Fred V. Heinkel

MFA Incorporated - Inducted in 2007

In 1917 at the young age of 19, Fred Heinkel took to heart the words of William Hirth, "You young fellows will have to fight this battle different from how your fathers fought it."  Inspired by what he heard, Mr. Heinkel dedicated his life and more than 60 years to building a cooperative to meet the economic needs of farmers. He began as secretary of his local farm club and secretary-treasurer of his local livestock shipping service.  By 1936, Mr. Heinkel had been elected vice president of MFA.  In 1940, he was chosen to succeed the man who had inspired Fred to join the cooperative movement as President of MFA Incorporated.  Mr. Heinkel was elected president of MFA 38 times.  


Fred Heinkel's contributions extend beyond the successful direction of MFA and its affiliates.  He was an advisor to Presidents from Roosevelt to Ford, receiving numerous appointments to national advisory committees.  Mr. Heinkel also served as chairman of the National Farm Coalition, a legislative action group comprising 28 general farm, cooperative and commodity organizations, and as a trustee/executive committee member for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and American Institute of Cooperatives.  He was a member of the committee that formed the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL) at the University of Missouri.


extraordinary leadership, enthusiasm for the cooperative form of enterprise, and dedication to meet the economic needs of farmers