Friday, March 27, 2009

Welcome the New Marketing Specialist for the MDA

It’s with much excitement that I introduce our blog readers to the newest addition to the Missouri Dept of Agriculture (MDA) team, working with our local food producers.

Tony Anderson is the new marketing specialist for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Tony’s responsibilities for the MDA will include promotions and marketing in the areas of farmers’ markets, horticulture, and agritourism. Originally raised on farms in Owensville and Bland, he graduated from Owensville High School in 1991. Tony continued his education at Missouri State University before transferring to the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Horticulture. He returned to school in 2003 to earn an MBA from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Much of his horticultural passion started as a child, both from growing up on the farm, as well as spending time with his grandparents in NW Arkansas. His grandfather maintained a 4-5 acre vegetable garden with another acre devoted to grape vineyard and apple orchard, while his grandmother developed an impressive ornamental garden and bearded-iris collection. Many of the iris and grapes are still there but Tony has recently helped his parents develop some of the remaining acreage into a small pumpkin farm.

Tony says his career has given him a varied range of horticultural experience that he hopes to draw from in his new position. He has spent time in garden center management, landscape design and installation, greenhouse plant sales and distribution, horticultural consulting and education. His employers have ranged from large companies, such as real estate developer Southern Land Company and Powell Plant Farms, on down to the experience of starting and owning a small business. In addition, he was an adjunct professor for the horticulture program at Richland College in Dallas, Texas.

Tony is very excited to be moving his family back to Missouri. His wife, Sarah, is also a graduate of Owensville High School and the University of Missouri physical therapy program. They also have three wonderful children; Sam, 9, Josie, 6, and Olivia, 3.

I hope you all help me welcome Tony to the blog-o-sphere!

No comments: