State Rep. Craig Redmon (R-Canton) wants the Missouri Department of Conservation to compare the starting salary for Missouri’s new agents to that of other states.
Redmon chairs the Missouri House Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources. Conservation Department Deputy Director Aaron Jeffries testified before the committee this week, telling Redmon that new agents start at about $30,000.
“And then see how that compares with states around us, would you? I’ve had a couple agents say you make too much and they don’t make enough, so I just wanted to verify that,” Redmon says.
Redmon’s sprawling district covers six northeast Missouri counties.
“Where I live, you know I’m on the corner of Iowa and Illinois, and I’ve had a couple of comments that I could make a lot more money just by going across the states lines. And I’m one of those firm believers you get what you pay for,” Redmon says.
Redmon tells Missourinet while many Conservation agents do the job for their love of the outdoors and conservation, they also need to provide for their families.
“We need to be competitive, and if we’re not, then we need to make some corrections,” Redmon says.
The Conservation Department has 190 agents, including ten new ones who graduated this month. 158 agents cover county assignments, and 32 are supervisors.
The Department administers 975,000 acres across Missouri.