Sam and his wife Lesley, daughter Megan, son Sam III, and young daughter Emily live on their farm just outside Tarkio, in Atchison County. Sam operates a sixth generation farm in cooperation with his father and his brother, raising corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle.
Sam is a member of the Northwest Missouri State University Agriculture Advisory Committee, the University Extension Council, and of Rotary, of which he is a past president. He earned the Eagle Scout Award in the Boy Scouts of America. His wife Lesley teaches kindergarten in the Tarkio R-1 School District.
Sam is a 1986 graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia, with a bachelor of science degree in Agronomy. He serves on the Agricultural Advisory Committees of both Missouri U.S. Senators.
He has been active in Farm Bureau for several years having served in nearly every county position, including president. He was chosen as the 1990 Outstanding Young Farmer in Missouri and in 1991 was named the Outstanding Young Farmer in the United States. Sam was also named the Outstanding Young Farmer in Missouri by the Missouri Junior Chamber of Commerce. He remains active in the Farm Bureau on both the state and local levels. From 1992 - 1994 Senator Graves served in the Missouri House of Representatives and was selected as the Outstanding Freshman Legislator in Agriculture.