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Budget for Missouri Department of Agriculture Concerns Farm Organizations
Missouri’s major agricultural organizations representing livestock producers issued a joint statement today expressing their concern with the inadequate funding of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Of particular concern is the proposed funding of the department’s animal health programs.
Signing onto the joint statement are Charles Kruse, president of Missouri Farm Bureau; Jeff Windett, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association; Don Nikodim, executive vice president of Missouri Pork Association; Kent Haden, vice president of livestock operations, MFA Incorporated; Steve Strubberg, president of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association; Dave Drennan, executive director of the Missouri Dairy Association; and John Bryan, executive director of the Missouri Poultry Federation The statement reads as follows:
“Agriculture is Missouri’s number one industry, with livestock production representing over half of agriculture’s economic impact. In years past, millions of dollars have been invested in Missouri to successfully rid our state of livestock diseases and control their reoccurrence. Today while other states are battling livestock disease problems, Missouri has achieved and currently maintains Class Free status for Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Pseudorabies, Pullorum-Typhoid and Chronic Wasting Disease.
The ability to move livestock in domestic and international markets is dependent on adequate funding for the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division. If Missouri should have a disease outbreak involving just a few herds, there are currently not enough state or federal animal health officials to adequately handle the situation.
As major state agricultural organizations representing livestock producers, we call upon the state legislature to adequately fund the Missouri Department of Agriculture and our state’s animal health programs.”