Farm Progress

Ag Matters: Tour brings staff and farmers together.

Chris Chinn

November 17, 2017

3 Min Read
HITTING THE ROAD: Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn will visit with farmers and ranchers during winter meetings across the state as part of the "More" tour.Missouri Department of Agriculture

When farmers think about our government, the first thought they have is often one of apprehension. It’s rare for a farmer to know anyone on a first-name basis. We talk on the phone to discuss a license or certification. We email back and forth regarding new business promotion opportunities. It’s the nature of our society that we can go years without putting a face with a name, voice or email address. The “Reach More” tour will change that: We’re bringing our people to you.


CONNECTING: Members of the Missouri Department of Agriculture will travel the state to meet with farmers and ranchers as part of the “More” tour. It runs from now through summer of 2018. 

The nearly 350 men and women who work at your Missouri Department of Agriculture work diligently to promote and protect agriculture. Every single day, our team is carrying out our mission by stopping the introduction and spread of animal disease; ensuring accurate measurement and weighing at gas stations, grocery stores and livestock barns; snuffing out harmful insects and plant disease; assisting agribusinesses in finding new markets for their goods; and guaranteeing the quality and quantity of grain passing through elevators. I want to assure you that our team is top-notch. It’s a group of passionate and professional individuals, many of whom live and work on their own farming operations.

In an effort to reach more farmers and ranchers and connect them with our staff, we are embarking on a tour over the next couple of months. The stops on the tour will be agriculture and commodity organizations’ winter meetings. Deputy Director Garrett Hawkins and I, along with other department leaders, will use this as a platform to interact in a meaningful way with farmers and ranchers. We’ll talk about our priorities at MDA and how we’re aiming to enhance the lives of all Missourians through our strategic vision, More.

Each of the five division directors will be traveling across the state with us: Ron Hayes from Weights, Measures and Consumer Protection; state veterinarian Dr. Linda Hickam from Animal Health; Chris Klenklen from Grain Inspection and Warehousing; Paul Bailey from Plant Industries; and Davin Althoff, our Agriculture Business Development division director.

The Reach More tour will take the place of this year’s Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture. While we aren’t replacing this conference for the long haul, we are excited about the opportunity this tour gives us to take our show on the road. Each of these winter meetings has strong attendance from a diverse group of Missouri producers, and getting to talk with them on their turf will be mutually beneficial. 

Here’s a list of the Reach More tour dates (subject to change) at meetings across Missouri:

• Nov. 28. MFA Inc. annual meeting, Holiday Inn Executive Center, Columbia

• Nov. 28. Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach

 Dec. 1. Missouri Livestock Symposium, William Matthews Middle School, Kirksville

 Dec. 4. Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting, Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach

• Dec. 14. Mo-Ag Winter Convention, Holiday Inn Executive Center, Columbia

• Jan. 6, 2018. Missouri Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show, Holiday Inn Executive Center, Columbia

• Jan. 18. Heart of America Dairy Expo, Oasis Hotel & Convention Center, Springfield

• Jan. 23. Missouri Corn Growers annual meeting, Capitol Plaza, Jefferson City

• Jan. 29. Missouri Soybean annual meeting, Capitol Plaza, Jefferson City

• Feb. 6. Missouri Pork Expo, Holiday Inn Executive Center, Columbia

• July 20-22. Missouri Forest Products Association summer meeting, Old Kinderhook, Camdenton

Stay up to date with all of the stops on the Reach More tour by visiting

 Chinn is director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and a hog producer from Clarence, Mo.

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