Missouri Agriculture Updates: Broadband initiative. Farmers’ markets. Online pesticide training.

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Missouri Agriculture Updates

January 20, 2018


Governor Greitens launches rural broadband initiative

This week, Governor Eric Greitens announced that the Missouri Department of Economic Development in partnership with the Missouri Department of Agriculture is launching a new statewide initiative to expand broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas. Missouri’s rural communities are at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to business development, healthcare, and farming techniques because of a lack of high-speed internet. 

“We are working for every single Missourian. That's why we're proud to announce today that we’re launching a joint initiative between the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Agriculture to get broadband access to our rural communities. This new effort will bring every resource to bear to connect Missourians across our state,” said Governor Eric Greitens. 

Kicking off the initiative, DED plans to hire a Missouri Rural Broadband Manager to lead the effort and serve as a liaison between federal, state, regional and local broadband discussions. The new position will build and strengthen partnerships between public and private stakeholders, and align efforts statewide to improve broadband access.

The FCC Broadband Progress Report shows that 1.25 million Missourians – or 20% -- don’t have access to high-speed Internet (25mpbs/3mbps). The majority of those citizens reside in rural communities.

Governor Greitens previously announced that in cooperation with the state legislature, private sector partners, and the federal government, Missouri has launched a $45 million program that will enable every public school in Missouri to build the infrastructure for quality internet access. Today, schools are working with the administration to assess their needs and submit applications for funding.  

Since becoming Director of Agriculture, Chris Chinn has been an ardent champion for rural broadband. The Department’s “connect MORE” initiative is focused squarely on connecting every last mile in the state so that rural communities are no longer left behind. 

“Connecting rural Missouri to technology and adequate internet means there will be brighter, more vibrant communities for the next generation to call home,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “It means additional agricultural advancements, better education, more comprehensive healthcare services and an enhanced quality of life— all of which are necessary to incentivize retention and growth.”

Click here to learn more.

farmers market

Promotion opportunity for farmers’ markets

Missouri is home to nearly 300 farmers’ markets that provide venues for agricultural producers to sell their products directly to consumers. Missouri’s farmers’ markets range from a few vendors gathered under tents to hundreds of vendors participating in year-round farmers’ markets in permanent structures. The Missouri Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the Farmers’ Market Promotion Matching Grant Program to support the promotion and advertisement of Missouri’s farmers’ markets.

The Farmers’ Market Promotion Matching Grant Program, funded through the Missouri Department of Agriculture, awards grants of up to $1,000 for reimbursement of expenses associated with promoting farmers’ markets in their local communities. Projects should promote the farmers’ market in the local community and improve understanding, perception, knowledge and location of the farmers’ market. 

This is a competitive grant program, and funds may be used to assist farmers’ markets in developing promotional and advertising materials. Funds may also be used to increase community awareness about market locations, times of operation and types of products sold.  Examples of eligible expenses include digital and print media, signage, billboards, advertisements, marketing and graphic design.

Applications must be received by Feb. 15, 2018. The application is available on the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s website. 

Click here to learn more.

pesticide training

Online synthetic auxin herbicide applicator training opens

Online and in-person training on synthetic auxin herbicides, such as dicamba, is now available, according to University of Missouri Extension weed scientist Kevin Bradley.

Bradley and MU researcher Mandy Bish teach the online, self-paced class. For more information, click here

The Missouri Department of Agriculture requires certified applicators to complete online or in-person training before buying or using dicamba. MU Extension is the sole authorized training source. Only certified applicators may purchase or apply dicamba. Visit agriculture.mo.gov/dicamba to learn more about Missouri’s requirements.

Upcoming in-person sessions are at Blue Springs, Columbia, Hannibal and Sikeston. All sessions run 9-11:30 a.m. The cost is $30 and advance registration is required. Seating is limited.

To register for in-person training or for more information, go to extension.missouri.edu/main/spotlight/dicamba.aspx. For questions about in-person training, call the MU Conference Office at 573-882-4349.

This Week in Photos

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This week, we highlight Missouri State College of Agriculture students, Director Chinn speaking at the Missouri Corn Growers Association's Northwest district meeting, USDA Rural Development Roundtable, the Missouri Agricultural & Small Business Development Authority and USDA Farm Service Agency partnering to form a one-stop shop for dairy farmers and the Department's presence at the Heart of America Dairy Expo.

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