Capitol Report: Farm Tour Highlights Eighth District Agriculture

Aug 22, 2014

Agriculture is the number one industry in Missouri. Our Eighth Congressional District is home to a great variety of agricultural interests. Our district is one of the most diverse agriculture districts in the country growing everything except sugar and citrus fruits. In the fertile Missouri Bootheel we grow cotton, rice, corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and even raise catfish. In stark contrast to the Bootheel stand the Ozark Foothills where we have cattle, dairy and timber producers.

This week and next, I am traveling our district and listening to the challenges farm families are facing on my two week Farm Tour. Although each farm is unique and each crop or animal raised is different, the message from each visit is the same: Washington regulations are hurting Missouri farm families. I have always been a believer that the best ideas do not come from bureaucrats. The best ideas come from people who actually roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. The information I am learning on the Farm Tour will help me fight oppressive regulations in Washington and advocate for common sense farm policy.

At visits across our district this week I was able to hear directly from producers. In Gordonville, I visited a walnut tree farm that not only produces high quality walnuts, but also grows seeds for future tree plants. At a cotton gin in New Madrid, I heard about how federal policies are impacting our regions cotton farmers. In Oregon County I visited a family-run Berkshire pig farm that is dedicated to producing great pork products for chefs across the country. Benton is home to one of the largest dairy farms in Missouri that uses the latest technology to improve efficiency. In Bloomsdale I toured a goat farm that makes award winning cheeses that are sold nationally. At a corn farm in Dexter, I listened to the concerns and future prospects for Stoddard County farm families.

Agriculture is truly the lifeblood of our district. As your representative in the halls of Congress I have been an advocate for responsible farms policies to ensure Missouri farm families have the certainty and security they need to stay in business. While the Eighth District is home to some of the most diverse agricultural production in the world, every single producer’s message to me has been the same: we need less Washington and more common sense. In the House of Representatives I will continue working to end the burdensome regulations that hurt farm families in Missouri and fight for common sense ideas as policy is being created.