Gasconade County Designated Agri-Ready By Missouri Farmers Care
(HERMANN, MO.) – With interest in supporting agriculture as the foundation of the county economy, Gasconade County has applied for and attained Agri-Ready County Designation by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of 36 leading Missouri agricultural groups. This designation identifies counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural opportunity and growth and are willing to actively support Missouri’s largest industry.
“The Gasconade County Commission and all elected officials support agriculture,” said Larry Miskel,Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner . “The over 800 family farms and over 280,000 acres are significant contributors to the economics of the county and the State of Missouri. The commissioners are proud supporters of Gasconade County Farm Bureau, Gasconade County Soil and Water Conservation District as well as several other civic organizations that support the citizens of our county. We have been and always will be supporters of our local family farms and are looking forward to enjoying the benefits of being an Agri-Ready County.”
Gasconade County’s farmers and ranchers sold $25.9 million in market value of agricultural products in 2012, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) most recent agricultural census. The census counted 859 farm families in Gasconade County, and of those, 523 principal operators have a primary occupation outside of farming. There are 208,922 acres of land in farms in the county, with average size of a farm at 243 acres.
“With a diverse agricultural economy, growing agri-tourism and an interest in supporting the men and women who provide the food, fiber and jobs upon which the county’s economy depends, we are pleased to announce Gasconade County has achieved Agri-Ready County Designation,” said Ashley McCarty, executive director of MFC. “This collaboration with county leaders, farmers, ranchers and Missouri Farmers Care will equip the county to encourage agricultural growth and entrepreneurship.”
MFC’s Agri-Ready County designation launched in December 2015 as a voluntary connection between Missouri counties and MFC. According to the USDA, Missouri agriculture added $5.2 billion in net value to the state’s economy in 2014, making agriculture the largest sector of the economy. The Agri-Ready County designation recognizes and builds on the impact of family farmers and agri-businesses as key contributors to our economy and our communities.
Through the program, MFC will partner with county leaders, farmers and agribusinesses to advance local agricultural enterprises and workforce readiness for agricultural careers. MFC will recruit local 4-H and FFA leaders to implement Agriculture Education on the Move in third grade classrooms. This partnership will present agricultural careers and crop and livestock production through engaging, hands-on activities and lessons while providing speaking and leadership opportunities for high school participants. In addition, the collaboration includes promotion of the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s voluntary Agricultural Stewardship Assurance Program, recognizing stewardship at the farm level.
Gasconade County joins Atchison, Audrain, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Dallas, Marion, New Madrid, Pike, Scott and Webster counties in achieving Agri-Ready designation. Counties wishing to apply for Agri-Ready designation must meet program requirements, including no ordinances regulating agriculture more stringent than state law and support of agricultural stewardship, growth and opportunities. After application is received from the county commission, the MFC Agri-Ready Review Committee examines any local ordinances, zoning regulations and statements of support prior to awarding designation.
Missouri Farmers Care, comprised of 36 agricultural businesses, trade and commodity organizations, is entrusted with advocating, defending and educating about agriculture and its importance to our state. For more information about Missouri Farmers Care and the Agri-Ready County Designation program visit www.mofarmerscare.com or contact Ashley McCarty, Executive Director of Missouri Farmers Care at 660-341-8955.