5 Questions with Monte Fisher
April 20, 2018
Written By Adam Buckallew
How would you describe yourself and your farming operation?
I grew up on my family’s farm near Brashear, Mo., and my family has been farming the ground there for about 80 years. I worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for 31 years before becoming a full-time farmer in 2016. We have a cow-calf operation, and we also raise hay and row crops.
My wife, Lisa, and I have a son and daughter, Landon and Lacy, plus a niece, Lena Vansickle, who live with us. I also have an adult daughter, Amber Parrish; son-in-law, Tim; and two grandchildren, Gage and Gara.
You were elected to the MFA Oil Board of Directors in November. What motivated you to get involved with the cooperative?
I have been a proud member of MFA Oil since 1985, and I had been thinking about getting more involved with the cooperative for a long time. I have also been a delegate for many years, and I’ve enjoyed that experience.
Since I recently retired from working for the State of Missouri, I was looking for an opportunity to continue to serve. I saw running for a seat on the MFA Oil Board of Directors as a great way for me to help make a difference for my fellow farmers.
How are you approaching your new role?
I will do my best to represent the farmers of my district. My primary job is to ensure their needs and concerns are properly expressed, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
My time working as a state employee included serving on several committees and quick action teams. That experience has given me a unique perspective that I can share with my fellow members of the board and the cooperative’s leadership team. I think that’s an area where I can provide real value to MFA Oil.
Do you have any goals for your time on the board?
My goal is to make a difference for the cooperative and to be considered a positive addition to the board. I want to help the company progress in meeting its objectives. Really, anything I can do to be there for my delegates and members in my district, I’m willing to do.
I’d also like to work on getting more young people involved with the co-op. I think the company’s Young Farmers Conference is a great event, and we need to be looking at other ways we can connect with the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
MFA Oil has been around for nearly 90 years, and we will need to be looking for the leaders of tomorrow to serve as delegates to keep the cooperative growing strong into the future.
What do you view as the most important issues MFA Oil and its members are facing?
I’ve recently attended several seminars and conferences about how important our data has become and how we’re going to have to get a lot better at protecting it. Everyone’s data has become so valuable these days that it’s attracted lots of people who want to exploit it.
I can’t say data management is a strong suit of mine, but I certainly can appreciate its importance. I think cyber security is going to be a crucial issue moving forward, not just for farmers, but for the cooperative as a whole. We’re seeing new technology introduced for farming and business all the time, and things are moving so fast these days that it can be hard to keep up. We will need to make sure we have safeguards in place to protect the data belonging to our company, members and customers.