John F. Johnson

MFA Incorporated - Inducted in 2012

In the mid-1920s, John Johnson was hired as manager of the Marshfield MFA Exchange. By 1929 he was recognized as one of MFA’s outstanding local managers. In 1934, he was appointed general manager of MFA Milling Company, a fledging cooperative endeavor Johnson built into a multi-million dollar business. For 39 years, Mr. Johnson led MFA Milling Company and produced feeds for farmers and ranchers.  Over the course of his career, MFA Milling Company grew to become one of the largest cooperative feed businesses in the country, returned $26 million in cash patronage refunds and laid the foundation for MFA’s dominance of the feed market share today.  

Mr. Johnson built the organization into an economic force, bringing in millions of dollars in sales while producing millions of tons of high quality feeds.

At MFA Milling Company annual meetings Mr. Johnson talked about “those good MFA feeds” and “the wonderful hill country down here in the Ozarks”.  He was one of MFA’s most colorful and successful business managers. He was a hardnosed businessman, who looked for ways to efficiently produce feed. He contended the best measurement of success was per-unit-cost of operation plus market share.

His level of support to livestock farmers and dairymen is evidenced in actions during one of the state’s worst droughts in the 1950s.  The drought left the state with a hay shortage. Johnson played a large role in purchasing and distributing 20,000 railcars of hay delivered from the Dakotas without charging for MFA services.

In 1974, Johnson was awarded MFA’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture award for his contributions to improvement of animal agriculture and economic position of farmers.

John F. Johnson was an original. His accomplishments truly built the organization that serves as the predecessor to MFA Incorporated’s Feed Division.  



passion for service farmers and ranchers; business acumen; remarkable talent for building a fledgling venture into a market-dominating cooperative enterprise; and for 50 years of exemplary service to agriculture