Bold goal, bold future: Doubling the value of Missouri agriculture by 2030
- Published: Friday, March 26, 2021
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension’s bold goal for a bold future takes the old adage “go big or go home” to another level. What is the bold goal? Double the value of Missouri agriculture by 2030 while sustaining the state’s natural resources.
“With agriculture Missouri's No. 1 industry, you might think there’s no way we can double its value,” said Rob Kallenbach, associate dean for extension in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “But we can. Missouri agriculture has so much untapped potential, especially in new and value-added products and processing.”
Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Christopher Daubert has seen areas of potential firsthand. As a task force member of the Show Me Food, Beverage and Forest Products Manufacturing Initiative, Daubert helped research and develop a plan fit for leveraging Missouri’s existing operations.
During the task force’s research, one key theme to expanding Missouri agriculture frequently appeared.
“In order to grow our agricultural industry, we’ll need help from partners, farmers, producers, innovators and consumers,” Daubert said. “It takes an entire team. And the good news is that Missouri has a great team as well as a powerful foundation to build on.”
Not only does expanding Missouri's agricultural economy create more jobs, it strengthens small businesses, diversifies local communities, introduces new products and reduces food insecurity within the state, Kallenbach explained.
MU Extension and partners have begun to lay a foundation for achieving this “moonshot” goal. Some examples:
- Food, Beverage and Forest Product Manufacturing Initiative – Enhances value-added processing for Missouri commodities and expands food value chains on a regional and local level.
- Missouri Food Finder – Connects consumers with local food producers.
- Missouri Small Business Development Center for Agriculture, Food and Forestry – Assists farmers and agricultural business owners with strengthening established operations or developing new businesses.
- Missouri Vaccine Resources – Provides resources for all Missourians to stay safe during flu season and the pandemic. A healthy community is a productive community.
- Follow #2xAg2030 on social media – Allows Missourians to quickly see programming, impact and resources provided by specialists or county offices.
“I think it's important to remind folks that registering for a course, calling a local county office for advice or signing up for services with the Missouri SBDC for Agriculture, Food and Forestry can greatly impact our progress toward our bold goal,” Kallenbach said. “Together we're creating a stronger tomorrow for ourselves, our neighbors, our state and the agriculture industry as a whole.”
Since 1914, MU Extension has provided Missourians with the latest research and information to make educated decisions in their daily lives.
“I had a friend years ago who said extension is like a repository where you can find collective knowledge of farmers, researchers and extension workers,” said horticulture specialist Patrick Byers. “You put that within the context of a place like the University of Missouri, where you have the latest cutting-edge research going on, and you can develop advice and relationships with farmers that take science-based information and turn it into their realities.”
Learn more about MU Extension’s bold goal for a bold future at GrowAg.missouri.edu or view the videos below.
Videos were recorded prior to COVID-19. MU Extension follows the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines to ensure programming and courses are delivered safely during the pandemic.
Photos available for this release:
Shopping at farmers markets and U-pick operations grows small businesses and Missouri communities.
Agronomy specialist Anthony Ohmes assists southeastern Missouri producers with soybean, corn, wheat and forages questions.
MU Extension provides educational opportunities for Missourians of all ages. Natural resources specialist Sarah Havens teaches youths how important trees are to the environment.
Writer: Ashley Craft
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