7th May 2015

About Us

AgConnect Ministries – Who we are.

Vision Statement: Equipping people to develop regional, sustainable agricultural enterprises in an environmentally responsible and economically viable manner that enables them to build healthy families, churches, and communities.

Mission Statement: Sharing God’s love by providing technical support, educational training and other resources to individuals, communities, and other organizations in parts of the world that are lacking a thriving agricultural infrastructure.

AgConnect Ministries emerged from a September 2004 visit that Les Yoder made to Moldova, as a follow-up to a January visit made by Jim Ranck, Leland Miller and Dan Ness where they conducted agriculture seminars. Out of that visit, two projects were formed which compared Moldovan practices of growing corn, to growing corn according to accepted US practices. Les Yoder went to Moldova to evaluate the success of those projects, and to determine if this was a work that should continue.

While in Moldova, Les received a promise from God – Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” NCV. On observing the results of the projects and seeing the great needs, and the potential, he was filled with a desire to help improve the plight of the farmers in Moldova. When he returned to the US, the four men met and decided to form their own organization, AgriService Moldova, whose mission was to improve Moldova one farmer at a time by providing education as well as technical and financial support. A board of directors was formed to oversee the ministry, and in 2005, Herbert Graybill became one of the board members.

In a 2011 visit, Les sensed a clear call from God that it was time that he devoted his energies to the work in Moldova. His vision was to expand the work of AgriService Moldova, providing a much more intense level of support. This meant building a network of other people and organizations who were attempting to do similar work, not only in Moldova but also in other parts of the world, and to include humanitarian aid and Christian missions.

Les was diagnosed with cancer in September 2011, and underwent surgery, Chemo and Radiation treatments. That incredible journey taught him many lessons that he was able to share with people wherever he went. He learned what it meant to depend fully on God for everything that he had. He also learned what it meant to live moment by moment, focusing only on Jesus, not being distracted by the difficulties that life brings to all of us, but simply following Jesus’ command to “Come, follow me.”

With the granting of an extension of his life, Les made a significant career change, leaving his partnership in a Soils, Crops and Dairy Nutrition Consulting business. With the blessing and support of his family and friends, he founded AgConnect Ministries in 2013. Over the next decade, he traveled frequently to Moldova and other countries in Eastern Europe, providing agriculture expertise to many farmers and Ag businesses. During these developments, Herb Graybill continued his support as a board member, traveling to Moldova multiple times and assisting with seminars and other agricultural projects.

In the spring of 2023, the Lord gave Les a fresh vision for AgConnect Ministries, promising that He had “Greater Things” in store for the future. The Lord’s promise of greater things to come arrived just before Les received a diagnosis of recurring oral cancer that summer. Les held onto the faithfulness of God throughout his cancer treatment and recovery process. He chose to remain thankful in the midst of adversity. And while the surgery to remove cancer and rebuild a functioning tongue for Les was successful, the Lord had more for him than a functioning tongue. He gave Les an entirely new body while welcoming him into his heavenly reward in October 2023.

While Les’ passing came as a surprise to many who were following his recovery journey, it certainly was no surprise to God. And in His faithfulness, the Lord was already providing a means to fulfill the promise of greater things for AgConnect Ministries. Throughout Les’ health journey, God had been prompting Herb Graybill to walk alongside Les, assisting him however needed. After Les’ passing, Herb felt God’s prompting again, this time to serve as Executive Director of AgConnect Ministries. Equipped by the Lord and carrying years of agricultural and ministry experience, Herb officially entered the Executive Director position in January 2024.

AgConnect Ministries continues to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading into the greater things He has in store. In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus told His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” AgConnect Ministries is honored to be among the laborers in God’s harvest, using agriculture to sow seeds of eternal significance.

Core Values:

  1. Be Christ-centered, prayerfully active and led by the Holy Spirit to advance the Gospel.
  2. Provide support and resources to equip through teaching and modeling best agricultural practices.
  3. Be perseverant and patient to build trusting relationships.
  4. Be sensitive to the needs of locals and beneficial to their economic and agricultural development.
  5. Work collaboratively with nationals to foster leadership development.

AgConnect Ministries Board of Directors

Executive Director
Herb Graybill
Ivan Yost
Vice President
Josh Hahn
Candace Hahn
Karl D. Yoder
Spiritual Advisor
Omar Zook
Agriculture Missionary
Angela Zimmerman
Jeffrey Swartz Larry Burkhart Ed Eby
Jay Stauffer