Missouri’s Governor and Director of Agriculture were among the noted speakers at this year’s annual Missouri Farm Bureau Legislative Briefing and Commodity Conference held in Jefferson City February 23-24. Farmers and ranchers gathered at the event for updates on legislative issues and market forecasts.
A national legislative update came from U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer. When asked about the impact the impact the federal government on farmers, Luetkemeyer said.
“The government is trying to reach deeper and deeper into our lives and deeper and deeper into our businesses. As a result, we have less ability to manage our own lives and businesses. Farmers are concerned about regulations in general.”
One topic of discussion was trade with Cuba.
“Missouri farmers and ranchers continue to feed, fuel and clothe the world,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “Expanded trade with Cuba is a tremendous opportunity for us to build on this strong foundation, for farmers to add value to their products, and for communities to create jobs across the Show-Me State.”
Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce and Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst travelled to Cuba with 40 other industry leaders on a trade mission after the conference. Nixon was unable to attend due to the death of State Auditor Tom Schweich and sent in his place first lady Georganne Nixon.
Other speakers touched on a wide range of topics, from properly using a large amount of satellite data now available to farmers, to understanding rural health care in Missouri. Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Chairman Steve Miller discussed the transportation department’s budget challenges.
Farm Bureau business was also conducted. State commodity committees met to discuss policies in 10 different crop and livestock areas. Regional FARM-PAC meetings were held to review election plans.
Members found time to visit with their elected officials at the State Capitol and at a legislative banquet at the Missouri Farm Bureau Center.
During the banquet, state legislators were pictured with members of the Audrain County Farm Bureau.