JEFFERSON CITY — Strengthening a commitment to agricultural development, education and economic growth, Pemiscot County has achieved 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. The designation of Pemiscot County solidifies Southeast Missouri as the first Agri-Ready Designated region.
“As a commission, we do everything possible to promote agriculture because it is Pemiscot County’s No. 1 business,” said Steve Watkins, Pemiscot County District #1 Commissioner. “The principal commodities for our area include soybeans, rice, cotton, corn and wheat, and we focus on providing our producers with solid transportation and drainage, so they can thrive. We are excited to continue to support them through the Agri-Ready County Designation.”
According to the most recent data available, agriculture in Pemiscot County generated $271 million in agricultural product sales, which translates into $132.6 million in value-added to the local economy in 2016. With the county’s agricultural strength anchored in soybean, rice and cotton production, the industry supports 878 local jobs with $66.8 million of labor income, according to the 2016 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study.
“Pemiscot County is an incredible area for agriculture,” said Paul Crysler, Pemiscot County Farm Bureau President. “Our farmers are progressive industry leaders. With the bordering Mississippi River, Pemiscot County has an excellent water supply and fertile soil making it a prime location for agricultural-related companies and shipping opportunities.”
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 recruits local 4-H and FFA 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.
“The diversity of Missouri agriculture lends strength to our state,” said MFC Executive Director Ashley McCarty. “The productivity of Pemiscot County, reflected throughout Southeast Missouri, illustrates why our state is encompassed in the nation’s breadbasket. We are thrilled to work hand in hand with local leaders to advance agriculture in Pemiscot County and throughout the region.”
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.
Pemiscot 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, Johnson, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, 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 Pemiscot County Fact Sheet presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.
— Missouri Farmers Care
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