U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) says rural Missouri is poised to benefit from growth, but must take advantage of the opportunity. Blunt spoke Friday at Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters in Jefferson City, saying that we could see the biggest economic driver in a long time.

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)

“You know, world food demand doubling in one working lifetime. 35 or 40 years from now, the biggest area of commerce in the world will be twice as big as it is today, and nobody is in a better position than we are as a country to take advantage of that,” Blunt says.

Blunt also told the audience that the Mississippi River will be more important than it’s been in a century.

“The Mississippi River valley is the biggest piece of contiguous agricultural ground in the world, has the best farmers and ranchers in the world, the best ag research institutions, public and private in the world. And, the best way to get things all over the world of anywhere in the world,” Blunt says.

Missouri Farm Bureau has members in all 114 counties. Blunt encouraged Farm Bureau members to ask state lawmakers to invest in transportation. The Missouri Legislature is controlled by Republicans. State Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, sponsored a bill this past Session to raise the motor fuel tax by 5.9 cents per gallon. The bill failed.

“The Mississippi River is a great thing if you get to it and you can get on it,” Blunt says. “But if you get to it and there’s no way to get on it, it’s not an opportunity, it’s an obstacle,” he says.

Blunt is emphasizing jobs and less government, on his 100-city August tour. He criticized government regulators on Friday, saying they are “totally out of control”.

Missouri Farm Bureau has endorsed Blunt’s re-election bid. He is seeking his second term.

Blunt faces Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) in November. The race is expected to generate national attention.