September 26, 2011

Missouri Dept. of Ag Recognized at National Conference

Misti Preston honored with communications award from state directors of agriculture group

The state agriculture department's top communications professional received national recognition, Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler announced today. Misti Preston, who serves as the Deputy Director of the Department's Agriculture Business Development Division and the Director of Strategic Communications, received the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture's (NASDA) highest award for communications professionals.

"This is a tremendous honor and well-deserved recognition for Misti's efforts and accomplishments on behalf of all Missourians," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "Misti has significantly expanded the Department's outreach and promotional efforts, including spearheading our efforts to connect the agriculture industry to consumers and to connect consumers back to agriculture."

Director Hagler nominated Preston for the NASDA Honor Award for Communications in July and stood alongside her as she accepted the recognition from NASDA President and Utah Commissioner of Agriculture Leonard Blackham during the annual conference of agriculture directors, secretaries and commissioners.

Misti Preston has served the State of Missouri in the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) since September 2004. During that time, she has led the Department's communication efforts under three Governors and five Directors of Agriculture. Her responsibilities include communications efforts, developing printed materials and website content, marketing, special events and long-range planning for the Department.

During her seven years with MDA, Preston has developed and greatly strengthened many programs through her creativity, flexibility and dedication. This year, her leadership has helped the AgriMissouri program grow from approximately 250 members to more than 1,100, and launched an entirely new website for the program. She also facilitated the creation of Missouri's Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund and nearly $200,000 in donations for disaster victims this year.

Preston is a graduate of Drury University in Springfield, Mo., where she completed a bachelor of science degree in public relations. She is a native of Republic, Mo.

For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit