Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill 259 and Senate Bill 12 on April 10, which are designed to encourage more young adults to pursue careers in agriculture. Nixon visited Edgewood Dairy, a pasture-based dairy farm, to sign the bills and commemorate the event, according to the governor’s official state website.
House Bill 259 is better known as the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act, while Senate Bill 12 is an omnibus agriculture bill that contains provisions relating to the industry.
“Missouri’s dairy industry supports more than 23,000 jobs and contributes $2 billion to our state’s GDP,” Nixon stated on his website. “By supporting our dairy farmers and encouraging more young people to pursue careers in agriculture, the Dairy Revitalization Act will yield tremendous benefits for our rural communities and our entire economy.”
House Bill 259 will authorize up to 80 scholarships of $5,000 to be awarded to students pursuing a two- or four-year degree in agriculture. Its legislation will also establish an assistance program to help Missouri dairy farmers with the cost of participating in the Margin Protection Program. This was created as a result of the Farm Bill of 2014.
Agriculture accounts for $12.5 billion in Missouri, making it the state’s top industry. There are more than 100,000 farms in Missouri, and 300,000 people are employed in this field. The state exports goods to more than 150 countries around the world.