Gov. Mike Parson says the Panama Canal expansion is an opportunity to make greater use of the Mississippi River for shipping agriculture products. During the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Convention in Columbia on Saturday, Parson says the two-and-a-half-year-old expansion can give an edge to Missouri farmers.

Gov. Mike Parson

“No matter what part of the state you’re in, in agriculture, that’s going to play a huge role of how we get our products out of this state and the opportunities we’re going to have for that,” he says. “I think that’s definitely an area we’ve got to focus on.”

Parson, a Republican, says alternatives must be found for state transportation funding, since Missouri voters have rejected a fuel tax increase more than once.

“The problem does not go away and we have to figure out a way to be able to meet the demands of the future for this state,” Parson says.

In November, Missouri voters rejected a gas tax increase to help maintain roads. The ballot measure would have boosted the fuel tax by 2.5 cents annually over four years.

Parson spoke to a crowd of about 700 people at the event.

By Tom Steever of Brownfield Ag News