Sunday, March 16, 2014
HATTON — Hadley Linnenbringer is so well-known for having been involved in the Callaway County community for so long, that most people forget he’s not a native.
Due to his work with the Hatton 4-H club and organizations like North Callaway Fire Protection District, the Callaway County Fair Board and the Callaway Livestock Producers, Linnenbringer will be presented with the Settler’s Award at the 2014 Kingdom of Callaway Supper on March 25.
Linnenbringer said he was surprised and honored to be receiving the award, and said most people who have heard the news have told him, “‘I didn’t even know you weren’t from Callaway!’”
According to Settler’s Award Committee member Cliff Nevins, Linnenbringer’s lifetime of service “more than meets the requirements” for the award — namely someone who was not born in Callaway County but has lived here for 20 years or longer and “has done a lot to help the community.”
“He’s been in the Hatton area for a long time, he’s been involved in 4-H, the Hatton Arts and Craft Festival that attracts thousands each year, he’s been a big supporter of North Callaway schools,” Nevins said. “He’s always the first person called in an emergencies — he’s the go-to guy. He’s just somebody that believes in giving back.”
Although his birth in Defiance, Mo., keeps him from being considered a true “Native Callawegian,” Linnenbringer’s family moved to Callaway County when he was 2 years old, and aside from a four-year stint with the Air Force, he has lived here ever since, working the family farm near Hatton.
According to a biography provided by the Kingdom Supper committee, Linnenbringer has “contributed untold hours for the betterment of his community and the county” starting in his early years as a youth with Hatton 4-H and FFA and as a Boy Lion — he represented Callaway County in a goodwill trip to Europe.
As an adult he served as a leader for the Hatton 4-H club teaching everything from beef to electricity and welding, helped start the North Callaway Fire Protection District, is a regular attendee of North Callaway School Board meetings. Over the years he also has held positions with the Hatton Extension Club, the Callaway 2 Water District Board, the University Extension Council, the State Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee and spent more than 40 years with the Callaway County Farm Bureau Board.
Linnenbringer also has been represented Callaway as the Farm Family of the Year at the Missouri State Fair twice — in high school with his parents, and later with his wife Lynn and three sons, Frank, Luke and Conrad.
His interests aren’t limited to agricultural endeavors. Linnenbringer also served on the board for St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fulton where he also helped with maintenance issues and provides the straw and labor for the nativity scene every year; he works on building and outreach projects for Pleasant Grove Methodist Church in Hatton, which he currently attends; and he also helped build the present Rising Sun Baptist Church.
“If there is a need in the community or county, Hadley can be counted on to help in any way that he can,” the biography states. “So, even though Hadley was not born in Callaway County, he followed his parents’ example by fully embracing living in the Hatton community and doing whatever was necessary to contribute to the well-being of the entire county.”
Linnenbringer still works his family farm alongside his son Luke, although he noted “things have changed so much in my lifetime.”
“Years ago what I enjoyed was you worked with your neighbors more than you do today — when I was growing up we had our neighbors two or three down and we were always helping them or they were helping us,” Linnenbringer said. “Today I enjoy the technology, and I like to see it used, but I don’t touch it (gesturing to his son’s computer in the barn office). I like the machinery and anything new if I can figure it out.”
Asked how and why a farmer busy raising cattle, crops and children found the time and made it a priority to be so involved in the community, he had a simple answer.
“I figure if you don’t serve, you can’t complain,” Linnenbringer said. “Somebody’s got to stay out there and keep an eye out.”
Still active with the university extension and with the farm bureau, he gave the same reason for his active interest in agricultural issues, noting he is especially concerned with government regulations for farmers.
“I’m afraid they’re going to regulate us out of business,” Linnenbringer said. “You’ve got to have somebody (down in Jefferson City) watching what they’re doing. That’s the reason I have to belong, to keep somebody to keep an eye out, or you won’t know what they’re doing until it comes down on you.”
Linnenbringer described himself as controversial “because I’ll speak my mind,” in support of those things he is so passionate about, joking that may be why “I have trouble getting elected to things, but not volunteering for things.”
He said his favorite part about being so active in the community over the years has been the connections he’s made.
“I just like to meet new people … I think most of them know I’m around,” Linnenbringer said.
Tickets for the 2014 Kingdom of Callaway Supper are $15 and are available at the Chamber of Commerce and The Callaway Bank in Fulton, Bank Star One in New Bloomfield, Crane’s Country Store in Williamsburg and Short Stop in Millersburg.
Katherine Cummins can be reached at (573) 826-2418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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