Making the Rules
City and supervise a farming operation in Holt County.
“My background is all agriculture,” Mohler said. He hasn’t just grown crops, however. His ties to agriculture include 26 years with the Missouri Farm Bureau and three years as head of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Mohler loves to hunt ducks. Like many rural youths, he said he was “born and raised” fishing and hunting. “They’re my favorite things to do,” he said. “I started at 6 years old and I’m 71 now, so I’ve been at it a long time.”
He likes the way the Conservation Department is reaching out to schools and creating youth hunting opportunities. “We’re doing a lot of things for young people,” he said, “but we have to keep working at it because there’s so much competition for their time today.”
Mohler’s background in farming and agriculture influences his perspective on conservation. He said his personal goal is to make sure agricultural interests and conservation work together, rather than work against each other.
“A lot of folks that design regulations have never been on a farm,” he said. “What I bring to the table is some balance as to what will work and what won’t work, and what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense.”
Becky Plattner, the elected presiding commissioner of Saline County, brings to the Conservation Commission the ability to work both governmental and physical landscapes.
Plattner was raised on a hog farm until she was 12. She’s been heavily involved in farming ever since, including as a FFA volunteer and honorary member, and in the family business of custom farming, which means farming other peoples’ land, as well as their own. She said every bit of land they work has some kind of conservation partnership involved.
Plattner lives in Grand Pass, close enough to the bottoms to hear frogs calling at night. She remembers hunting bullfrogs as a child. “That was what we did,” she said. “We went fishing, and frog hunting was part of it. I used a flashlight and caught them by hand—no gig for me!”
She relishes the Department’s nature centers. “I’ve taken my daughters and other children to them,” she said. “It’s wonderful that these are available to the public. It shows that conservation has something for everyone—adults, children and communities. I think we have to take care of these gifts.”
Plattner hopes her county government background will add a dimension to the Conservation Commission. “I can work with communities and political entities because I understand their perspective,” she said. “I come with an open mind. My philosophy is, ‘What can we do? Let’s work together.’”