Missouri Department of Agriculture launches strategic initiatives for agriculture, rural communities

The Missouri Department of Agriculture’s MORE strategic vision has always lived and breathed agriculture and rural Missouri. Today, the Department announced 16 individual initiatives that will take the MORE vision and put it into action. The Department will be targeting workforce development, youth in agriculture, food insecurity, agriculture business, broadband availability, emergency response, the Missouri citizen experience and more.

“The number one priority for me as your Director of Agriculture has been to build up agriculture and communities to thrive for the next generation,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Through this bigger, bolder approach to rethinking state government, I am confident we can move the needle further and increase the quality of life for all Missourians.”

The MORE vision focuses on the symbiotic relationship between farmers and the communities in which they live. The Department will continue to carry out its core mission, and these strategic initiatives of feed MORE, reach MORE, connect MORE and empower MORE will focus attention on key challenges and opportunities in agriculture.

The MORE initiatives were built from direct advice collected during the Reach MORE Tour, where the Department’s leadership team met with more than 2,000 farmers, ranchers and agriculture leaders from across the state. Through that feedback, along with input from employees throughout the Department, 16 initiatives were designed to be centrally focused on agriculture and rural communities.

“As a farmer and policy maker, I’m happy to see the Missouri Department of Agriculture taking on such a critical role to support our rural communities,” said Senator Brian Munzlinger, chairman of the Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources committee. “I look forward to seeing the finalization of these very important initiatives to help agriculture, Missouri’s number one industry.”

“We appreciate the leadership shown by the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development to bring people together to find solutions to the broadband challenges facing rural Missouri,” said Barry Hart, executive vice president/CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. “It will take a united effort among many partners, but it is time to make sure our rural communities and those they serve aren’t left behind.”

“It’s great to see the Missouri Department of Agriculture stepping up to cut regulations, build new partnerships and do even more to promote agriculture,” said farmer and small business owner Bill McLaren of Franklin County. “I believe people genuinely trust farmers, so I’m especially excited about the new initiatives to connect consumers, and those who influence food decisions, to farmers like me.”

“We have long believed that the answer to Missouri’s hunger problem can largely be found right here at home,” said Scott Baker, state director of Feeding Missouri. “Our producers feed the world. There’s no reason we can’t feed our neighbors. The thoughtful approach taken by Missouri’s Department of Agriculture goes a long way in fulfilling that vision in a meaningful way. We are thrilled to see the Department place such a high importance on combating hunger in our state.”

To learn about MORE and see the full list initiatives, please visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov/more. Visit ststrategicchange.mo.gov to see all plans prepared by Missouri’s executive agencies.