JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., — Acting Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director, Chris Chinn, delivered a presentation to a joint Senate-House committee on Monday about the impact of Missouri agriculture.

“We spend $55 billion to add $33 billion to the state of Missouri, for a total of $88.4 billion,” says Chinn. “Now this number does not include grocery stores, restaurants or retail outlets.”

Chinn also reports that Missouri agriculture produces about 378,000 jobs. This makes one in ten jobs in Missouri related to agriculture and the forestry industry.

These jobs are not far from the family farm. Out of the 100,000 family farms, Chinn says that 90% are family owned. The farmers running these farms are continuing to get older. The average age of a Missouri farmer is 58 with only 636 under the age of 25 and more than 22,000 over the age of 70.

When compared to other states, Missouri ranks third in beef cattle, fifth in turkeys, seventh in hogs, fourth in rice and eighth in cotton.

Missouri Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Brian Munzlinger plans to use this report in the future for reference when making legislation decisions.

“It [the report] helps us [lawmakers] shine the light on agriculture and give it awareness for my colleagues and your all’s [Missouri House Agriculture Policy committee members] colleagues to see the importance of agriculture.”

The MDA joined efforts with the Missouri Farm Bureau to conduct a study to get these findings. The study was funded through the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.