March 14, 2011

Special Events, Initiatives Mark National Ag Week for Department of Agriculture

Missouri agriculture provides the essentials to everyday life and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is celebrating National Agriculture Week, March 14-19, by telling the story of agriculture and highlighting the importance of the industry through a series of special events and new initiatives.

"It is important for consumers to learn how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced and their value to maintaining a strong economy, vibrant communities and healthy families," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "National Agriculture Week is an opportunity to showcase agriculture's contributions in every area of Missourian's lives."

The Department of Agriculture will host events and launch programs throughout the week showcasing technology, advances in record keeping and enforcement, highlighting agricultural history and education, get consumers involved in enjoying more Missouri-made products and the many ways in which agriculture is moving forward in Missouri.

On Monday, March 14, the Department will kick off National Ag Week by featuring modern farm equipment on loan from Lauf Equipment of Jefferson City outside the George Washington Carver Building on Missouri Boulevard. The Department will also launch a new website focused on connecting producers to consumers and consumers to agriculture.

Tuesday, March 15 is National Ag Day, and will be commemorated with the announcement of the most recent successes of the Livestock and Farm Protection Task Force with speakers including Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler and Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel Ron Replogle. Wednesday, March 16 will see the launch of a new program for Missouri youth in the 4th through 6th grades, encouraging exploration into the roles of science and history in Missouri agriculture.

On Thursday, March 17, Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler will participate in the annual KMMO Ag Day event in Marshall, Mo., and on Friday, March 18, the Department of Agriculture will launch a new initiative in the St. Louis area to encourage gardening throughout Missouri.

The week will also include special announcements on other Missouri Department of Agriculture programs, and a week-long feature of the Department's five divisions on the blog, Consumers are also encouraged to join the Missouri Department of Agriculture and AgriMissouri program on Facebook for a chance to win great prizes during agriculture week.

"It is important that we remember that American agriculture is not just producing products, but providing the safest and most abundant food supply in the world," said Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler. "From meat, vegetables and grains to medical and fuel products to the cotton fibers in our clothing, agriculture is working harder than ever to meet the needs of Missourians and others around the world."

With 108,000 farms located throughout the state, Missouri's agriculture industry is a national leader. Annually, producers in Missouri farm over 30 million acres of land, setting records for production and embracing new technology for crops, livestock, poultry and aquaculture.

For more information on the Department and its programs, visit