With interest in supporting and growing the agricultural assets of the county, Chariton County has applied for and received Agri-Ready County Designation by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC). This designation recognizes counties actively supporting Missouri agriculture and working to protect the agriculture industry at its roots.
“Family farms and agribusinesses form a firm foundation upon which Missouri communities build their economic health,” says Ashley McCarty, executive director of Missouri Farmers Care. “Chariton County is well-situated with a strong agricultural economy and abundant natural and agricultural resources. Missouri Farmers Care is pleased to partner with local farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and community leaders to promote these attributes to welcome agricultural growth, recognize on-farm stewardship and enhance agricultural literacy in the classroom.”
MFC’s Agri-Ready County designation was launched in 2015 as a voluntary and personalized connection between Missouri counties and MFC – a joint effort by the agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs upon which we depend on . With $5.2 billion in net value added to our economy in 2014 by Missouri agriculture, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), this designation recognizes and seeks to build on the impact of family farmers, agri-business, and agriculture operations as key contributors to our economic future.
“Agriculture is the lifeblood of our rural communities and our state’s number one industry,” says Representative Joe Don McGaugh, (R-Carrollton) a member of the House Agriculture Policy Committee. “I appreciate the work of Missouri Farmers Care to promote economic opportunities through the Agri-Ready Program and commend Chariton County for becoming designated.”
According to USDA’s most recent agricultural census, Chariton County farmers and ranchers produced more than $123 million of agriculture products from 1,120 farms in 2012. Over 406,000 acres in Chariton County is in farms, with 70 percent of that land in row crop production. The county is known for tree nut production and is a top ten producer of soybeans and cattle and calves.
“This Agri-Ready County Designation illustrates to the public that Chariton County recognizes our work, livelihood, and responsibility,” states Bill Jackson AGRIServices of Brunswick. LLC general manager. “I encourage all Missouri counties to embrace this concept.”
MFC and its 36 member organizations will work with Chariton County leaders, farmers, and agribusinesses to advance local agricultural enterprises by highlighting Agri-Ready counties to business entities ready to work in new areas and support the efforts of existing businesses interested in growth. MFC will promote stewardship at the farm level through the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Stewardship Assurance Program and collaborate to bring educational opportunities to elementary students through MFC’s Agriculture Education on the Move program.
Counties wishing to apply for the Agri-Ready designation must meet program requirements, including no ordinances regulating agriculture more stringent than state law and willingness to support agricultural stewardship, growth, and opportunities. After the application is received, the MFC Agri-Ready Review Committee examines local ordinances, regulations, and statements of support prior to awarding Agri-Ready status. Chariton County joins Audrain, Carroll, Cooper, Dallas, Cole, Pike and Webster counties in achieving the Agri-Ready designation.