financial management, implementation planning and growth strategies. He has helped companies throughout various business lifecycles driving risk mitigation, control and organizational maturity.

It’s from this advisory capacity that Barksdale began to work with Dalwhinnie, navigating the project planning that led to the opening of their unique boutique retail store in Aspen and helping to steer the company’s overall business strategy. He is well positioned to lead the next phase for Dalwhinnie with a focus on expansion, scalability and production excellence.

“I’ve seen many cannabis organizations, small to large,” said Barksdale. “Dalwhinnine has a culture and structure built for success, growth and further development. I look forward to concentrating on thoughtful retail strategies and market advancement opportunities for both the connoisseur line, Dalwhinnie, and the urban explorer/outdoors-focused brand, Shift.”

“We are also establishing processes that will lead us to GMP and GACP certification which will continue to differentiate us in the marketplace as a leading supplier driven by quality and industry best practices.”

“We are extremely elated to have Brandon leading our family of companies. He is a rare find in this industry, bringing vision, character, operational and strategic insight that will continue to elevate Dalwhinnie on our journey. With the perfect balance of focus on sustainability and growth, Brandon leverages his past cannabis and broader professional experiences to bring best practices to every facet of our organization,” noted the board of directors.

In his first 100 days as CEO, Barksdale has already created baseline improvement standard operation procedures and executed operational changes to improve everything from organizational efficiency to leading production standards.

“We have amazing talent here at Dalwhinnie. We have already dramatically improved culture, production and quality. We are no doubt amongst the leading cultivators in Colorado and abroad,” Barksdale said.


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