Ecker, Boatwright to lead Highways and Transportation Commission

JEFFERSON CITY – Terry L. Ecker, Elmo, and W. Dustin Boatwright, Cape Girardeau, will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The commission voted them into their leadership roles at its monthly meeting today.

Ecker, a Republican, was appointed to the commission in September 2017. Boatwright, an Independent, was appointed to the commission in September 2020.

Ecker raises corn, soybeans and cattle on a farm northwest of Elmo, just one-quarter of a mile from where his great, great grandfather settled in Nodaway County in 1868. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture economics from the University of Missouri and is a graduate of Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow Class IX.

Ecker was appointed by three different U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture to represent the State of Missouri on the United Soybean Board.  He is a past vice chairman of the U.S. Soybean Export Council.  Ecker has served as an Agriculture Field Representative for Congressman Sam Graves.  He is a member of Missouri Farm Bureau and served as a past Nodaway County Farm Bureau President.  Ecker is a member of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Corn Growers and Missouri Soybean Association.  

Boatwright is a lifelong resident of southeast Missouri and a third-generation employee of The Little River Drainage District (LRDD). Boatwright serves as the Chief Engineer/Executive Vice President with the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the largest levee and drainage infrastructure footprint in the United States. The Little River Drainage District is an integral part of the St. Francis Basin portion of the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) project providing protection and productive use of 5.5 million acres of alluvial landscape in Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas.

Boatwright is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla) with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil Engineering.  Boatwright is registered in the State of Missouri as a Professional Engineer and a Licensed Surveyor In-Training. 

He currently serves as a Regional Engineer for the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association, on the Board of Directors for the National Waterways Conference and on the Advisory Board of the Fisher Delta Research Center.

“It has been my great honor to serve as Chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the past year,” said former Chairman Robert G. Brinkmann. “With record construction spending but also a never-ending list of transportation needs, the work of the commission is challenging and critically important to the state. I look forward to continuing my work on the commission under Mr. Ecker’s leadership as the new chairman.  and wish him well as he takes on this new role.”

Other members of the Commission are Gregg C. Smith, Clinton; Robert G. Brinkmann, Defiance; Brian Treece, Columbia; and Warren K. Erdman, Kansas City. The six-member bipartisan MHTC governs the Missouri Department of Transportation, the agency responsible for building, operating and maintaining the state highway system and supporting other transportation modes in Missouri.

Note: High resolution photos of Ecker and Boatwright are available at


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