Mohler, a leader in Missouri agriculture, feels the satisfaction of a life well lived

Many believe if there is one thing to strive for in life, it’s to not have any regrets when it’s time to go. Lowell Mohler truly believes he has achieved just that.

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t change anything,” Mohler said. “I’m very proud of what I accomplished in agriculture, as well as with my family. I’ve had a good life and I’m very lucky.”

Mohler credits most of his accomplishments and who he is today to a key role model in his life. Harold Henry was his adviser during his years at the University of Missouri, and helped Mohler navigate through the different atmosphere of Columbia.

“He took a farm kid from northwest Missouri and made him into a great student,” Mohler said.

It was his northwest Missouri roots that made him most passionate about agriculture. He helped raise livestock and row crops, and attended country school. That is where he met his wife of 57 years, JoAnn, before realizing he had bigger dreams than Oregon, Missouri could offer him.

Armed with his agriculture background and an education from the University of Missouri, Mohler worked toward his dream of becoming a voice for agriculture. He used his meat degree to work at the National Livestock and Meat Board in Chicago. In 1970, he joined the staff at Missouri Farm Bureau. This position, which proved to be his longest and most influential job, lasted 26 years. Expanding the organization from 43,000 members to over 85,000 and initiating the political action program are what brought him the most satisfaction.

Mohler’s passion for agriculture turned him into a leader and others soon followed. Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Loyd Wilson, said he has known Mohler for over 34 years . He first connected with Mohler through his fraternity at the University of Missouri.

“It was always easy to see that Lowell dedicated his whole life to agriculture, and that he truly understands it,” Wilson said.

While Mohler has received many awards and recognitions, he said he has had, “many lucky breaks,” and is humble about the life he has lived. He is seen as a role model to many, and a friend to most.

Sherry Jones, fellow Missouri State Fair commissioner from Dawn, Missouri, said that she is grateful to know and work with Mohler.

 “Lowell recognizes the abilities in people and tries to help them realize them and will help them succeed with those skills,” Jones said. “He is willing to help you with anything and has always had a passion for agriculture.”

To keep busy these days, Mohler still helps where he is most passionate: educating people about agriculture. He has been appointed to the Missouri State Fair commission, and when he isn’t busy with meetings, or the fair, he likes to spend time on their 200-acre farm. Mohler and JoAnn have a commercial sweet corn and asparagus operation and enjoy traveling to visit their kids and grandkids.

Of all his accomplishments, Mohler is most proud to have raised three children who all graduated from the University of Missouri, and have succeeded in their careers and personal lives. Following closely behind is his second greatest accomplishment — the opportunities he has had to make an impact in the agriculture industry. He said he feels privileged to have known so many great people in his life, a “life well lived.”

Emma Fordyce

About the Author Emma Fordyce

Hello! My name is Emma Fordyce, and I am a freshman at the University of Missouri, majoring in science and agricultural journalism. I come from the rural town of Bethany, Missouri, population 3,200. Bethany is comprised mostly of farm families, and our family is no different. With my background in agriculture, I knew that I wanted to continue to be in this industry, without taking over the farm. Many careers appealed to me, but from the leadership and public speaking skills I learned from FFA, and design and creativity learned from FBLA and various other clubs, I decided to do science and agricultural journalism, with hopes of working at an advertising agency, or in public relations.