Douglas County Recognized as Missouri’s 67th Agri-Ready Designated County
Jefferson City, MO – Douglas County has taken action to support agricultural development, education and economic growth and has been granted Agri-Ready County Designation by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of more than 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups. Through the Agri-Ready County Designation program, MFC identifies counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural opportunity which actively supports Missouri’s largest industry.
“The Douglas County Commission is pleased to partner with Missouri Farmers Care in designating Douglas County as an Agri-Ready County,” said Douglas County Presiding Commissioner Rodney Clouse. “We want Douglas County to be a place where agricultural businesses can grow and thrive. When we are expanding FFA’s outreach to our youth, we are drawing our next generation into agriculture and ensuring Douglas County’s place in the industry in the future.”
In Douglas County, agriculture generated more than $99.5 million in agricultural product sales, translating into $35.6 million in value-added to the local economy, according to the 2021 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. Agriculture, forestry and other related industries support 1,195 local jobs, with the county’s agricultural strength led by cattle, forestry and other food processing.
“I’m so excited that Douglas County has chosen to work with Missouri Farmers Care and become Agri-Ready Designated,” said Tanner Clark, local producer and Douglas County Farm Bureau President. “I am a livestock producer, an agribusiness owner whose business revolves around production agriculture, and a father and husband raising my children in agriculture. It is important to me to ensure that my kids, Douglas County youth, and our fellow producers, have equal and fair opportunities to be successful in agricultural careers. As Douglas County Farm Bureau president, I see the value of working with Missouri Farmers Care’s Agri-Ready County Designation. When it comes to protecting and standing up for and protecting our way of life as farmers and ranchers, if you don’t have a seat at the table you will be on the menu.”
The Future of Douglas County Agriculture
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 partners with local FFA leaders to implement Agriculture Education on the Move™ in third-grade classrooms. Through the partnership, 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.
“Douglas County possesses agricultural productivity, advantages of geography and exemplary local leadership and this partnership with Missouri Farmers Care can open up a world of opportunities,” said Ashley McCarty, executive director of Missouri Farmers Care. “Announcing designation is just the beginning; our partnership will work to build on the county’s agricultural strengths, bring Ag Education on the Move to the county’s elementary students and support an environment that provides new opportunities for Douglas County.”
Missouri’s Agri-Ready Designations
With the announcement, Douglas County has become the 67th Agri-Ready Designated County in Missouri, joining: Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Benton, Buchanan, Bollinger, Butler, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Chariton, Clark, 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, Scotland, Scott, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Shannon, Stoddard, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wright in Agri-Ready Designation.
Agri-Ready Designation Details
Counties wishing to apply for Agri-Ready County Designation must meet program requirements, including no ordinances regulating agriculture in conflict with 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.
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.
For more information, view the 2021 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Douglas County Fact Sheet presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority at Douglas.pdf (mo.gov)