February 21, 2019
It is not often you see a tractor pulling out of the Missouri governor’s mansion driveway, but that is what took place as Gov. Mike Parson and Missouri State FFA President Paxton Dahmer took a short drive up Capitol Avenue in Jefferson City, Mo., to draw attention to National FFA Week and agricultural education.
More than 80 FFA members from eight schools across the state cheered as the governor and Dahmer rounded the Capitol building. Stepping out of the cab, Parson told the group that being able to drive to work in a John Deere tractor was a “special day,” noting that agriculture is the top industry in the state.
He praised the young men and women gathered in the cold temperatures for their commitment to the industry. The group then moved inside the Capitol rotunda to hear more from the governor.
“A lot of times, we get to be known as farmers,” Parson said. “I like that title. But the reality is we are a business in the state of Missouri. Every farmer is a businessman or woman who runs a farm.”
The governor shared how the future of the industry will be decided by technology, science, engineering and math, all taught through agriculture education classes. He added the industry must grow to meet the needs of an expanding population.
“You guys are going to have the daunting task of figuring out where do we go in the future of Missouri,” Parson says. “How do we meet those demands? That is going to be up to you. Regardless where you go when you get out of school, you are going to be part of the future of agriculture.”
Parson homed in on the importance of sharing agriculture’s vision.
In 1940s and 1950s, 50% of people in this country were farm-related, Parson explained, which means someone in their family was a farmer.
“As you sit in the Capitol today, it is less than 2%,” he said. “You are the ones that will tell the story. You are the ones that will carry the message. You are the ones that will make a difference in the future of our state and where we go, but it is up to you.”
Then the governor made a promise.
“Agriculture will always be important to me,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to make sure that farming and ranching and agriculture is passed down to that next generation, so that you that are wearing those jackets today can have the same opportunities that I had.”
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
Current Conditions for
Enter a zip code to see the weather conditions for a different location.