By Tom Steever, Brownfield Ag News
The Missouri Agriculture Department faces a funding cut from $53 million to about $40 million in Republican Governor Eric Greitens’ proposed 2018 fiscal year state budget that begins July 1. Missouri agriculture director Chris Chinn says Greitens will do what’s necessary to keep agriculture the number one economic driver in Missouri.
“He’s done an excellent job of making sure that he provides me with the support that I’m going need to make sure that we can carry out our promise to rural Missouri that we’re going to make life better. We’re going to help them bring that next generation back home to the family farm,” says Chinn.
She says much of what was cut in the department’s budget had not been funded in recent years.
“We’re going to live within our means. We’re going to examine all of our programs and services that we have here and make sure they are a benefit to our farmers, ranchers and consumers,” says Chinn. “If they’re not working, we’re going to find a different avenue to take.”
The Missouri State Fair also faces a $500,000 cut in state funding.
Chinn says that was money budgeted for a new fairgrounds pavilion, which she says will be postponed.
“We’re going to look for where we can raise that money or find that money, but we’re not going to give up our goals,” says Chinn. “We’re going to keep moving forward. We just may have to take a different road to get there.”
The Missouri legislature must pass a budget by the first part of May.