2018 Promotion & Education Committee

The Promotion and Education Committee works to strengthen Missouri Farm Bureau and provides leadership development for all members. As members of the 10-person committee, these volunteers help develop, implement and evaluate projects and programs that promote agriculture.

Committee Members


Mary Fisher chairs the state promotion and education committee and serves on the Missouri Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Raised in Kansas City, Mo., Fischer became active in farming when she married Kevin Fischer. Since then, the couple has raised a daughter and two sons, and Fischer has learned to drive farm machinery and work with livestock. Besides helping Kevin on the farm, she is also executive secretary of the First Christian Church in Nevada. Fischer was a member of the P&E committee in 2011 and 2012. She is also a member of the Bates County Farm Bureau board and the county’s extension council.

As a member of the Missouri Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Amy Jo Estes is vice-chair of the state promotion and education committee. She was a Missouri Department of Education STARR Teacher in 2002-2003 and named  Inspirational Teacher in 2014 and 2016 for the Gasconade R-2 High School. Estes recently left the classroom and is now Heartland Regional Manager for Ayusa, a global youth exchange organization that manages hundreds of exchange students in seven states. During the Missouri State Fair in August, she is also dairy superintendent. She is very involved in band boosters, 4-H and Extension. Estes also helps her husband, John, on the farm where they care for a cow/calf herd and grow hay. Estes has been involved in the Gasconade County Farm Bureau and is a past Young Farmer & Rancher county chair and past member of the state Farm Bureau YF&R committee. The couple has two daughters, Hannah and Sarah.


James Proffitt  farms with both his brother and son-in-law, growing row crops, hay and beef cows. He also cares for 100 registered ewes on his farm. Most of the farmland originally purchased by Proffitt’s grandfather in 1869 is now owned by the family. Although Proffitt has farmed his entire live, he is also a retired agriculture education teacher and has earned the FFA American Farmer Degree. Proffitt is involved in the Missouri Sheep Producers, Midwest Stud Ram Sale Committee, and three Katahdin Hair Sheep organizations. He is Ray County Farm Bureau president and has served on the Missouri Farm Bureau Resolutions Committee and American Farm Bureau Sheep and Goat Committee. He is also on the Ray County Planning and Zoning Board. He and his wife, Dona, have five grown children.

Valerie Gladbach is employed with AGRIServices of Brunswick as corporate controller. She and husband, Jess, are partners in J&K Carpentry and Concrete, a residential construction company. Together, they also manage and grow row crops on Jess’ family farm. The farm was recognized as a Century Farm in 2005. They are Chariton County Farm Bureau and Mo-Ag members, and she is on the county’s legislative committee. Gladbach participated in Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow class XV and Purdue Management Academy. The couple has two daughters, one a freshman and the other senior in high school.

Ken McDonald and his wife, Laura, operate McDonald Farms and McDonald Farms Specialty Meats. The farming operation includes row crops and pasture. The Century Farm involves both sides his parents and in-laws. Most of the calves from their 70-head beef cow herd are finished and sold locally to customers. Processed beef is also sold through McDonald Farms Specialty Meats. When not working on the farm, McDonald is employed part-time at Baragiola Hardware. He is a member of Lincoln County Farm Bureau where he has been secretary, treasurer and promotion and education chairman. McDonald belongs to the state cattlemen’s, soybean and corn associations. The McDonald’s have two sons and a daughter.


Guy Winters is retired from retail sales and cares for a few head of cattle. He is a member of the Camden County Farm Bureau Board and University of Missouri Extension Council. He has received a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives for his work with the Extension Service. He is widowed and has four older children.


Fricke and her husband, Brad, are owners of Triple F Farms and Triple F trucking.  In addition to farming, she is a housewife and bookkeeper for the farms.  She earned a degree from The Fashion & Art Institute of Dallas, Texas, and in the past has been the owner and/or operator of Fricke Studios, Fricke Apartments and Frene Valley Healthcare Facilities.

The Frickes, along with their daughter and son-in-law, are a traditional farm family with everyone involved in the operation.  Their farm and home near Swiss has been in the family since the early 1950s.  They row-crop, raise Simmental cattle using a rotational grazing system, and have one of the largest solar power systems in Missouri.  In addition, their trucking company hauls their own grain, along with that of local area farmers and elevators. 

Fricke has served on the Gasconade County Farm Bureau board since 2005 and as chairman of the county’s Promotion and Education Committee since 2010.  She is an active member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, the Gasconade County Republican Committee, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Simmental Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, and the Missouri Soybean Association.

DISTRICT 6 - Laura Nothdurft, Cape Girardeau, MO
Nothdurft earned her Bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and a Master’s in secondary education administration. She is a former high school agriculture teacher and currently works as the youth minister coordinator for Zion United Methodist Church, Gordonville. She and her husband, Jeremie, also raise corn, soybeans, wheat and beef cattle. The couple has two daughters.

Nothdurft has served on the Cape Girardeau County Farm Bureau and on the Missouri Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. She and her husband are past winners of the Missouri Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture Award. She is an active member of the Zion United Methodist Church and volunteers with CommonGround. In 2016, the Nothdurft family was named Missouri State Fair Farm Family from Cape Girardeau County.

DISTRICT 7 - Tracy Gorman-White, Stark City, MO
Gorman-White earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in agri-business from Crowder College in Neosho. She is currently district manager for Newton and McDonald County Soil and Water Conservation District. In the past, she was employed with Spoke Dairy, East Newton R-6 School District and Lowe’s. She grew up on a dairy farm in Newton County, but the dairy business was sold in 2001. She now farms and is co-owner of a beef cattle operation with her father.

Gorman-White is president of Newton County Farm Bureau and has served on numerous committees and as P&E chairperson. In addition, she is actively involved with Newton County Extension and 4-H, East Newton Young Farmers, FFA Alumni, the Neosho Chamber of Commerce, and East Newton Band Boosters. She has two children.

DISTRICT 8 - Krystal Simpson, Salem, MO
Simpson earned her Associate of Applied Science degree as a paralegal and worked for five years as an administrative assistant at the South Central Regional Professional Development Department on the Missouri Science and Technology campus. She is now a homemaker and farms with her husband, Jarrod, raising cow/calf pairs and replacement heifers of Angus/Angus-cross cattle on their seventh-generation family farm in Dent County. They use artificial insemination to improve genetics of their 200-head herd. The Simpsons have four children.

Simpson is a member of the Dent County Farm Bureau and has served on the Missouri Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. She is also active in the Green Forest PTO, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and the Walking Faith Ministries.