Lane McConnell has had a passion for telling the story of agriculture from a young age. She was raised on her family’s cattle farm, deep in the heart of southwest Missouri.
She founded the Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) in Springfield with local developer Matt O’Reilly in early 2011. The market is home to more than 110 farmers and ranchers and is the only market housed within a year-round pavilion in the Ozarks.
She served as the executive director for the market, which was named the No. 6 Farmers Market in the Country in 2015, and was responsible for fundraising, corporate sponsorships, public relations and marketing for the organization, which is a 501c3 nonprofit.
McConnell has created two franchise farmers markets, which are part of the FMO brand. The market has been placed on the Top 10 List for national news sites such as MSN.com, Food52.com, The Daily Meal and Feast Magazine.
In her previous role at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, she was responsible for implementing statewide producer workshops, assisting communities in organizing farmers’ markets, developing local food marketing and promotional activities, grant writing and supporting small farmers with marketing and business planning.
In 2009, McConnell started Agri-Comm Services where she works as an agricultural marketing consultant, focusing on sustainable farming and local food projects.
McConnell is a graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia where she holds a degree in Agricultural Communication and Leadership and minor in Agricultural Economics. Lane, her husband Charlie, and children, Caston and Cora, reside in Branson, Mo. Her family raises livestock with Lane’s parents in Seymour, MO., and continue to carry on the family farm together.