Camden County Attains Agri-Ready County Designation; County Welcomes Agricultural Opportunity
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Camden County has been granted Agri-Ready County Designation from Missouri Farmers Care for its commitment to agricultural development, education and economic growth. Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of more than 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups, grants designation to counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural entrepreneurship and opportunity which actively support Missouri's largest industry.
“Farming has always been an anchor and a foundation for the communities in Camden County. In addition to the businesses, products and jobs that it provides, farming serves as the backbone for a way of life that is treasured throughout Missouri and the Midwest,” said Don Williams, 2nd district commissioner. "We need to do all we can to help our farmers to thrive, to protect our farmland, and to pass it on to the next generation. Camden County is very pleased to join the Agri-Ready family of counties.”
Agriculture in Camden County generated $127.8 million in agricultural product sales and $63.5 million in value-added to the local economy in 2021. Agriculture, forestry, and other related industries support 1,685 jobs according to the 2021 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. Food processing, forestry and meat processing are the anchors of the county’s agricultural strength.
“I am proud to see Camden County form this partnership with Missouri Farmers Care to become designated as an Agri-Ready County,” said Jim Sherrell, Camden County farmer, county Farm Bureau President and President of IMMS, LLC. “Through the hard work of many people and with the support of Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Farmers Care, and the cooperation of our County Commission, Camden County is open for business and able to play a larger role in Missouri’s $93.7 billion agricultural industry. This is not only a win for our county today, but also for future generations to come."
Through the Agri-Ready program, MFC partners with county leaders to advance local agricultural enterprise, promote the county as a prime location for business expansion and enhance workforce readiness for agricultural careers. In addition, MFC recruits local 4-H and FFA leaders to implement Agriculture Education on the Move™ in third-grade classrooms. These student leaders will present agricultural careers, crop science, and livestock production segments through engaging, hands-on activities and lessons while developing their speaking and leadership skills.
“Life on the family farm has never been easy. These days, it is as tough financially as ever,” continued Williams. “The technology associated with farming may change as time goes on, but the daily focus on hard work, family, friends and God continues as it always has, generation after generation. And the small-town values that come out of that is the bedrock upon which our lives are founded. We look forward to building on that bedrock through this partnership.”
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.
Camden County joins Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Benton, Buchanan, Bollinger, Butler, Caldwell, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Henry, Holt, Howell, Johnson, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Reynolds, Saline, Scott, Scotland, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Shannon, Stoddard, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Warren, 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 MFC awarding designation.
For more information, view the 2021 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Camden County Fact Sheet presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.
MISSOURI FARMERS CARE
Missouri Farmers Care is a joint effort by Missouri's agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our communities depend. The coalition of more than 45 leading Missouri agricultural groups promotes the growth of Missouri agriculture and rural communities through coordinated communication, education, and advocacy. www.MOFarmersCare.com.