January 31, 2012

Bill and Emily Cook Honored During Governor's Conference on Ag

Couple's efforts fund repairs to flood-damaged roads and levees

Missouri's agriculture community has donated more than $200,000 to the newly-created Missouri Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund this year, and during the 2012 Governor's Conference on Agriculture Governor Nixon and Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler recognized those supporters, including Bill and Emily Cook of Garden City for their partnership.

"The support our agriculture industry has been instrumental in keeping Missouri's resilient, hardworking agricultural producers and rural communities moving forward," said Director Hagler. "We are committed to assisting those affected by natural disasters throughout Missouri, and thank everyone who has joined us in those efforts."

Bill and Emily Cook and were honored for their efforts with the Missouri Soybean Association, as well as their personal work hosting the "No MO Flooding" benefit concert in Garden City, Mo. in July. The concert was held in conjunction with the annual Sweet Corn Days festival in Garden City and included several bands, an auction and a buffet supper. Attendees were also able to purchase "No MO Flooding" t-shirts.

John and Hilary Ortiz joined the Cooks in accepting the recognition from Gov. Nixon and Director Hagler. The Ortizs joined the Cooks in organizing and hosting the benefit.

Other donors include Monsanto, Taiwan, Dow AgroSciences, and Missouri Farmers' Care, as well as school children from Bronx, N.Y.

Donations to the Fund have helped address the immediate needs of farm families following disaster, extended grants to non-profit organizations for infrastructure repair and clean up and supported individuals and organizations with exceptional need through major disaster grants. Eighteen community organizations throughout Missouri have received a hand with repairs thus far.

The Fund was established by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, with support from Gov. Jay Nixon and agriculture industry representatives, and is administered by the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA).

Those interested in donating to the fund can do so by electronic check or credit card by visiting http://agrimissouri.com/growandgive/disasterrelief/. Donations qualify as a charitable contribution under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Applications for disaster relief funds can be accessed on http://wwww.mda.mo.gov as well as by contacting the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority at (573) 751-2129 or masbda@mda.mo.gov

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit mda.mo.gov.