Texas County Receives Agri-Ready County Designation from Missouri Farmers Care
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Texas County has been recognized for its continued support of agricultural development, education and economic growth by achieving Agri-Ready County Designation. 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.
“We are extremely pleased with our Agri-Ready Designation. Agriculture has been and will continue to be an important aspect of our local, as well as the statewide economy,” said Texas County Presiding Commissioner Scott Long. “We, as a Commission, feel this designation sends a positive message that the future of the food, fiber and forestry industries in our county will prosper and in turn benefit our communities.”
According to the most recent data available, agriculture in Texas County generated more than $411 million in agricultural product sales, which translates into $90.3 million in value-added to the local economy in 2016. Agriculture, forestry, and other related industries support 1,972 local jobs, according to the 2016 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. The county’s agricultural strength is anchored in forestry, beef and dairy cattle.
“The Agri-Ready Designation is a great way to recognize Texas County farm and ranch families for their contributions to our communities, as well as the local economy,” said Texas County Farm Bureau President Mike Luerssen.
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.
“Recognizing the strength and potential of Texas County agriculture, county leaders have embraced Agri-Ready Designation,” said Ashley McCarty, MFC Executive Director. “Texas County is widely recognized as an agricultural leader, and as of Jan. 1, 2018, had the fourth largest beef cow inventory in the state. As our partnership grows, we look forward to joining with local FFA and 4-H leaders to deliver agricultural curriculum to elementary students; connecting them with their food supply and the hard-working individuals who raise it.”
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.
Texas County joins Andrew, 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, 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, view the 2016 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Texas County Fact Sheet presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.
Photo Caption: Texas County’s Agri-Ready Designation presentation took place July 25, 2018, at the Texas County Fair. The county commission, along with generations of the Texas County agriculture industry, shared their support for hanging an open for business sign in their county. 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.
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 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups promotes the growth of Missouri agriculture and rural communities through coordinated communication, education and advocacy. www.MOFarmersCare.com