Missouri Agriculture Updates: Rooted in agriculture. Community building. e-Connectivity.

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Missouri Agriculture Updates

January 26, 2018

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Agriculture: It's in our roots

Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn had the opportunity to write the opening essay for the 2017-2018 Official Manual for the State of Missouri. The "blue book" went live this week. Here is Director Chinn's essay: 

As the proverb goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” This is certainly true when it comes to agriculture.  While agriculture has made leaps forward in technology, the core values of farm families continue to be passed from generation to generation.

Farming has changed considerably from the days of a horse and plow.  I remember my grandpa telling stories of his early days as a farmer and recalling the first tractor he bought. It didn’t have a cab; none did at the time. The first tractor my husband and I purchased had a cab and a radio, which was a big deal. Now, we talk about downloading field maps and uploading yield data when we are working in the field. 

By and large, Missouri’s nearly 100,000 farms are using some of the most advanced technology available in today’s world, and they’re utilizing it every day. In many ways, agriculture has been a front runner in innovation to make our food safer, more affordable and plentiful. Crop farmers utilize farm machinery equipped with GPS software to implement precision application techniques, leading to higher yields with fewer inputs. Livestock producers use research-based methods to raise animals in a comfortable and environmentally sustainable way, resulting in the highest quality meat products in the world.

What hasn’t changed in agriculture are the values we hold near and dear to our hearts: family, faith, farming and community.  Family is at the heart of agriculture and it is the ultimate family business. In fact, 97 percent of Missouri farms are family owned.  It’s not often you see a grandfather working alongside his grandchildren or a mother/son duo partnering in business, but the blending of personal and professional relationships are the norm on family farms.

Click here to read more of Director Chinn's essay in the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, commonly known as the "Blue Book.".


Agriculture youth organizations receive funding for community improvement projects

Each year, the Building Our American Communities (BOAC) Grant Program provides grants to Missouri 4-H clubs and FFA chapters for projects aimed at developing and advancing Missouri’s rural communities. These projects enhance rural communities and contribute to the Department's mission of doing MORE. Recipients of the 2018 BOAC program have been chosen and are listed below: 

FFA Chapters

  • Lamar FFA, Lamar (Barton County)
  • Spokane FFA, Spokane (Christian County)
  • Sullivan FFA, Sullivan (Franklin County)
  • Arcadia Valley Career Technology Center FFA, Ironton (Iron County)
  • Farmington FFA, Farmington (St. Francois County)
  • Stover FFA, Stover (Morgan County)
  • California FFA, California (Moniteau County)
  • Gallatin FFA, Gallatin (Daviess County)
  • Richmond FFA, Richmond (Ray County)
  • Elsberry FFA, Elsberry (Lincoln County)
  • Newtown-Harris FFA, Newtown (Sullivan County)

4-H Clubs

  • Show Me 4-H, Versailles (Moniteau County)
  • Eager Eagles 4-H, Versailles (Moniteau County)
  • Camp Branch 4-H, Truxton (Warren County)
  • Rough Riders 4-H, Lamar (Barton County)
  • City Clovers 4-H, Lamar (Barton County)
  • Shafter 4-H, Linneus (Linn County)
  • Newtown Community 4-H, Newtown (Sullivan County)
  • Rombauer Rascals 4-H, Poplar Bluff (Butler County)
  • Purple Clovers 4-H, Park Hills (St. Francois County)
  • Farmer City 4-H, Tarkio (Atchison County)
  • Wolverines 4-H, Fairfax (Atchison County)

Click here to learn more.

Rural Community

USDA invests in e-Connectivity in rural communities

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that USDA is investing in e-connectivity which will provide virtual access to job training, educational, and health care opportunities for rural communities.

“Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in creating rural prosperity,” Hazlett said. “Connecting rural Americans to quality education and health care services is an innovative and important tool in our efforts to facilitate economic growth, job creation and quality of life in rural America.”

USDA is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. One of those grants is being awarded to Lester E. Cox Medical Centers in Missouri

This program invests in equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities connect to educational and health care services. These vital services are part of the foundation of a high quality of life and enable communities to overcome the effects of remoteness and low population density by connecting them to the rest of the world through high-speed internet.

The grants are supporting projects based in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Several recipients will use the grants to help address two of the nation’s most urgent needs: opioid abuse treatment and mental health counseling. USDA recognizes that modernizing healthcare access for such recovery resources is vital to addressing rural prosperity.

Click here to learn more.

This Week in Photos

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This week, we highlight the eighth leg of the ReachMORE Tour stopping at the Missouri Corn Growers Annual Meeting, the First Lady and female Cabinet members addressing the St. Louis Business Journal Women's Conference, the agriculture policy discussion hosted by Missouri's American Enterprise Institute's Campus Executive Council, MFA's Heart of Missouri Advisory Board visiting the with Director Chinn and the Department's Jean Kliethermes leading discussion at the National Conference on Weights & Measures Interim Meeting.

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