From Steve's Desk: Show Me Strong Agriculture
When I last wrote an article for the “MO-AG Minute”, we were in the throes of dealing with the onset of the COVID-19 virus. Today, we are focusing on Governor Parson’s “Show Me Strong Recovery”. Last week, Governor Parson highlighted this plan and encouraged Missourians to shop local and support Missouri-based businesses, which will be critical to stimulating the state’s economy moving forward. Also, I want to mention the “Buy Missouri” initiative which is directed by the Lt. Governor office and was created to recognize and promote Missouri companies and manufacturers and to strengthen our state’s economy. MO-AG is a partner of the Buy Missouri initiative and provides input to the Lt. Governor.
Another important development has been the formation of a working group which is to make recommendations for the use of federal funding. These funds have been provided for COVID-19-related costs under the CARES Act. More information about the working group can be found
. The working group is tasked with analyzing how the $2,379,853,017.00 that Missouri received from the federal government can best be utilized. According to the federal guidelines, some of the activities that the funds can be used is for “providing economic support to those suffering from employment or business interruptions due to COVID-19-related business closures” and “expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures” The recommendations are fairly broad. Given the stress faced by Missouri agriculture, a letter from MO-AG and the farm groups was sent to the work group. The letter can be seen
. In this letter, we state “Agriculture was in a precarious state prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, farm families and industry partners are facing unprecedented challenges as they work to provide food, feed, and fuel to citizens.” We make it clear that this an issue hitting all of agriculture stating that “When one segment of agriculture hurts, it filters to all sectors of the industry.”
In the days and weeks ahead, a major focus of the working group will be on business recovery. What has been the impact on your business? If you would like to share your concerns about the impact to your business or anything in general, please, call the MO-AG office and let us know. Your MO-AG staff has been discussing with legislators and members of the executive branch ideas which would maintain and expand agribusiness in Missouri. In my conversations, I am hearing from MO-AG members, elected leaders, and many others is a great desire to get Missouri’s economy, including the agricultural economy, back up and running strong.
I hope everyone has a successful spring season. Thank you for all that you do and for your support of MO-AG.