The 47th Annual Agricultural Appreciation Dinner, sponsored by Audrain Agribusiness, was held Thursday, February 10, 2022, at the Audrain County 4-H Center. Melanie Utterback, Chairperson for Audrain Agribusiness served as MC for the evening. Gavin Spoor, owner of Spoor Farms, was the guest speaker for the evening.
Audrain Agribusiness hosts this dinner for the farmers of Audrain County in recognition of their strong contribution to the local economy. Each farm couple is hosted for the evening by a local business couple. The Dale H. Schnarre Rural Citizen Award is presented at this banquet to a couple who have outstanding achievement in farm management and distinguished community service. The award has been given annually since 1974.
Warren & Bobette Wilson, the 2019 Dale H. Schnarre Rural Citizen Award recipients presented the 2020 Dale H. Schnarre Rural Citizen Award to Matt & Leah VanSchyndel. Both Matt and Leah were born and raised in Audrain County, a few years after getting married they moved back to the family farm in north central Audrain County. They have three children, Nicholas, Lydia and Kodi, who are all very active on the farm as well.
Matt and Leah were vital in bringing more lift to the Mexico Farmers Market and are also involved in Audrain County 4-H, Blue and Gold Sponsors for Mexico FFA and very involved in their church, Kentucky Road Christian Church.
The 2021 Dale H. Schnarre Rural Citizen Award was presented to Herb & Beth Schnitker. They are both third generation farmers who run about 200 cow-calf pair operation and also farm roughly 4,500 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat each year. Since their girls, Larna and Lucy, were born they could be found riding in all the farm equipment while Herb & Beth worked on the farm. The Schnitker family are members of Grace Lutheran Church and are involved in 4-H, FFA and Audrain County Cattlemen just to name a few. Herb and Beth have encouraged their daughters to get out and meet new people from a very early age, which has helped them to be very outgoing and share their knowledge about agriculture with many people.