Missouri Agriculture Updates: Ag Week in review. Connecting MORE. NoMORedTape Phase 2.

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Missouri Agriculture Updates

March 23, 2018

peanut butter food drive

Department does MORE during National Agriculture Week

It's been a fantastic National Agriculture Week! Earlier this week, Governor Greitens officially proclaimed March 18-24, 2018, as National Agriculture Week in Missouri. The agriculture industry showed up in a big way through events, online promotion and tons of energy. 

At the Department, our events were extremely successful and our social media campaign reached more than 100,000 people. The added bonus was that many other Missouri state agencies helped reinforce the importance of agriculture through their social media accounts as well. This is another example of Missouri government's "one team, one mission" approach. 

In Missouri, a staggering one in five children is food insecure. In rural Missouri, that number changes to one in three children. We used our passion to feed MORE and hosted our own food collection, resulting more than 125 peanut butter jars destined for the Buddy Pack Program. To support our efforts, the Missouri Department of Economic Development will match our peanut butter donation with a donation of jelly. As Rob Dixon, Director of Economic Development, put it "agriculture and economic development go together like peanut butter and jelly. "

Under the reach MORE pillar, the Department hosted the "Show Me YOUR Ag" employee photo contest, showcasing our staff’s pride in agriculture. The submissions included selfies with livestock, photos of staff when they were children on the farm, shots of staff enjoying Missouri ag products, and images of them working in the field. More than 50 people from our team participated in the contest, and it was really neat to see how they see themselves as part of agriculture. We'll be sharing some of these photos on social media in the coming weeks.  

Other National Agriculture Week activities to connect MORE and empower MORE are highlighted in the remainder of this e-blast. 

We want to send a big thank you to everyone in agriculture, our partners in state government and our employees for making this an ag week we won't soon forget. 

Click here to see the official National Ag Week proclamation

    Meagan Kaiser

    Connecting MORE rural communities to high-speed internet

    American agriculture is reliable, affordable and consistent; that’s why people choose it. On the other hand, many rural communities, where agriculture grows and thrives, are left in the dark ages when it comes to internet service. Rural Missouri deserves the same reliable, affordable and consistent broadband access they provide to customers locally and across the globe. The Federal Communications Commission defines high-speed internet as service reaching a minimum download speed of 25Mbps; however, 20 percent of Missourians don’t have that quality available to them. Missouri will not settle. 

    Soil chemist Meagan Kaiser wishes her technology savvy business had high-speed internet service in rural Missouri. As she serves her team at Perry Agricultural Laboratory as chief operating officer, lack of rural broadband is something she struggles with every day. 

    Click to watch the full video.

    No MO Red Tape

    Ag Matters: Reducing regulatory burdens

    Director of Agriculture Chinn authors a monthly column in Missouri Ruralist entitled Ag Matters. Below is this month's column.

    As director, I have demonstrated that we are not afraid of tackling the tough issues. One such challenge we’ve been working on is reducing restrictive rules at the Department of Agriculture. Although this specific challenge came our way as part of a directive laid out by Gov. Greitens, it’s something that I feel strongly about personally. I don’t want government to get in your way, or to be a hurdle to your progress. These efforts tie directly into our empower MORE pillar, as we aim to identify and reduce regulatory barriers in order to empower farmers and ranchers to do what they do best. 

    For about seven months, we combed through more than 4,000 restrictions. The journey officially began June 1, 2017, when we opened our comment period. Thousands of Missourians weighed in through our online form, and dozens more visited with us face-to-face at public meetings.

    Now, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road. It’s time for phase two of the No MO Red Tape initiative. Through all of this work, the Department has proposed the elimination of 1,201 restrictions, a reduction of 25 percent.

    We consider this our own version of spring cleaning. All areas of the Department were looked at: divisions, boards and commissions. The proposed reductions will wash away the old, clean up the clutter, provide flexibility and make room for industry growth. Some changes will remove over-the-top, unnecessary restrictions that make it hard for businesses to comply and grow. Some will ensure we’re referring to the most up-to-date science and research. Others will provide flexibility in the way of training requirements.

    I think we all know how laborious spring cleaning can be, but how accomplished and good we feel afterward. Just like any deep clean, this process will take time, but we believe Missouri agriculture will be positioned for greater success once it is complete. 

    We recognize that not every one of you may have taken the opportunity to share your input through our open comment period last summer. Not to worry, we will continue to accept comments as these changes go through the official rulemaking process.

    For the first time ever, the Department will be accepting online comments on each of these proposed changes. This one stop shop web page will list each proposed change/amendment/rescission with a link to fiscal notes, the Missouri Register, reference materials and important dates. You’ll also find a handy timeline for rulemaking, which outlines in detail the process, from filing to publishing. You can go online, do some reading and research and submit your comments – all in one place.

    Visit the Department’s proposed rules page here: http://agriculture.mo.gov/proposed-rules/

    This Week in Photos

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    This week, we highlight Governor Eric Greitens visiting the North Callaway FFA Chapter, Director Chris Chinn interviewing with Brownfield Ag News reporter Tom Steever, horticulturalist and Department employee Catherine Bohnert's submission to the "Show Me Your Ag" photo contest, the Department's contribution to the Buddy Pack program, a visit to St. Louis Science Center, the screening of Food Evolution and the Mary Lynn returning to the Missouri River as busy spring shipping resumes (photo: Kurt Boeckmann, Missouri Department of Natural Resources.)

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