Pettis County Becomes Missouri’s 68th Agri-Ready Designated County 

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Announcing Pettis County as the state's newest Agri-Ready Designated County were Mike Deering Executive Vice President of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Blake Rollins Chief Administrative Officer of Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, Pettis County Presiding Commissioner Bill Taylor, Governor Mike Parson, Pettis County Western District Commissioner Jim Marcum, State Representative Brad Pollitt (R-52), State Senator Sandy Crawford (R-28) and MFC Executive Director Ashley McCarty.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Pettis County has taken action to support agricultural development, education and economic growth and has received 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.

“Pettis County is an agriculturally based county, and we are incredibly excited to be accepted as the 68th Agri-Ready Designated County in the State of Missouri,” stated the Pettis County Commission. “Thank you to Executive Director Ashley McCarty for making the application process a smooth one and we look forward to working with Missouri Farmers Care into the future.”

In Pettis County, agriculture generated $398.4 million in agricultural product sales, translating into $46.2 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 6,751 local jobs and $345 million in household income, with the county’s agricultural strength led by the production of meat processing, animal and pet foods and soybean production. grains, oilseeds and hogs and other livestock. 

“The commissioners of Pettis County wanted to support agriculture and couldn’t think of a better way to do it than by achieving Agri-Ready County Designation,” said Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn as she announced the designation. “With this designation, Pettis County is joining 67 additional Missouri counties in proclaiming their support for agricultural literacy, stewardship, growth and opportunity.”

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.

“We can’t think of a better venue than the Missouri State Fair to announce this partnership,” said Ashley McCarty, executive director of Missouri Farmers Care. “Announcing designation is just the beginning; we will work to build on the county’s agricultural strengths, deliver agricultural literacy programming into local schools and help foster an environment that opens new opportunities for Pettis County.”

Pettis County joins: Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Benton, Buchanan, Bollinger, Butler, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Chariton, Clark, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, 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 and Wright in achieving Agri-Ready County Designation.

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.