Lincoln County Kicks Off Agri-Ready County Designation Partnership
(TROY, MO.) – Leveraging it’s agricultural strength and economic growth opportunities, Lincoln County has been granted Agri-Ready County Designation by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of 45 leading Missouri agricultural groups. This designation identifies counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural opportunity and growth which are willing to actively support Missouri’s largest industry.
“Agriculture has always been a leading economic driver for Lincoln County. We are delighted to partner with Missouri Farmers Care to receive the Agri-Ready County Designation,” said the Lincoln County Commission. “This designation and partnership will serve to strengthen Lincoln County’s economic vitality in agriculture.”
In 2016, Lincoln County’s 1,162 farm and ranch families sold over $216 million in agricultural products, according to the recently released Missouri Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry study. Agriculture, forestry and other related industries provided 1,902 local jobs, with $52.1 million in labor income. Beef cattle, oil seed farming, and broilers are the top three contributors to the Lincoln County economy, proving again the importance and diversity of Missouri agriculture.
“Protecting and promoting Missouri’s $88.4 billion industry is what we do at the department day in and day out. We commend Lincoln County for recognizing the benefit of doing the same,” said Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn, who joined the county to announce designation. “With support from local and statewide leaders, our farmers and ranchers can continue to provide an abundant, affordable and healthful food supply.”
Through the Agri-Ready program, MFC will partner with county leaders, farmers and agribusinesses to advance local agricultural enterprise, promote the county as a conducive location for business expansion and enhance 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. These student leaders will present agricultural careers and crop and livestock production through engaging, hands-on activities and lessons while developing their speaking and leadership skills. In addition, the collaboration encourages participation in the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s voluntary Agricultural Stewardship Assurance Program, recognizing stewardship at the farm level.
“Lincoln County is in a great position for marketing the diversity of Missouri agriculture as it connects rural counties to our more urban county neighbors. This designation strengthens the connection between Lincoln County leaders and those who work to protect and promote the positive growth of Missouri agriculture across every county in the state,” said Ashley McCarty, executive director of MFC. “Announcing designation is just the beginning; our partnership will work to build on the county’s agricultural strengths and support an environment that opens new opportunities for Lincoln County.”
MFC’s Agri-Ready County designation launched in December 2015 as a voluntary connection between Missouri counties and MFC. According to the MDA, Missouri agriculture provides 378,232 jobs and added $88.4 billion in net value to the state’s economy in 2016, 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 the quality of life in our communities.
Lincoln County is the 30th county to achieve Agri-Ready County Designation, joining Atchison, Audrain, Benton, Butler, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Gasconade, Lawrence, Laclede, Marion, Moniteau, New Madrid, Oregon, Osage, Pike, Saline, Scott, St. Clair, Stoddard, Sullivan, Washington, Wayne, Wright and Webster counties. 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, regulations and statements of support prior to awarding designation.
For more information, visit us at www.mofarmerscare.com or view the 2016 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Lincoln County presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.