Laurence L. Pressly is a prominent agricultural executive who draws upon more than 60 years of experience in the field. Notably, he served as executive vice president and general manager of the American Royal Association from 1975 until his retirement from the livestock industry in 1985. The American Royal is a livestock show, horse show, rodeo and barbeque competition held annually during the autumn months at various sites in the Kansas City area. A nonprofit, community volunteer-based service organization as well, the American Royal raises funds to fulfill its mission through endowments, contributions and sponsorships. It is renowned for its bountiful contributions in financial support in the form of scholarships, educational programs, community donations and prize monies.
At the inception of his career, Mr. Pressly was active in a farm program and dairy herd protection. He was subsequently approached by the University of Missouri extension program, who requested that he join them. Finding the agriculture industry to be invigorating, he stayed with the program for 16 fruitful years between 1956 and 1972. From there, he became an agribusiness manager for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce from 1973 to 1974 before joining the American Royal. During his tenure, he also acted in numerous capacities for respected agricultural corporations and the Lee’s Summit Industrial Development Authority. Since his retirement from the livestock industry, Mr. Pressly has been an associate broker and sales agent for Reece Nichols in Lee’s Summit and Greater Kansas City, Missouri.
Mr. Pressly has accrued several accolades during his career in agriculture and beyond. Recently, he earned the Civic Leadership Award from the Missouri Municipal League and was named Citizen of the Year by the City of Lee’s Summit in 2017, having previously received a Proclamation in Recognition and Appreciation of 58 years of civic service in 2016. Among numerous other awards, he also earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri Holstein Association in 1980 and an Honorary Award from the Future Farmers of America in 1974.
Although decorated with countless honors, Mr. Pressly cites witnessing the American Royal Livestock Show to be an ultimate career highlight. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri and has been featured in the 20th edition of Who’s Who in the Midwest.
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