Written by The Herald-News
Melvin Johnson, a dryland farmer from Vida, was presented with the Montana Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award during the MFBF annual convention awards banquet Nov. 12.
Johnson, 92, was instrumental in founding McCone County Farm Bureau in 1956. He served as president for six years and has always been an active member/supporter of Farm Bureau.
This September he and his wife, Kay, spent their 67th wedding anniversary at the McCone County Farm Bureau annual meeting.
Johnson attended Montana State College in 1939, studying grains and farming and went on to farm in Vida. He and Kay have encouraged young farmers and ranchers to stay involved in agriculture, having leased farmland to various young producers throughout their retirement years.
He and his wife have been very active in their community. He founded the McCone Hundred Club, whose members donate $100 or more annually to support the volunteer ambulance and fire departments. He visited with his neighbors to allow rights of way for Highway 13 to come through and complete the route from Wolf Point to Circle. In 1992, Melvin was the grand marshall for Town & Country Days in Circle.
This fall, the Johnsons provided significant monetary help for a new fire hall in Circle.
He served 2.5 years in the Civil Air Patrol, Miles City Wing, as a pilot where he attained the rank of Captain. Their special focus was on protecting the Fort Peck Dam which was considered to be a possible Japanese target. He joined the Air Force during World War II as an enlisted man. He was discharged from the Air Force on July 4, 1946. He chaired the state Republican Party in the 1950s.
“Melvin and Kay have given selflessly to the community and especially to Farm Bureau, all their lives,” said MFBF president Bob Hanson who presented the award. “Farm Bureau is very honored to present our Distinguished Service Award to this hard-working farmer and patriot.”
The Montana Farm Bureau Convention was Nov. 10-13 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.