Great Northwest Day at the Capitol 2018 drew more than 300 area constituents together to showcase the region in Jefferson City on February 6th & 7th. Nineteen counties, multiple communities, and representatives from business, education, healthcare, and government came together to discuss issues that are critical to the region. This year’s priorities focused on rural broadband, 911 funding, Transportation and Infrastructure, and investment in education, including both PreK-12 and higher education.
Beginning with a luncheon on Tuesday, Megan Rodgers, Cooperative Marketing Manager for the Missouri Division of Tourism gave a presentation on the economic impact of tourism in Missouri. She also shared the free and cost sharing resources that the Division of Tourism can provide for local destination marketing organizations.
After a quick group picture, educational roundtable presentations were held. Northwest Day at the Capitol’s co-chairman Brant Shields kicked off the discussion with an overview of the priority selection process and a more in-depth conversation on the priorities that were chosen. The second speaker was Luke Holtschenider, Manager of Rural Development, who gave an update on the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The final presentation came from Bruce Woody, City Manager, St. Joseph. Bruce gave an update and open discussion on Prevailing Wages.
The evening Mardi Gras event, designed to educate attendees about northwest Missouri, consisted of a regional expo that showcased community/county booths which emphasized the identified regional priorities and promoted local attributes. Attending the events were over 300 participants from northwest Missouri, 9 Senators and 88 Representatives from across Missouri, and well over 100 staffers and state office staff from over 25 departments. The grand total for the evening event was 525.
Great Northwest Day concluded Wednesday morning with a breakfast and presentation from Northwest Missouri native, author and radio show host Andrew McCrea from the American Countryside. He gave an inspiring presentation titled, The Total Town Makeover-NW Missouri Edition.
Great Northwest Days co-chair Micah Landes stated, “Great Northwest Days has become known as one of the legislator’s favorite events. Once again, the steering committee put on a wonderful evening of entertainment and education, highlighting our great communities, explaining our challenges, and showcasing our goods and flairs to all members of the legislature.”
Volunteers from across the region began planning for the event in August of 2017. Community and corporate sponsors provide financial support for this annual project. Sponsors for this year’s event were Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, Mosaic Life Care, Smithfield Hog Production, Allstate Consultants, KCP&L, Spencer Fane, Cameron Regional Medical Center, Olsson Associates, Snyder & Associates, Missouri American Water, North Central Missouri College, Northwest Missouri State University, & Missouri Western State University.