Milan MO — Michael and Tonya Otto and family of Newtown, were among the families honored during the 61st annual Farm Family Day, August 12th at the Missouri State Fair.
The Otto family was selected as the Sullivan County Farm Family by University of Missouri Extension in Sullivan County and the local Farm Bureau. The family includes daughter Emily and son Brett.
Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state that are active in their communities, involved in agriculture, and/or participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H or FFA.
The Otto family of the Newtown area raise beef cattle on their 340-acre farm along with Mike’s parents Art and Janice Otto, who also represented Sullivan County as Farm Family in 1982. The Ottos also manage a portion of their farm for wildlife, butterfly and pollinator habitats to help show respect for the land and to the future.
Mike works on the farm and he also serves the community by volunteering as a Newtown-Harris R3 school board member, a Sullivan County Expo Board member, Bracket Cemetery Board member, a former Clay Township Board member and 4-H community club leader for Newtown Community 4-H. Mike’s wife Tonya has worked in Trenton, MO for Nestle as a materials scheduler for 22 years. Mike and Tonya have two children, Emily and Brett.
Emily is a freshman at Mizzou and is pursuing a degree in obstetric nursing. Brett is an eighth grader at Newtown-Harris R3 and plans to major in Ag engineering. The Otto family takes great pride in the fact that part of their farm has been in the family since 1856.
The annual event is sponsored by five partner agencies: the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri State Fair Commissioners, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and MU Extension and Engagement.
This year, all 114 Missouri counties plus the City of St. Louis participated, honoring nearly 500 people from the 115 farm families.
The event showcases the impact Missouri Farm Families have on the economy and heritage of the state, said Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe.
“These families are involved in agriculture activities in their communities and are active participants in local outreach and extension. As the premier showcase for Missouri agriculture, the Missouri State Fair is most certainly the appropriate place to celebrate these families.”