For Immediate Release: March 5, 2015
Senator Doug Libla Welcomes Visitors to the
Capitol and Announces District News for February

Lisa Winberry from BPS Telephone Company in Bernie visited for Telecommunications Industry Association Day for their annual legislative dinner. Ben Barbour from Poplar Bluff attended the legislative breakfast for the Probation and Parole Officers awareness day. The Missouri Soybean Association and electric cooperatives also held their annual spring conferences this month. I also attended a meeting to get an update on how our port authorities are doing. The Missouri Credit Union Association also had a reception with many folks from around the state coming in to talk about updates in their industry.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Jaret Holden from Summersville. Jaret is a member of the Summersville FFA and will be a 2014 graduate of Summersville High School. Jaret's Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAEP) consists of 20 head of beef cows where he markets feeder cattle from the herd. In addition to his beef cattle herd, Jaret owns and runs an Internet radio station, Fusion FM KKOP. He also works placement in his family's farming operation. Jaret plans to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he will pursue a major in broadcast journalism. After graduation, he plans to continue his production agriculture operation, operate his Internet radio station and would like to become involved in politics to be an advocate for agriculture.

I enjoyed the opportunity to attend the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center Wall of Valor Ceremony. The Wall of Valor recognizes veterans who have received awards for their actions in combat. At Monday’s ceremony, six more soldiers were recognized along with their families: ¬†Sergeant Eric W. Summers; First Lieutenant Danny E. Faulk; Corporal Joel L. Smith; Specialist Four Jonathan C. Cook; Private First Class W.C. Hogland; and Second Lieutenant William E. Glosemyer. Thank you very much for your service to your country. It is important that we keep all of our veterans and active military men and women in our hearts for all they have done and continue to do for us. They truly deserve our gratitude.

Earlier in February was Missouri Family, Career, and Community Leaders (FCCLA) day at the State Capitol. Students work to be stronger leaders in their families, careers and communities by their involvement in family and consumer sciences education and leadership activities through FCCLA. Because these students are interested in making Missouri a better place for the future, FCCLA created the Legislative Shadowing Project. The primary goal of the project is to allow high school students to learn about the Missouri Legislature and its role in setting public policy focused on family, work, and social issues.

It was great to have Taylor Olin, from Advance High School, and Madison Baker, from Greenville High School, shadow me on Wednesday. Both are exceptionally bright students and have a high interest in the process of government and the impact of policy on families and communities. Taylor and Madison followed me throughout the day, sitting in on committee hearings, watching the Senate in session, attended meetings, and learned about constituent services. They also got to tour our beautiful state capitol building.

I also met with folks from the Poplar Bluff and Sikeston city councils for the municipal league annual conference. This month was also technical career center education advocacy and dental hygienists awareness and advocacy. Congressman Jason Smith also visited Jefferson City and met with the representatives and senators from Southeast Missouri. We also had retired teacher day at the capitol and insurance agents’ day at the capitol. The Missouri Farm Bureau had their annual banquet in late February, and I really enjoyed seeing a lot of members and farmers from the district attend.

Jessie McAfee from Winona visited for the Communication Disorders Program, informing elected officials about speech pathology. Darren Lingle also visited me for the future agricultural leaders conference. I also had really good visits with Melissa Morgan, from Ozark Family Resource Agency, and Mary Ann Allen, from Haven House. These ladies do outstanding work in the community, and were in Jefferson City advocating for domestic violence awareness.
Haven House is a non-profit organization comprised of citizens committed to ending domestic violence in Southeast Missouri. They believe that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and the right to raise children in a peaceful environment. They also believe that children learn what they live and that alternatives to violence must be available so that battered women can gain control over their own lives as well as stop the cycle of violence for future generations. OFRA's mission is to exist to support families and children in crisis through emergency shelter, affordable housing, child advocacy and other supportive services.

I had the opportunity to spend some time with a bright young man, Ari Eisenstadt. He was participating in The Coro Fellows Program, which uses the city as a classroom to train the next generation of change makers. Today’s environments present constantly evolving challenges and opportunities, creating an increasing need for versatile leaders with the ability to forge connections and lead across the non-profit, business and government sectors. The program exposes participants to various industries and job settings, gives them one-on-one access to business and community leaders addressing a range of civic issues, and provides unparalleled relationship-building opportunities in some of the nation’s most dynamic cities.

I had a wonderful time attending Caruthersville School District's assembly celebrating Black History Month. The theme of the event was “Education is Freedom.” Students listened to guest speakers and saw performances and testimonies from their fellow students. They were also taught about the values of excellence, education, responsibility, and respect. I liked how the themes and messages discussed apply to everyone. Knowledge is power and the more you know the more you grow! It was especially meaningful to see and hear from former Caruthersville students who have gone on to have successful careers. These adults are great role models for the young folks and it’s important for them to see people from their community achieve their dreams. Congrats to all the students who helped their teachers plan this amazing event! Special thanks to my friend Pastor Jamie Jones for inviting me down and to Superintendent JJ Bullington and her staff for their hard work on the performance. Walking into the school, you can see and feel the pride the staff and students take in their work.

February concluded with the 10th annual chili cook off on Saturday at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff. All of the proceeds went to the United Gospel Rescue Mission. There was a big turnout of contestants with some great flavors of chili. I enjoyed sampling many of the different recipes and visiting with participants. Special thanks to everyone who helped organize another successful event!


Senator Doug Libla proudly serves the citizens of Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Shannon and Stoddard counties in the Missouri Senate.