JEFFERSON CITY — With a commitment to agricultural development, education and economic growth, Perry 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.
“This alliance has been a long time coming,” said Jim Sutterer, Perry County Second District Commissioner. “A significant amount of revenue is generated through our local farmers. Agriculture is a cornerstone of this community. Our county motto is ‘Where Industry and Agriculture Meet’. This county was built on the contributions of agriculture, and we couldn’t be more proud to be the home of many generational farms.”
Agriculture in Perry County generated more than $1.1 billion in agricultural product sales, which translates into $276.7 million in value-added to the local economy in 2016. Agriculture, forestry, and other related industries support 3,908 local jobs, according to the 2016 Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. The county’s agricultural strength is anchored in significant food product manufacturing of breakfast cereals and other finished products as well as in beef cattle and soybean production.
“This Agri-Ready Designation formalizes county leadership support of Perry County farmers and economic interests in agriculture,” said Brian Koenig, Perry County Farm Bureau President. “We will continue to partner in order to position our county for agricultural growth and encourage stewardship that will benefit all Perry County farmers, foresters and agricultural processors.”
Through the Agri-Ready program, MFC partners with county leaders to advance local agricultural enterprise, promote Perry County as a prime location for business expansion and enhance workforce readiness for agricultural careers. 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.
“Recognizing the strength and potential of Perry County agriculture, county leaders have embraced Agri-Ready Designation,” said Ashley McCarty, MFC Executive Director. “Perry County is uniquely positioned with strength as a food product manufacturer coupled with a strong base of livestock production on which to build. As our partnership grows, we look forward to joining with FFA and 4-H leaders to deliver agricultural curriculum to local elementary students; connecting them with their food supply and the hard-working individuals who raise it.”
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.
Perry 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, 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 Perry 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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