MANHATTAN – Kansas agriculture has lost a long-time advocate and a good friend. John Junior Armstrong, 90, who farmed near Muscotah, died Sunday afternoon, Nov. 8.
In 1972 Armstrong became president of Kansas Farm Bureau and served in that capacity until 1983. The northeastern Kansas farmer stockman brought 27 years of Farm Bureau experience to the president’s office, including 11 years as district director and 12 years as vice president. The Atchison County native was first elected to the organization’s board of directors in 1949.
As KFB president Armstrong participated in several international trade missions. A fervent supporter of free trade, he gained national respect for his organization’s legal action in stopping the longshoremen’s union from boycotting the loading of U.S. grain bound for the Soviet Union.
While serving as president of Farm Bureau members in Kansas, Armstrong took the first group of county Farm Bureau presidents to Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of agriculture. They made this journey to the nation’s capital in the late ‘70s.
During Armstrong’s tenure at the helm of Kansas Farm Bureau, the company’s group-purchasing Safemark program was placed in a separate company called Kansas Farm Bureau Merchandising Company. In 1982, an in-house insurance agency was formed to provide Farm Bureau coverage on several different insurance lines.
“John Junior championed agriculture in Kansas, the United States and around the world,” said Rich Felts, Kansas Farm Bureau president. “He was truly a man who understood farmers and ranchers and worked on their behalf to take their message to Topeka and Washington, D.C.”
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts said, “John Jr. was a good friend and a trusted advisor in all things Agriculture. He was a leader on many initiatives concerning the farmer and rancher in Kansas, but most important was his work on the use/value property tax issue. He went to bat for producers in the legislature, and a solution was reached. In his 11 years as President of the Kansas Farm Bureau, he was a strong and effective advocate for producers.”
After retirement, Armstrong returned to the family farm in northeastern Kansas where he continued to serve on several local boards and committees. His cattle and land were always loves in his life for which he will always be remembered.
His wife, Ula preceded him in death. He is survived by his two sons John Jay and James Rex..
Former KFB President John Junior Armstrong dies