Randolph County Granted Agri-Ready Designation

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Designation Extends Scope of County’s Support for Agricultural Growth and Opportunity

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – Expressing support for agricultural growth and opportunity, Randolph County has applied for and achieved 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.

“The Randolph County Commission is very proud to receive Agri-Ready distinction,” stated Randolph County Presiding Commissioner John Truesdell. “Agriculture is a huge economic factor in the county and entire area. Agricultural business will be able to see that Randolph County is Agri-Ready and will immediately know they are welcome to establish work here in our county, where essential needs and an environment favorable to agriculture will exist.”

In 2016, the county’s 818 farm and ranch families and agribusinesses sold over $303.7 million in agricultural products, translating into $82.7 million in added value to the local economy. Agriculture, forestry and other related industries support 1,605 local jobs, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. The county’s agricultural strength is anchored in the value of soybean processing, soybean farming, and beef cattle.

“The Commission is pleased to be able to enhance our county agricultural economic development by being a part of the planning and modeling that comes from the Agri-Ready Designation,” continued Commissioner Truesdell. “The Commission welcomes this opportunity to promote agriculture.”

Through the Agri-Ready program, MFC will partner with county leaders 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 FFA and 4-H students 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.

“We are proud of our commissioners understanding the value of production agriculture to the local economy,” said Randolph County farmer and Randolph County Farm Bureau President Ryan Britt. “We will continue to partner with the Commission and local leaders to welcome new jobs and opportunities right here at home.”

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.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Randolph County leaders to establish this designation. Randolph County is a great addition as an Agri-Ready Designated County,” said Ashley McCarty, executive director of Missouri Farmers Care. “This collaboration with county leaders, farmers, ranchers of Missouri agriculture will equip the county to support additional agricultural growth and entrepreneurship.”

Randolph County joins Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Benton, Bollinger, Butler, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, McDonald, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Pike, Polk, Reynolds, Saline, Scott, Shannon, St. Clair, Stoddard, Sullivan, 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 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 Randolph County presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.