Board of Directors


Dale Blevins

Dale Blevins
Independence, MO

Dale Blevins has a B.S. in Physical Geography, an M.S. in Watershed Management, and additional graduate work in Fish and Wildlife at the University of Missouri. He worked 31 years for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as a Hydrologist and Supervisory Hydrologist, mostly in Missouri. Blevins is now a Scientist Emeritus with the USGS and manages about 1,000 acres of farm land, some of which has been converted to native grasses and forbs. Dale’s interests include water-quality of prairie streams, wet (wetland) prairies and restoration of native landscapes.

 President serves on all committees.

Rick ThomRick Thom
Vice President

Rick has been an active member of MPF for 35 years and was a board member in the 1980s.  He spent 28 years working for the Missouri Department of Conservation in Natural History and Wildlife Divisions.   After retiring from MDC, Rick worked as executive director of the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation for six years.  He has been MPF’s representative on the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Steering Committee for the past several years.  Rick has degrees in biology, forestry and public administration.

 Governance, Fundraising

Bruce Schuette
Vice President of Science and Management
Bruce Schuette
Troy, MO

Bruce Schuette is recently retired from working 36 years as a Park Naturalist at Cuivre River State Park, where he was involved in natural resource management (prescribed burns, exotic species control, ecosystem management),natural resource inventory, collections, monitoring, working with researchers, and nature education. He has been on the MPF board since January 2000, served as Secretary 2005-2012, and is Vice President for Science and Management and Chairman of the Science and Management Committee. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Committees: Executive, Science & Management (Chair), Outreach & Education

Laura Church
Laura Church

Kansas City, MO

Laura Church is a CPA with a Masters in Accounting from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and has 20 years of experience in public, private and governmental accounting. Laura is a committed conservationist, a long time member of MPF, and joined the Board in 2009 as treasurer.

Committees: Executive, Finance (Chair), Awards

Anita Berwanger
Anita BerwangerJefferson City, MO
Term Expires 2018

Anita Berwanger earned a B.S. in Dietetics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.A. in Management from Webster University. Growing up on a farm, she learned from her father the obligation to be good 
stewards of the land that we are entrusted. She developed an interest in sustainable agriculture as a natural offshoot of her love for the land coupled with her training as a Dietitian Nutritionist. In the late 1990s, she discovered the many benefits of prairie in improving land quality and since that time, has worked to promote prairie ranging from planting native gardens to prairie plantings of multiple acres. She and her husband Harley Scheidegger recently began converting several acres behind their rural Hermann home into habitat to promote Monarch butterfly populations. She is a lifetime member of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. 

Executive, Outreach & Education, Awards


Susan AppelSusan Appel
Leawood, KS

Term Expires 2018

Susan Appel has a B.S. in Business/Programming from Missouri State University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Rockhurst University. Susan recently work for Habitat for Humanity/Restore as Assistant Manager repurposing building supplies. Susan comes from an active recycling background, is committed to conservation and an all around nice person. She is also a Missouri Master Naturalist/Osage Trails class of 2009 and served two years as Vice President, and is a committed community volunteer through the years with KC Wildlands, Bridging the Gap, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, PTA.

Committees: Fundraising

Holly Berthold
Eureka, MO
Term expires 2019

Committees: Outreach & Education

Christine Chiu
Springfield, MO
Term Expires 2020

With a life long history of gardening with a particular interest in edible plants, Christine is a relative newcomer to prairie ecology. Upon accepting an invitation to an MPF Bioblitz from multiple friends, she learned the language of the prairie through return visits, with experts revealing the unique relationships among the multitude of elements that comprise a prairie.

Her appreciation for prairie grew rapidly upon the constant discovery of the symbiotic relationships which are not obvious from a distance. She believes that to understand prairie is to experience it.

Especially with knowledgeable experts who share their passion for everything from the bacteria in the soil, to the plants, animals, insects, birds, polinators—their life cycles—and the intracacies of their interactions with eachother.

Understanding that while prairie may seem to be separate from daily human activity, it is actually something each of us benefit from each day, most commonly though the food we eat. Not only does she serve as a board member for MPF, she also serves on the boards of the Mid-America Organic Association and local Master Naturalist chapter.

Thanks the pursuit of her idea, the Missouri Prairie Foundation has officially founded “National Prairie Day,” to be recognized and celebrated in perpetuity the first Saturday of every June.

Committees: Outreach & Education

Brian EdmondBrian Edmond
Walnut Grove, MO
Term Expires 2019

Brian Edmond works by day as an IT professional at Missouri State University with a particular interest in open source software and the community development methodology. Much of his extracurricular work occurs at the intersection of biology and technology. Edmond is an author on the Atlas of Missouri Amphibians and Reptiles and has crunched massive datasets for several field research projects. He also manages web sites for several non-profit organizations, including Missouri Native Plant Society, Missouri Herpetological Association, Midwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Grow Native!, and the Missouri Prairie Foundation. He has a specific interest in native plants, amphibians, reptiles, scientific collections, habitat restoration, conservation issues, and exploring natural areas, particularly rivers and streams. Edmond holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from the University of Missouri.

Committees: Science & Management, Outreach & Education

Page Hereford
St. Louis, MO
Term Expires 2018

Page Hereford graduated from St. Louis Country Day, University of Vermont, and Boston College Graduate School of Management. He owns and operates Hereford Printing Resources which provides print management services to large national retailers, specializing in POS and packaging. His interests lie in protecting unplowed prairie remnants and expanding the footprint of prairie in MO through acquisition and restoration of pastureland. He has a 2500 SF prairie garden at home and is in the process of transforming his 2-acre lot into predominately native plants.

Committees: Fundraising, Outreach & Education

Sarah HinmanSarah Hinman
Springfield, MO
Term Expires 2018

Sarah is a native Kansan and a recent transplant to Missouri. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in biology and tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors—hiking, biking, camping. She has worked in grasslands and savannas in Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Massachusetts, and is excited to bring her energy and enthusiasm to MPF.

Committees: Fundraising, Science & Management

Maddie JohnstonMaddie Johnston
Kirkwood, MO
Term expires 2019

Maddie received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Denison University in 2014 and her J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law this past May. While at SLU law, Maddie served as President of the Environmental Law Society, Lead Editor of the Journal of Health Law & Policy, and writer for the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. She has previously worked and researched for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation in Florida, the Department of Natural Resources and MPF in Missouri, People Endorsing Agricultural Sustainability in Ohio, and the School for Field Studies in Turks & Caicos. She is currently an attorney at Brown & James, P.C. in St. Louis, focusing on health care liability defense. 

Committees: Fundraising

Jan SassmannJan Sassmann
Bland, MO
Term Expires 2019 

Jan Sassmann, a retired Rolla art teacher, is an active partner in the restoration of the 120 acre Osage county Prairie Star Farm. Sassmann has played an active role in the conversion of 60 acres from fescue pasture to native warm season grasses and wildflowers. Her specimen garden is a tool for plant identification and propagation. Woodland and aquatic farm restoration projects compliment her comprehensive land restoration efforts. 

Committees: Awards

Doris SherrickDoris Sherrick
Immediate Past President
Peculiar, MO

From her earliest memories, Doris Sherrick has felt deeply connected to nature, from deserts to prairies. Since her retirement from teaching she has had time to become more knowledgeable about prairies, to work on prairie reconstruction on her property, and to promote the protection of the little prairie that remains in Missouri by being involved with MPF. She is passionate about native plants and educating about their many functions in ecosystems and contributions to water quality as well as their beauty and resilience and uses for landscaping.

Governance (Chair), Fundraising, Science & Management

David Young
David YoungWindsor, MO

Term Expires 2020 

David B. Young is retired from the Missouri Department of Conservation where he was a wildlife regional supervisor responsible for more than 100,000 acres of public lands, developing and supervising wildlife management programs in West Central Missouri. As a retiree, he is self-employed as a part-time landscape maintenance technician and is a Master Gardener Emeritus in Johnson County. His hobbies are hunting, fishing, family activities, and traveling. He holds membership in MPF (life member); CFM (life member); and NWTF. 

Committees: Grow Native!, Outreach & Education (Chair), Science & Management

Term expires 2020

Term expires 2020

Presidential Appointees

Glenn Longworth IIGlenn Longworth
Kansas City

Glenn Longworth is a graduate of UMKC with a B.S. in Communications Studies. After 13 years as the City of Kansas City's Chief Elevator Inspector, he retired with 36 years of service within various departments. Glenn served on the Board of Directors for Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary in Liberty, MO for 20 years and chaired the Land and Resources committee for the Sanctuary for 10 years. In his free time Glenn enjoys bird watching, landscaping with native plants, participating in Rails to Trails, and bicycling. Glenn hopes to learn more about prairie restoration and Grow Native! while serving on the Missouri Prairie Foundation Board.

James FaupelJames Faupel
St. Louis, MO

James Faupel currently works at Shaw Nature Reserve, division of the Missouri Botanical Garden. He has been a horticulturist there for a little over two years, where he manages about 3 acres of gardens and landscapes in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden, and close to 50 acres of prairie and open woodland restoration that surround the garden. James got his degree from the horticulture program at St. Louis Community College Meramec, and was a certified arborist through the ISA . His previous horticulture experiences range from working at a landscape contractor in St. Louis as their lead designer to also owning his own native landscaping service for a short time while working full time at a retail nursery in Chesterfield. James is very active in the St. Louis horticulture/native plant community and volunteers for the local chapter of the Wild Ones. He is their current vice president. James is constantly trying to educate himself further on our native flora, and their uses in both landscaping and restoration.

Active Past Officers

Wayne Morton M.D.
Osceola, MO

Committees: Finance, Governance, Science & Management

Steve MowrySteve Mowry
Trimble, MO

Steve Mowry, a partner of Von Erdmannsdorff, Mowry and Bartlett law firm of Kansas City, is a past president of MPF. During his term as president with that organization, he organized the Smithville Lake Prairie Revitalization Project in Clay County. He also began a Missouri chapter of the North American Grouse Partnership and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Ducks Unlimited. In July 2009, Field and Stream magazine recognized Mr. Mowry as a “Hero of Conservation” for his prairie conservation and revitalization efforts in the Mystic Plains Conservation Opportunity Area in Adair and Sullivan Counties. He is quick to praise public agency staff and private landowners for making prairie restoration a reality in northeastern Missouri. In addition to his conservation leadership efforts, Mowry also is the founding member and organizer of the Sarah McCoy Foundation, which provides educational opportunities to young people in Clinton, Buchanan and Andrew Counties.

Committees: Finance, Fundraising

Stanley M. Parrish
Walnut Grove, MO

Stan Parrish has been interested in prairie at least since 1985. That is when he and his wife, Susan, joined MPF. In 1991 MPF undertook the purchase of Crook Meadow (later to become Schwartz Prairie) in St. Clair County. To help finance this highly leveraged project, the Board decided to sell eighty acres that joined the main tract on the west. The Parrishes offered to buy it. That transpired, and they became acquainted with the other board members of MPF who were working hard to protect prairie. In 1993 Randy Washburn appointed Parrish to the Board. Apart from meeting knowledgeable and talented people, Parrish has seen our prairie holdings transformed. When he came to this organization, management consisted primarily of hay contracts. Prescribed burning was beyond our reach. Brush control was sporadic. Now our prairies are among the best looked-after in the state. It is a beautiful thing to be part of.

Committees: Science & Management

Van WiskurVan Wiskur
Pleasant Hill, MO

Van E. Wiskur, PE, DBIA is a registered civil engineer with 39 years of experience in the engineering and construction fields specializing in roadways, site development, and stormwater detention. He is a certified professional in Design-Build project delivery methods. Wiskur lives with his wife near Pleasant Hill, MO where he maintains a native wildflower garden and two rain gardens. They are also in the process of reconstructing three acres of prairie on their property. In addition to his volunteer work with MPF, Wiskur is also a Missouri Master Naturalist and on the Board of the Cass County Sustainability Committee.

Committees: Awards (Chair), Governance, Outreach & Education


Honorary Board Member

Dr. Peter RavenPeter Raven
St Louis, MO

Peter H. Raven is president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, George Engelmann Professor of Botany Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis, and a Trustee of the National Geographic Society and Chairman of the Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration. For more than 39 years, Dr. Raven headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he nurtured to become a world-class center for botanical research, education, and horticulture display. During this period, the Garden became a leading center for botanical research and conservation in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and North America and co-sponsored with the Missouri Department of Conservation a thorough revision of Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri, completed in August 2013. 

Since the mid-1960s, Dr. Raven has been an outspoken advocate of the need for conservation throughout the world based on efforts to attain sustainability and social justice everywhere. He has received numerous prizes and awards, including the International Prize for Biology from the government of Japan; Volvo Environment Prize; the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; the Sasakawa Environment Prize; and the BBVA Prize for Ecology and Conservation, Madrid. Dr. Raven has also held Guggenheim and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

In 2001, Dr. Raven received the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in the United States. He has been president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and a number of other organizations. He served for 12 years as Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, to which he was elected in 1977.  He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society, of the academies of science in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, the U.K. (the Royal Society), and of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).

Emeritus Board Members

Bill CrawfordBill Crawford
Columbia, MO

The Missouri Prairie Foundation mourns the loss of Bill Crawford, who died Dec. 7, 2017.

Together with the late Don Christisen, Bill Crawford founded MPF in 1966. Crawford, who turns 97 this month, has been involved in conservation since the beginning. He was present at the 1935 meeting that established Missouri’s apolitical conservation program. “My dad was a hunter and fisherman and very much involved in conservation, and I just went with him everywhere,” Crawford said. He was a high school student when he accompanied his dad to the meeting that eventually resulted in the creation of the agency where he would begin working in 1941. “When the Department was created, there were very few facts about anything,” Crawford said. To learn more, the Department — and Crawford — embarked on widespread landmark studies to get better information about Missouri’s wildlife populations and the habitats on which they relied. “The Department had a big job on its hands to figure out what we had in Missouri and how it was being affected by land use and people,” Crawford said. Later, more species-specific studies grew out of those earlier studies. “In the 1950s, they finally decided to create a dedicated research staff,” Crawford said, who was put in charge of that unit, serving as wildlife research chief until his retirement in 1983. Crawford is credited with creating the Missouri natural areas program, and he cofounded the Missouri Prairie Foundation in 1966 as a citizen led organization dedicated to protecting grassland habitat and wildlife. Crawford was named Master Conservationist in 2011 for his lasting contributions to conservation.

William A. Davit
Washington, MO

Lowell Pugh
Golden City, MO

Dr. Owen Sexton
St. Louis, MO

The Missouri Prairie Foundation mourns the loss of Dr. Owen Sexton, who died May 31, 2018.