Larry Purdom

Mid-America Dairymen
Dairy Farmers of America - Inducted in 20

Larry Purdom purchased dairy cattle as a teenager even though his family was not involved in the dairy business.  In 1961 Larry began marketing milk through Producers Creamery and saw first hand that cooperatives were needed to give agriculture a strong voice in both the marketplace and in legislative matters.  Larry and his wife, Alice, grew their dairy operation through sheer hard work and determination.  Larry brings this same work ethic and dedication to his efforts on behalf of dairy farmers, cooperatives and agriculture. 


Starting in the Young Cooperative Program, through continued support for cooperative marketing, Larry moved up the ranks of leadership.  As a cooperative member for 48 years, Larry served on the corporate boards of both Mid America Dairymen and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Southeast Area Council Ozark Region Chairman, the National Dairy Promotion Board and chair of the Missouri Dairy Association. 


Larry was one of the initial proponents of the creation of DFA.  He served on the steering committee that organized and agreed on the structure for governance and financing that can be credited with many of the key components of DFA's success. 


Larry's passion has been representing farmers in legislative issues.  As chair of DFA's political action committee and chair of Congressman Roy Blunt's agricultural advisory committee, Larry keeps current on issues facing agriculture.  Larry's consistent, unwavering and diverse leadership experience provides a steadfast voice on behalf of his fellow dairymen. 


The mark of a true leader is the skill and willingness to develop leadership in others.  In that respect Larry Purdom excels.  Many times when Larry could have been elected, he encouraged others to take leadership positions within and through DFA.  On division, corporate and national dairy promotion boards, electric cooperative boards, the Missouri Dairy Association and numerous other organizations there are countless leaders who found their start in Larry's words of encouragement and example. 


Larry is widely regarded for his willingness to put the good of all dairymen ahead of his own individual gain.  A fellow board member who has served with Larry for more than 20 years gives the highest praise, "Larry never forgets the dairy farmers that own and govern our cooperative when asked to make difficult decisions.  Larry's leadership has stood the test of time in fighting to preserve our right to maintain the cooperative structure." 


effective and respected voice on behalf of agriculture, cooperatives and dairy farmers, unwavering dedication to cooperatives, and champion of emerging leaders