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By David Knopf/Richmond News
Around 40 years ago, new University of Missouri grad Allen Gentry was ready to begin work as a salesman for Purina.
It was 1970, and the Polo-area native would be earning a whopping $8,600 a year.
Then Gentry received a call from the state United States Department of Agriculture office asking if he’d like to work for the Farmers Home Administration, now known as Rural Development.
The position, agricultural management specialist, paid several thousand more and in 1971 Gentry changed direction. Now 63, he launched a 40-year career that came to a close last week with a retirement party at the Richmond USDA Service Center.
“He has always provided excellent assistance and guidance to borrowers, lenders, Realtors, city officials and boards,” said area specialist Debbie Berry, who worked with Gentry, who’d been at the Richmond office the past 16 years. “Many borrowers and communities have Allen to thank for helping them get a house, an early-warning siren, a police car, sewer and water system, library and many other projects too numerous to mention.”