Andrew County Supports Missouri’s Number One Industry; Receives Agri-Ready County Designation
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Taking action to support agricultural development, education, and economic growth, Andrew County has been granted Agri-Ready County Designation by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of more than 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups. This designation identifies counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural opportunity which actively supports Missouri’s largest industry.
“The lifeblood of Andrew County is Missouri farm families and the economic development that comes with a vibrant agricultural sector,” said Mike Deering, a native of Savannah, Mo. and Executive Vice President of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. “The County Commission should be applauded for standing firm for agricultural growth and opportunities in the county. This county is the example of pushing back on scientifically unfounded rules and regulations that would slam the door on the next generation of farmers and ranchers.”
Agriculture in Andrew County generated more than $104 million in agricultural product sales, which translates into $47.1 million in value-added to the local economy in 2016. In addition, Agriculture, forestry, and other related industries support 1,298 local jobs, according to the 2016 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. The county’s agricultural strength is rooted in the production of soybeans, corn and beef cattle.
“I am thankful for the Agri-Ready program because it solidifies what I already know about Andrew County - it supports and values its farmers. I know first-hand as an agriculture instructor the support our community gives agricultural education,” said Lindy Holt, Andrew County Farm Bureau president. “I feel that with our Agri-Ready status we can show the agricultural community we support not only traditional agriculture but the development and growth of new industries and technologies.”
Through Agri-Ready, MFC partners with county leaders to support local agricultural enterprise, promote the county as a prime location for business expansion and enhance workforce awareness and readiness for agricultural careers. MFC recruits local 4-H and FFA leaders in Agri-Ready Counties to implement Agriculture Education on the Move™ in third-grade classrooms. Student leaders present ten-weeks of agricultural careers, crop science, and livestock production through engaging lessons and hands-on activities while developing speaking and leadership skills.
“We are all excited to be an Agri-Ready County,” said Andrew County Presiding Commissioner Bob Caldwell. “In this area, agriculture is so important to everybody. We are happy to do whatever we can to help promote agriculture here.”
MFC’s Agri-Ready County Designation launched in December 2015 as a voluntary connection between Missouri counties and the Missouri Farmers Care organization. Agri-Ready County Designation recognizes and builds on the impact of family farmers and agri-businesses as key contributors to our economy and the quality of life in our communities.
Andrew County joins Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Benton, Bollinger, Buchanan, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carrol, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Henry, Holt, Iron, Johnson, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Reynolds, Saline, Scott, Shannon, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Washington, Wayne, Webster, and Wright counties in achieving Agri-Ready Designation.
Counties wishing to apply for Agri-Ready County Designation must meet program requirements, including no ordinances regulating agriculture more stringent than state law and support of agricultural stewardship, growth, and opportunities. After the application is received from the county commission, the MFC Agri-Ready Review Committee examines any local ordinances, regulations and statements of support prior to awarding designation.
For more information on agriculture in Andrew County, view the 2016 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Andrew County Fact Sheet presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.
Photo Caption: Laura Handke, Agriculture Education on the Move™ regional coordinator, left, presented outgoing Commissioner Fritz Hegeman, right, with the County’s Agri-Ready plaque and road signs at the Andrew County Farm Bureau annual meeting on August 22, 2018. Agri-Ready County Designation recognizes counties that actively support Missouri agriculture through establishing an environment and county policies conducive to agricultural business growth and success.