With Agri-Ready Designation, Mississippi County Affirms Agriculture’s Importance
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Mississippi County has been recognized for its support of agricultural development, education and economic growth through its designation as an Agri-Ready County. 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.
“I am excited to have Mississippi County join other Agri-Ready Counties in Missouri and be recognized for its long leadership in agriculture. As a fifth-generation farmer from Mississippi County, I am always looking for ways to create business opportunities for an area that is so vital to Missouri agriculture,” said Hudson Byrd, vice president of Byrdland Farms, Inc. “Mississippi County’s diversity of grain and livestock production, in addition to its central location to the two largest rivers in the nation, give it a truly unique advantage. Agriculture will always be central to what defines Mississippi County and becoming Agri-Ready shows that we mean business.”
According to the most recent data available, agriculture in Mississippi County generated more than $236 million in agricultural product sales, which translates into $106.6 million in value-added to the local economy in 2016. Agriculture, forestry, and other related industries support 856 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 soybean, corn and wheat production.
“The County Commission unanimously supports all efforts by Missouri Farmers Care to promote agriculture in Mississippi County,” said Presiding Commissioner James Conn.
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 Mississippi County agriculture, county leaders have embraced Agri-Ready Designation,” said Ashley McCarty, MFC Executive Director. “Mississippi County is recognized as an agricultural leader with a strong base of row crop production on which to build. 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.
Mississippi 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, Perry, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Reynolds, Saline, Scott, Shannon, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, 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 awarding designation.
For more information, view the 2016 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Mississippi 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