Missouri’s countryside is coming alive this time of year. Pastures are becoming lush again, tractors are preparing the land for planting season, and last year’s calves are being weaned.
The rhythm of rural Missouri is picking up the pace, and you can feel excitement, promise and optimism in the air.
That optimism is what drives many of us in agriculture, and it’s what helps us dream for the future and strive to do the best we can with what we’ve been given. Although things on the farm may look different than they did when our ancestors farmed, our hearts and passion for agriculture remain the same.
We are asked to raise more food with fewer resources, and agricultural technology is a huge piece of that puzzle. Farmers, agribusinesses and academia have worked hand in hand for decades to protect crops and the environment through crop protection technology such as pesticides.
As a society, laws and regulations have been put into place to ensure the safe use of those pesticides.
At the Missouri Department of Agriculture, we are committed to a comprehensive plan — one in which the industry works alongside academia and government agencies — for pesticide stewardship. Applicators must be trained on the proper and safe use of these new tools, abide by product labels and respect their neighbors by remaining aware of sensitive sites around them.
Agriculture is one of America’s strongest success stories. Through technology and innovation, Missouri farmers and ranchers work alongside agribusiness to produce safe and abundant food.
New technology brings with it great responsibility. This growing season, your friends and neighbors are relying on you to do your part by reading and following this year’s pesticide labels. In the end, that shared responsibility leads to better technology stewardship.
Chinn is the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and a hog producer from Clarence, Mo.