A northwest Missouri lawmaker who has advocated for fewer regulations for farmers says Governor Eric Greitens (R) will protect agriculture.

State Representative Joe Don McGaugh (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

During last week’s State of the State Address, Greitens mentioned farming only once, when referring to overregulation.

Greitens told lawmakers that Missouri has issued more than 40,000 pages of new regulations (not just agriculture), during the past 17 years.

State Rep. Joe Don McGaugh (R-Carrollton) agrees with Greitens’ call to end “frivolous regulations”.

“And, if anything I took away from what he (Governor Greitens) talked about, whether it’s the local grain elevator who has to apply for a clean air permit every year, or whether it’s your local family farm who has to go through the permitting process,” says McGaugh. “Governor Greitens didn’t say agriculture specifically, but I could read between the lines and say when he’s talking about that, he means this.”

Greitens says if you laid those 40,000 pieces of paper end-to-end, it would be more than five miles of new regulations.

McGaugh, who represents a largely rural district in northwest and north-central Missouri, says Greitens will protect Missouri farmers.

“Whether it be me in Carrollton, Missouri or whether it be (Oakville State Representative) Marsha Haefner in St. Louis, we both knew what he (Greitens) was talking about,” McGaugh says. “Because in the end, agriculture is a small business. It’s the biggest small business in Missouri and I know he (Greitens) will protect us and help the industry.”

The Missouri Department of Agriculture says ag is the state’s top industry, with an $88 billion economic impact.

Greitens complains there are too many regulations, saying that farmers “want to farm- not be lawyers and accountants.”

The governor has ordered a complete review of every regulation in Missouri, which pleases State Rep. Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport).

“I think that he kind of hit on it about the regulations and some of the things that the farmers are faced with, so I kind of have a unique district. I’ve got a big chunk of Columbia, but I have an awful big rural component too,” Basye tells Missourinet.

Basye represents four mid-Missouri counties in the House: Boone, Cooper, Howard and Randolph.

During his State of the State address, Greitens told lawmakers that he wants to reduce “unnecessary and outdated” regulations, so Missouri can focus on creating quality, high-paying jobs.