Building Character

OUTdrive Episode 101 with Gary Wheeler

OUTdrive Episode 101 with Gary Wheeler

To put it simply, the rural American lifestyle builds character. The people raised in rural America are often the ones who go on to feed, lead, and serve our country. Today’s guest, Missouri Soy’s CEO Gary Wheeler, has done all three. In his role, he continues to spearhead legislation and representation for Missouri’s soybean farmers.

Wheeler has a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and a Master of Business Administration. He also proudly served his state and country for 11 years in the Missouri Army National Guard. He has been involved in many agriculture organizations including the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Meat Export Federation, Missouri Society of Association Executives, Missouri Farmers Care, Missouri Economic Development Council, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson City Environmental Quality Commission.

Tune in to this episode to hear more about what Missouri Soy is doing to educate consumers and support rural America.


  • 2:00 – Gary shares the details of his childhood and background growing up in Risco, Missouri where his passion for agriculture started at an early age
  • 5:15 – Gary talks about pursuing his degree at Murray State
  • 8:15 – Gary tells Cliff about his experience in the military and how it shaped his perspective of rural America
  • 12:30 – Gary outlines his journey to a career in the Missouri Department of Agriculture
  • 20:10 – Gary and Cliff discuss the importance of having the right people on staff and how to make that discernment
  • 26:30 – Gary outlines some of the big picture initiatives that Missouri Soy is working on, from education to communication to policy
  • 34:10 – Gary shares the challenges of politics within the role of legislation and in state-funded organizations
  • 36:50 – Gary talks about the innovation center and all the opportunities it provides for education
  • 39:10 – Gary tells Cliff about the research farm that Missouri Soy uses to showcase new technologies and equipment