“Not of Words but of Deeds”
“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds…”
These are the opening words of the FFA Creed, which gets recited by every young person who puts on that famous blue corduroy jacket. They serve as a reminder that the true strength of agriculture lies in the hard work done day-in and day-out by dedicated individuals all across our state. As we celebrated National FFA Week this past week and the positive impact FFA has made on the lives of countless students, it’s good to keep these words in mind, especially here in the State Capitol.
That’s why I think it’s fitting that on Feb. 22, the Senate’s Agriculture Committee moved forward and heard two important pieces of ag legislation. The first bill was my Senate Bill 750, which streamlines the regulation and monitoring of anhydrous ammonia. Meanwhile, House Bill 1720 includes a number of agricultural priorities, including legislation similar to SB 750. The bill also renews several important agriculture-related tax credits, such as the New Generation Cooperative Incentive and the Agricultural Products Utilization Contributor tax credit program administered by the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA). MASBDA tax credit programs such as these have helped bring an estimated $247 million in direct and indirect benefits to Missouri since 2000, but unfortunately expired at the end of last year. House Bill 1720 hopes to restart these programs and help Missouri producers succeed.
In addition to renewing these programs, HB 1720 also makes several changes to the family farm breeding livestock loan program, an important financing option for Missouri small farmers. The bill increases the annual amount of gross agricultural product sales a farmer can have in order to participate in the program from $250,000 to $500,000. The bill also removes the restriction that limits farmers to only one loan per family. All told, I believe this legislation will provide our state’s small farmers the flexibility and access to vital resources they need to stay competitive in today’s economy.
I’m eager to move forward with these bills and continue to show the Legislature’s commitment to strengthening our state’s No. 1 Industry. Because, as the FFA Creed reminds us, the future of agriculture rests not on words but of deeds.
As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.