Believe it or not, it is almost October. The days are quickly growing shorter, the air is getting cooler and our wonderful farmers are beginning to harvest their crops. This means they will be delivering those goods to market very soon, and it takes them just a little longer to get there than it does for the rest of us.
Fortunately, we are used to seeing tractors and other farm equipment on the roads here in the great northwest part of our state. Despite your familiarity, I remind you to exercise caution when out and about this time of year. It does not matter if you have driven for 30 years or it is your first time behind the wheel, please slow down when you see slow-moving farm equipment. You never know what could be on the other side of the sharp corner along that lettered highway you have driven a thousand times, it could be a farmer working to provide for his family, and yours.
According to a recent Missouri Agriculture Foundation and University of Missouri Extension study, there were 107,000 Missourians employed in professions that directly related to agriculture last year. Overall, nearly 400,000 Missourians owe at least part of their livelihood to agriculture.
And, for our farmers out there, I realize this has been another challenging year. We have seen floods and droughts wreak havoc on crops over the past few years, from one condition to another, and both in the same year, sometimes. Add to this the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic and the future seems unclear. But, I know our farmers are ready to take on any task, and we thank them for all that they do. They are ready for just about anything that comes their way.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.