Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn authors a monthly column in Missouri Ruralist entitled Ag Matters. Below is this month’s column.
JEFFERSON CITY — In late August, I traveled to Washington D.C., to participate in the White House rural infrastructure meeting. Every time I visit our nation’s capital, I am reminded of the thousands of people who work there to serve the American people.
Alongside several other state agriculture directors, I heard U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance Ray Starling, and Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy DJ Gribben discuss the value of placing infrastructure control in the hands of state and local authorities. The message shared by these leaders fit in so well with the direction we’ve been moving in Missouri agriculture — empowering people to do what they do best.
The other common theme that emerged was the importance of collaboration. I sat among a crowd of about 100 local and state government officials who were eager to learn and explore ways to partner. That collaborative spirit fully extends to the relationship between Missouri and the federal government.
We are extremely fortunate to have partners in D.C. who can help us further our mission to protect Missouri agriculture, delivering real change to farm families where it matters. Rural Missouri needs infrastructure improvements to rebuild Main Street and revitalize our communities for the next generation. It will take investment in our locks and dams, roads and bridges, and telecommunications infrastructure.
— Chris Chinn, Missouri Department of Agriculture
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