March 16, 2009

Gov. Nixon, Director of Agriculture Recognize Missouri Farmers during National Agriculture Week

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – With more than 105,000 farms spread over 31 million acres, agriculture continues to be the leading economic driver in Missouri’s economy. This week, the Missouri Department of Agriculture is celebrating National Agriculture Week, March 15-21, 2009 – an annual event honoring the hard work, sacrifice and achievements of farmers and producers across the state.

“Missouri cannot move forward unless agriculture moves forward,” said Gov. Jay Nixon. “National Agriculture Week is one way we can show our appreciation to local family farmers in this state and the great work they do.”

Agriculture’s impact on the state economy is difficult to overstate. Missouri’s crops, livestock, processing and other agricultural sectors accounted for more than $12 billion in 2008 employing more than 245,500 workers in the industry (according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, 2008).

“Missouri agriculture is in a position to capitalize on unprecedented breakthroughs in genetics, alternative energy and other technological innovations,” said Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Department of Agriculture. “The Department is ready to lead the way in the transition to a new economy.”

National Agriculture Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America – a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.