SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Greene County Farm Bureau approved a donation of $1,500 to the Greene County Extension Council on Jan. 9, 2017, to fund consulting and advising visits by University of Missouri Extension specialists to Greene County farms during 2017.
Each farm visit will be followed up with a letter to each agriculture operation visited letting them know about MU Extension and the mileage funding from Greene County Farm Bureau.
“Greene County Farm Bureau supports farmers, and we see this as a way to partner with MU Extension and get real-time answers to local farmers for problems they are having,” said Tom Huff, president of the Greene County Farm Bureau Board.
This particular partnership is unique in Missouri according to Huff.
“MU Extension and Farm Bureau have historically had strong ties statewide. This county partnership is one more example of how the two organizations work together to support local farmers,” said Huff.
During 2016, MU Extension specialists made 76 farm visits in Greene County for consulting and advisement thanks to funding from Greene County Farm Bureau. During 2015, MU Extension specialists made only 14 visits to Greene County farming operations because of limited funds.
“With our limited budget there have been times when we have had to say no to requests to have one of our livestock, agronomy, horticulture or ag business specialists visit a Greene County farm to offer educational assistance,” said David Burton, county program director for Greene County Extension. “We are excited about the renewal of this partnership because we know the value of those visits to local farmers, producers, and landowners.”
During 2017, farm visits addressed concerns related to livestock, soybeans and corn, forage, hay, alfalfa, timber, fruit production, commercial produce, high tunnel construction, pests, cattle theft, cattle pens, Show-Me Select program, farm planning, and more.
“This proposal came about as a result of staff discussions as part of the Great Game of Business,” said Burton. “Our staff continues to look for strategic partnerships that can help fund programs that have a positive impact on the educational need of county residents.”
Many times a farmer’s question to an MU Extension specialist can be resolved by telephone, but there are times a site visit is the best option.
“In recent years, I have had to refrain from making several farm visits in Greene County because of funding concerns. That left some concerns unresolved. So this sponsorship is great for everyone involved, especially farm owners in Greene County,” said Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist with MU Extension.
Answering the questions of local landowners and producers helps add to the value of agriculture in Greene County. However, agriculture is already big business in the county according to a new study by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
This new study found agricultural, forestry, and related industries support 12,634 jobs in Greene County. These industries contribute $3.4 billion in sales, which translates to $989.8 million in added value to the area after $2,367.4 million worth of inputs are purchased. Of this $989.8 million, $623.3 million is comprised of labor income. Tax revenues generated by the agricultural, forestry and related industries in Greene County are $189.6 million.
Greene County Farm Bureau depends on memberships for its operations. Additional information can be found online at https://www.mofb.org.
Since 1914, Greene County residents have sought help from Greene County Extension on topics related to agriculture, gardening, 4-H youth, nutrition, cooking, families, housing and business and community development.
More information is available at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene or by calling the MU Extension office in Greene County at (417) 881-8909.
— David Burton, University of Missouri Extension
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