Aaron Bachtel

MFA Incorporated—Inducted in 2011

A short article written by William Hirth in The Missouri Farmer about Farm Clubs caught Aaron Bachtel's attention. Mr. Bachtel later remarked, "It looked so simple and at the same time so far reaching, that it appealed to me very forcibly." A prominent farmer, Aaron Bachtel lent his name and reputation to rally his neighbors near Brunswick in 1914 to unite in the purchase of farm supplies and inputs. Mr. Bachtel seized the initiative, overcame doubts and skepticism to convince others that William Hirth's idea to organize farmers was sound. Shortly thereafter, seven farmers placed the first cooperative order for 1,150 pounds of baler twine. Other orders followed, as did savings.  Word of the effectiveness spread like wildfire. By the 1920s, more than 400 MFA Farm Clubs were formed. From that initial meeting sprouted an organization that grew into the largest commercial enterprise in the state in the course of just a few decades.


Mr. Bachtel was the moving force in implementing the idea to form the Farm Club to enjoy the benefits of volume purchasing and selling.


Recognized as one of the founders of MFA Incorporated, Mr. Bachtel served as president of MFA's first Farm Club, became the first farmer to sign MFA's producer contract, and gave 20 years of distinguished service on MFA's Corporate Board of Directors.


Mr. Bachtel is honored with a Heritage Award for his courageous leadership, unyielding belief in the power of an idea, and dedicated advocacy of farmer cooperatives.



courageous leadership; the strength to rally neighbors to unite; unyielding belief in the power of an idea; Founder of the first Farm Club; and dedicated advocacy of farm cooperatives