July 8, 2004

Value-Added Farm Tour Makes Stops In Area

The Missouri Corn Growers Association and USDA Rural Development hosted a two-day tour of farmer-owned, value-added ag businesses across north Missouri.

On June 30 and July 1, 2004, federal and state policymakers, farmers, agricultural group leaders and others on the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Tour visited with agricultural businesses in Columbia, Laddonia, Macon, Novelty and St. Joseph.

The goal of the tour was to foster understanding of how farmer-owned ventures are partnering with programs administered by the USDA Rural Development and the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority to add value to ag commodities and move up the marketing chain, while providing economic development and future opportunities in Missouri communities.

The two-day tour included presentations from 12 farmer-owned, value-added enterprises, including the locally created Missouri Masa of Scotland County. The tour covered a diverse range of products from Missouri crops and livestock.

Stops on the tour included:

Tour of Lifeline Foods in St. Joseph.

Value-Added & Renewable Energy Roundtable with Senator Kit Bond at MFA Oil in Columbia.

Tour of Missouri Country Fresh in Macon.

Presentations from Mississippi Valley Processors, Missouri Masa, Premium Ag Products, Soy Snack and TransCon Ag at the University of Missouri Greenley Center in Novelty.

Stop at East Central Ag Products in Laddonia and visit with Congressman Kenny Hulshof.

Were excited about the opportunity to generate positive discussion and ideas to move Missouri agriculture forward, said Greg Branum, Missouri State Director for USDA Rural Development.

The USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Tour was hosted by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and USDA Rural Development. Cooperating tour sponsors included Farm Credit Services of Missouri, Missouri Adult Ag Educators, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Soybean Association.

For more information, contact Nathan Chitwood, USDA Rural Development, at (573) 876-0995 or Jamey Cline, Missouri Corn Growers Association, at (573) 893-4181.

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