Moberly Natural Crush was founded Patrick Conners and Jim Beckley with some help from Scot Shively, whose co-op, Premium Ag Products, has been marketing non-GMO grains for many years. Together, these three serve as MNC’s Interim Board of Directors. When the company achieves funding and is operational, Shively expects to step down from the Board, and we expect the Board to expand to at least five members. At least three of the five members will be Missouri “Farmer/Producers” so that the company is “controlled” by Missouri farmers.
Patrick Conners (St. Louis, Missouri): Conners and Beckley conceived Moberly Natural Crush after meeting with a group of non-GMO farmers from the Premium Ag Products Cooperative, headed by Scot Shively. Conners developed the MNC business plan, successfully secured the Producer Tax Credit through the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and held meetings throughout 2017 to attract investor interest in the project. He also created the Natural Oilseed Crushers Association to be the trade association for specialty oilseed processors servicing the natural food industry. As the Chief Executive Officer of the biodiesel company Producers’ Choice Soy Energy, Conners was instrumental in structuring the deal that allowed MNC to purchase the Crush assets, including a friendly settlement with all bank concerns. Prior to Producers’ Choice, Conners worked with the bank Advantage Capital Partners as a turnaround specialist. His entire 25-year business career has been spent in senior management or demand-side management positions for a wide range of manufacturing companies, ranging from sporting goods to home gas appliances. He has an MBA from Washington University. Prior to that, he was a journalist for The Tampa Tribune after receiving his B.A. from the University of South Florida.
Jim Beckley (Clarence, Missouri): Beckley is a lifelong resident of Shelby County, Missouri, and began farming full-time after graduating from the -University of Missouri in 1974. Over the years, his family raised 300 head of sows, 350 head of beef cows, 1,000 acres of soybeans, wheat and corn. He managed Royster, a local corporate-owned farm market, for 19 years. In addition to the farm operation, Beckley has owned and operated Beckley Ag Products, a fertilizer, chemical and seed agribusiness since 2005. In 2008, he spearheaded the formation of Producers’ Choice Soy Energy, an integrated biodiesel operation headquartered in Moberly owned by 300 farmer-investors. Beckley was instrumental in raising $9.5 million in equity investment and securing $12 million in debt for the operation. He served as Chairman of the Board. He has held a number of leadership positions in his church, the Shelby County Extension Council, the local cemetery board, the University of Missouri Greenley Farm Advisory Board and other community-related activities.
Scot Shively (Shelbyville, Missouri): Shively is a lifelong resident of Shelby County, Missouri, and has been farming full-time with his father since graduating from North Shelby County High School in 1987. He is his family's fourth generation to farm in Shelby County. Shively has been the president of Premium Ag Products since 1999, a co-op of central Missouri farmers dedicated to identity-preserved grains, and most recently focused on non-GMO markets. Shively has served on the Shelby County Soil and Water District for 24 years, and is presently on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. After serving for 15 years on the North Shelby School Board, Shively was recently elected president of the school board, and he also serves as Chairman of the Board of his church, Open Door Fellowship.