Scotland County Achieves Agri-Ready County Designation; Fuels up with B20
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Building on local leadership and support for agriculture, Scotland County has been named as Missouri’s newest Agri-Ready Designated County. The status reflects Scotland County’s dedication to agricultural development, education and economic opportunity. Scotland joins 65 Missouri counties which have achieved 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.
“Agriculture is Scotland County’s main economic driver,” said Presiding Commissioner Duane Ebeling. “Scotland County rescinded its animal ordinance so we could become an Agri-Ready Designated County. We are really excited about becoming Agri-Ready Designated.”
Scotland County agriculture generated $158 million in agricultural sales, translating into $67.8 million in value-added to the local economy last year, according to the 2021 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. Agriculture, forestry, and related industries support 861 local jobs. The county’s agricultural strength is lead by hogs and other livestock, grains and oilseeds.
“Achieving Agri-Ready County Designation equips the county with new tools to spur the county’s primary economic engine – agriculture,” said Ashley McCarty, Missouri Farmers Care executive director. “With this designation, the county has hung an ‘Open for Business’ sign up. Local agricultural leaders stepped up to bring Agri-Ready Designation to the county; we appreciate their support and the Commission’s leadership.”
Another step to marking the county’s commitment to supporting agriculture, Scotland County has committed to using a B20 biodiesel blend in their county fleet. Biodiesel is a domestically produced, clean-burning, renewable substitute for petroleum diesel. Biodiesel provides significant economic, technical and environmental benefits.
“By fueling up with biodiesel, Scotland County is demonstrating outward support for their local soybean producers, rural community and domestic fuel options,” said Matt Amick, executive director for Biodiesel Coalition of Missouri. “We applaud the vision of Scotland County leadership and encourage more counties and municipalities to ask their fuel supplier for biodiesel.”
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.
In northeastern Missouri, Scotland County joins Sullivan, Chariton, Macon, Randolph, Audrain, Montgomery, Warren, Lincoln, Pike and Marion counties in achieving Agri-Ready County Designation. Statewide, Scotland also joins: Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Benton, Buchanan, Bollinger, Butler, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Henry, Holt, Howell, Johnson, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Madison, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Polk, Reynolds, Saline, Scott, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Shannon, Stoddard, Texas, Vernon, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wright in Agri-Ready 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.
For more information, view the 2021 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Scotland County Fact Sheet presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.
The Scotland County Commission applied for Agri-Ready County Designation on March 30, 2022. Attending the Commission session were Ashley McCarty, MFC Executive Director, Larry "Doc" Wiggins, Kevin Buckallew and Chris Mallett. Commissioners seated from left to right are Brent Rockhold, Eastern Commissioner, Duane Ebeling, Presiding Commissioner, and David Wiggins, Western District. Photo credit to Echo Menges with the NEMOnews Media Group.
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.