10 questions with...Steve Hobbs

Dave Faries

Steve Hobbs is equally at home behind the wheel of a tractor and behind a desk. He’s spent plenty of time at both.
Hobbs has been a farmer near Mexico all his life. But he also represented Audrain County in the Missouri General Assembly from 2003 to 2011. And when he left the Assembly, he stepped behind a County Commissioner’s desk.
He serves as the Presiding Commissioner for the county. And he continues to farm corn and soybeans.
1. Why local government?
I had the opportunity to serve in the General Assembly and saw what goes on at the state level and I saw how that affects local government. I was told you can really make a difference locally. This is where you can do some things.
2. What’s the difference between state and local government?
Well, when I was in state government, we always complained about how the federal government dropped mandates on the state. On the county level, we complain about how both the federal and state governments drop mandates on us. But here you make decisions that affect the people you meet at the grocery store and the people you go to church with on Sunday.
3. Both farming and government can be tough work.
I think it gives you a good perspective on how to get things done. In both, things are constantly changing.
4. What’s the appeal of farming?
That’s my get away, when I’m behind the wheel of a tractor. My dad farmed, my grandpa farmed, his father farmed. I love working my land. And it’s been profitable – at times.
5. How important is the biofuel industry?
Agriculture is the number one economic driver in Audrain County. We are the number one producer of corn in the state of Missouri and the number two producer of soybeans. As agriculture goes, so goes Audrain County.
6. How has farming changed over the years?
It’s like everything else – technology is the driving factor.
7. Is that something positive?
Oh yes. Farmers have always been quick to embrace new technology. We’re more productive. We are the number one producer of food in the world and technology helps us to stay in the forefront.
8. You’ve lived here all your life. Is there an old restaurant that you miss?
When I was a kid on the farm in the ‘60s, if we were good we could go to Bello’s Pizza or the A&M. Some people would say Dairy Pride, but I liked Bello’s. But we didn’t come to town very often.
9. Do you get out of the county very often?
We’ll go to Kansas City to see our daughter. I love St. Louis. I really enjoy going to Washington, D.C. But I love going to places in Missouri, visiting courthouses. That’s fun.
10. You mentioned D.C. – any aspirations?
None. Capital N-O-N-E. I love history and that’s the mecca of American history, but no.



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