Tony Stafford to join Missouri Soybeans as Director of Business Development

The Missouri Soybean Association has announced that Tony Stafford will join the team as the director of business development. In his new role, Stafford will lead the Association and Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council’s efforts to strengthen market opportunities for Missouri-grown soybeans.

“I greatly appreciate the trust Missouri Soybeans’ has put in me with this opportunity,” Stafford said. “I’ve been fortunate to work on behalf of farmers for a large part of my career and look forward to continuing to grow Missouri agriculture. Through partnerships, we’ll be able to do great things for our producers, as well as bring those agricultural products to consumers in our state and around the world.”

His first day will be December 1.

As the director of business development, Stafford will oversee the Missouri Soybean Association and Merchandising Council’s domestic and international market development efforts, as well as programs and projects related to existing markets, new markets, new uses and trends, germplasm and technology transfer programs. He will work closely with the United Soybean Board (USB), United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and American Soybean Association (ASA). He will also assist in the management of the Bay Farm Research Facility in Boone County.

“We’re continuing to build our team at Missouri Soybeans, ensuring that our farmers know that first and foremost we are working on their behalf,” said Gary Wheeler, executive director/CEO. “Tony brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and Missouri’s soybean growers will benefit from having him as their representative to our researchers, processors and other industry partners.”

Stafford brings a broad agriculture and business background to his new role. He has spent the last 29 years with the Missouri Department of Agriculture in number of roles, most recently as the Executive Director and Secretary of the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. Stafford is also a United States Air Force veteran and served over 20 years in the Missouri Army National Guard in various capacities, including tours in Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea and Desert Storm. He was raised on a family farm in Southwest Missouri.

The Missouri Soybean Association is the statewide membership organization representing interests specific to the Missouri soybean producer through outreach, advocacy and policy. The Association represents soybean growers, processors and other stakeholders in Missouri, as well as nationally in conjunction with the American Soybean Association. To learn more, visit the Missouri Soybean Association online at