On a voice vote, the Senate has formally confirmed the nomination of Katie Smith to be the State Agriculture Director. But Governor Matt Blunt’s nomination to the post did not get through the chamber without opposition over the question of whether Smith fits the requirement that the Missouri Agriculture Director be a "practical farmer."
Senator Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) says Smith grew up on her family farm and worked the farm. In addition, she advises her father on agricultural matters.
Opposition to the nomination came from Senator Joan Bray (D-University City), who raised concerns about whether Smith is a "practical farmer." Shields then pointed out that Peter Hoeffer, the Agriculture Director during the Holden Administration, had a degree in accounting. He noted that at the time of Hoeffer’s nomination not a single Senate Democrat questioned whether Hoeffer was a "practical farmer."