JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Acting upon a commitment to agricultural development, education and economic growth, Johnson County has been recognized with Agri-Ready County Designation. Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of more than 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups, designates counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural entrepreneurship and opportunity which actively support Missouri’s largest industry.
“Johnson County is proud to be recognized as an Agri-Ready County,” said Johnson County Presiding Commissioner William Gabel. “We consider agriculture an important part of our economy and welcome agriculture to locate in our county be it large or small.”
Agriculture in Johnson County generated more than $441.2 million in agricultural product sales, which translates into $145 million in value-added to the local economy in 2016. Agriculture, forestry, and other related industries support 2,887 local jobs which create $75.3 million in labor income, according to the 2016 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. The county’s agricultural strength is anchored in the raising of broilers and egg layers, beef cattle and soybean production.
“Johnson County’s 1,657 farmers and ranchers manage our farms with a long-term view,” said Johnson County Cattlemen’s President Kenny Smarr. “Harnessing advanced science and technology, we share the goal of passing our farms to the next generation in even better shape. Agri-Ready Designation offers tools which Johnson County can use to advance agriculture today and set our county up for a brighter future.”
Through the Agri-Ready program, MFC partners with county leaders to advance local agricultural enterprise, promote Johnson County as a prime location for business expansion and enhance workforce readiness for agricultural careers.
“Being Agri-Ready in Johnson County means a lot to me because it gives younger generations an opportunity through agriculture to stay home and farm,” said Alex Haun, operator of Haun Farms. “It gives future generations opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise if the county wasn’t willing to help them pursue their goals and dreams.”
In addition, MFC recruits local FFA and 4-H leaders to implement Agriculture Education on the Move™ in third-grade classrooms. These 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.
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.
“Having Johnson County as an Agri-Ready Designated County is important to us. The Designation results in good cooperation between the various agricultural operations in the area, farmers, ranchers and government officials which helps all benefit and operate more efficiently and smoothly,” said Nate Moore with Rose Acre Farms.
Johnson County joins Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Benton, Bollinger, Buchanan, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carrol, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Henry, Holt, Iron, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Reynolds, Saline, Scott, Shannon, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Warren, 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 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 awarding designation.
For more information, view the 2016 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry in Johnson County Fact Sheet presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.
— Missouri Farmers Care
For more news from Missouri, click here.