Caleb Simpson: Exploring Opportunities Through Service and Leadership

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Caleb Simpson is uniquely passionate about agriculture policy. Caleb spent weekends and summers growing up on his grandparents’ farm in #Agri-Ready Designated Polk County and is a member of the Bolivar FFA Chapter. He is currently serving as a State Vice President for the Missouri FFA Association and is pursuing a degree in agricultural policy and pre-law at the University of Missouri. Caleb is excited to explore agriculture policy opportunities and careers as he serves as one of Missouri Farm Bureau’s 2024 Ambassadors.

Caleb’s partnership with his grandfather allowed him to grow his Forage Production Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) during high school. Caleb says that his century farm roots keep him grounded to production agriculture as he explores agriculture policy opportunities and careers.

Caleb’s agriculture policy education began as a participant of the Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence (HYPE) Academy in 2022, sponsored by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and hosted by the Missouri FFA Association. His first hands-on agriculture policy experience was in 2023 at the Ag Voices of the Future program, sponsored by the American Soybean Association and Valent U.S.A. Caleb traveled to Washington D.C. as one of only nine students from across the country chosen to experience how agricultural policies are made in our nation’s capital. “During that trip I got to advocate for further updates to the soybean reference prices in the 2023 Farm Bill, expansion of soybean markets (Agriculture Export Promotion Act H.R. 648), and the support of agricultural checkoffs,” Caleb said.

Caleb is excited to serve as a 2024 Missouri Farm Bureau Ambassador. He believes the position will serve as a steppingstone for his career goals. Caleb will represent the organization and promote policy awareness throughout the year at legislative events, the State Fair, and more. His Ambassador position will give him an avenue to practice advocating for 2024’s top agricultural concerns. “We’ve seen nation-wide issues such as WOTUS and anti-checkoff bills, and issues here in Missouri like Grain Belt Express and access to rural healthcare, that would have left our agriculturalists as well as consumers, much worse off if agricultural advocates hadn’t stepped in,” Caleb shared. “The biggest change I’d like to see in the next Farm Bill is a change to the way that the crop yield benchmark is calculated for the ARC farm safety net program. Currently, the yield that producers can receive coverage for in the case of crop loss is based on historic yield, measured over a period of the last 5 years. To my understanding, farmers without a historic crop are excluded from the benefits of this program. I’d like to see a change or clause to allow a way for beginning farmers to access this type of crop insurance.” 

Caleb has loved serving as a State FFA Officer over the past year. His desire for the position was ignited at the Missouri State FFA Convention in 2021. “As our Entomology team was waiting, a state officer just came by to visit with us. I felt seen by that officer. On the bus ride home, I decided that I wanted to do that for other members. I wanted to be a person that made members feel seen.” While serving as a State Officer, Caleb has recognized the challenge of being a peer mentor and has discovered the power of using his voice to serve.

“There’s a need for strong voices in agriculture to help tell our story and show how it can help the lives of everyone in our communities. I have an opportunity to continue my family’s agriculture legacy by joining those voices to fight for the communities that I care about and beyond,” Caleb said.

Caleb’s career goals include working as a congressional staffer in Washinton D.C. for a member of the Senate or House agriculture committee. Caleb would love to work on agriculture policy, perhaps for Farm Bureau, and possibly practice agricultural law in Southwest Missouri. Caleb’s Bolivar FFA advisors were Mrs. Ashley Brown and Mr. Jason King. He is the son of Alan and Sandy Simpson. He is continuing a family tradition of Farm Bureau membership as a member of the Mizzou Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter. Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association are partners of Missouri Farmers Care.