March 14, 2016

More than 100 students from Jefferson City attended to learn about the state’s number one industry.

Department of Agriculture hosts youth event to celebrate National Agriculture Week

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce and the Missouri Department of Agriculture hosted an event at Fischer Farms today to celebrate National Agriculture Week. Second grade students from East Elementary and first grade students from New Bloomfield visited Fischer Farms to learn about agriculture. 

“Agriculture impacts the lives of Missourians on a daily basis. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the fuel we pump at the gas station all come from farmers,” said Director Fordyce.  “National Agriculture Week gives us the opportunity to highlight our important work. Today’s event allowed us to educate young people who may not have spent much, if any, time on a farm about what farmers do on a daily basis.”  

Students rotated through activity stations to learn about planting and harvesting crops, tending to farm animals and providing food to consumers. One of the students’ favorite parts, the pizza activity station, helped students discover exactly where different pizza ingredients come from while making their own paper pizza.  

A $10.9 billion industry, agriculture ranks number one in Missouri.  The state is home to nearly 100,000 farms and 300,000 Missourians are employed in agriculture-related occupations. Missouri also ranks in the top 10 states in a diverse array of agricultural goods and commodities, including corn, soybeans, cotton, rice, cattle, chickens, hogs and turkeys. Over the past five years, Missouri agricultural exports, shipped to more than 150 countries, have increased by more than a billion dollars. 

Jay and Kim Fischer, Fischer Farms, have a diversified farm operation in south Callaway County, just across the Missouri River from the State Capitol, where they raise corn and soybeans. They also operate a pumpkin patch and corn maze every year in the fall. 

Additionally, farm equipment provided by Ag-Power, Crown-Power and Equipment, Larson Farm and Lawn and Lauf Equipment is on display this week at the Missouri State Capitol and the Missouri Department of Agriculture. People are invited to stop by to see tractors at each location.

Photos of today’s event are available upon request. For more information on the department and its programs, visit agriculture.mo.gov.

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