The Ball family was named the Missouri Farm Family for Atchison County. The Ball family includes, starting third from left, Aleesha (Ball) Lemar and husband, Zach Lemar, Jim Ball, Garrett Ball, and Rhonda Ball. They are pictured with Chris Daubert, Rob Kallenbach and Marshall Stewart from University of Missouri Extension. (MU Extension photo)

Jim and Rhonda Ball and family of Fairfax, Missouri, were among the families honored during the 62nd annual Missouri Farm Family Day, August 16, 2021, at the Missouri State Fair. The Ball family was selected as the Atchison County Missouri Farm Family by University of Missouri Extension in Atchison County and the local Farm Bureau. The family includes son Garrett, daughter Aleesha, and Aleesha’s husband Zach.

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 Ball family owns 160 acres in Atchison County and are lifelong county residents. Jim has been involved in production agriculture and agriculture education and in the agriculture business sector. Jim and Rhonda have volunteered as 4-H leaders and Garrett and Aleesha both participated in 4-H and FFA. Aleesha is the Ag instructor at Fairfax High School.

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. 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.”