Friday, November 30, 2012

Two Stone County Farm Families Honored by Extension Council Demonstrate Importance of Agriculture in Region

Agriculture is a $25 million business in Stone County, supported by both large and small farm enterprises and specialized niche agribusinesses.

In an effort to recognize successful farm families in the county, the Stone County Extension Council recently honored two farm families with an evening dinner. The event was sponsored by Stone County Farm Bureau and the Stone County National Bank.


Earnie and Martha Bohner of Lampe were this year’s State Fair Farm Family representing Stone County. Annually, the fair recognizes farm families from each county based on recommendations from the local extension councils. The council selected the Bohners this year since they have been successful in agriculture and agribusiness since 1982 on their farm: Persimmon Hill Blueberry Farm.

Persimmon Hill Farm is a value-added small farm operation that specializes in raising blueberries, blackberries and shitake mushrooms. They have provided a u-pick experience on the farm for customers and offer products for sale on-line and on the farm such as gourmet jams and barbeque sauces, syrups, mushroom products and their well-known “Thunder Muffins”. This year they opened a restaurant on the farm that features some of their farm-raised products in a “farm-to-table” concept.

The Bohners have two children, Savannah and Reid, and one granddaughter, Lizzie. Savannah works part-time on the farm and Reid serves in the Army and is currently at Ft. Drum in New York. Martha is employed at Silver Dollar City.


The second family was Gary and Shirley Jones of rural Billings. The Jones farm is the most recent one in Stone County to be recognized as a Missouri Century Farm. Part of the farm that the Jones live on today has been in their family since 1891. The farm was first owned by Gary’s grandparents, Timolean Price and Mary Elizabeth Torbett.

Today the farm is rented out to raise beef cattle. At one time they set up a milk parlor and milked Holsteins. Gary and Shirley have owned the farm since 1963 and continue to live in a house that Gary’s grandfather built in 1908.

Gary and Shirley have two sons, Randy and Gary Monty, and one daughter, Angela.

A certificate and a Century Farm sign was presented at the dinner for the family to proudly display on the farm.

“The Bohners and Jones are congratulated for a job well done and the extension council wishes them success in their future endeavors,” said Tim Schnakenberg, the county program director for MU Extension in Stone County.


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