Missouri Agriculture Updates: Bigger, bolder. Dairy scholarships. Specialty crop grants.

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Missouri Agriculture Updates

January 12, 2018

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Planning for a bigger, bolder tomorrow

By Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn

As farmers and ranchers, we plan.  We plan for the upcoming growing season.  We plan for good times and the challenging times.  We’re always looking toward the future and how we can improve.  We should expect our government to do the same. 

President Donald Trump addressed farmers and ranchers from across the country at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention this past week, the first time the president has done so in more than 25 years.  He focused on the importance of rural prosperity and wagered his support of the recommendations developed by the Rural Prosperity Task Force, chaired by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. The recommendations revolve around five key indicators: Connectivity for Rural America, Quality of Life Improvement, Support for a Rural Workforce, Technological Innovation, and Economic Development.

Secretary Perdue believes rural America hasn't had the tools necessary to keep pace and that this plan will solve problems and restore a rural America that is prosperous for years to come. 

Click here to read the full op-ed.

Dairy Scholars Program

Dairy scholarships available for students

The Missouri Dairy Scholars Scholarship Program was created to support students pursuing careers in the dairy industry. Students may qualify for up to $5,000 in scholarships if they are enrolled in a two-year or four-year Missouri college and work on a dairy farm or have a dairy-related internship. Students must also make a commitment to work in Missouri’s agriculture industry as a condition of receiving the scholarship. 

Applications will open on Jan. 16, 2018, and close on March 16, 2018. This year, $40,000 will be awarded.   

Scholarships will be selected on a competitive basis. Each application will be evaluated and rated using the following criteria:

  • Agriculture-related degree
  • Dairy-related work experience
  • Academic achievement and year in school
  • Resume and letters of recommendation
  • Future career plans 

Click here to learn more.


Grants up for grabs for Missouri specialty crop producers

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for anticipated funding through the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Interested individuals, community organizations and research institutions working to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Missouri should submit their application by Feb. 28, 2018.   

USDA defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, honey, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. The Department offers this grant program to expand local, regional and international markets and distribution channels for specialty crops, as well as for education, research, food safety, crop-specific issues, pest and disease, marketing and promotion. 

Proposals for the upcoming fiscal year must be submitted to the Department no later than Feb. 28, 2018. Proposals will be evaluated and selected projects will be included in the Missouri State Plan for USDA review and approval. A list of previously funded projects is available on the Department’s website. 

Click here to find the application and learn more.

This Week in Photos

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This week, we highlight President Trump and Director Chinn at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention, your Departments of Agriculture & Natural Resources partnering to make life better for farmers, ranchers and small businesses, the Rural Crimes Task Force meeting and our visit with the 2018 Missouri State University Agricultural Industry Study.

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