The state Senate gives weak support to a plan creating a new office to do something that some lawmakers think the state agriculture department ought to be doing. Sixteen of 34 senators are in the chamber…and only two voices are heard to vote “yes” on a bill creating the office of the Missouri Arricultural Advocate. An executive director and a staff of as many as five is provided. Supporters say it’s something requested by supporters of Missouri’s 10-thousand small farmers who need somebody to speak for them. Joplin Senator Marvin Singleton says it’s not needed; it’s too expensive; and is another bureaucracy that really won’t focus on small farmers. Originally the advocate was going to be in the department of economic development. As advanced, that person and the staff will be in the agriculture department. Left unanswered by supporters is why the agriculture department does not provide the service already. But in the hallway outside the Senate chamber, one senator noted, “It’s an election year.”