The Work Remains

A farmer’s work is never really done. Whether it’s raising livestock, harvesting crops, cleaning barns, maintaining equipment or one of the other hundreds of chores that goes into running a successful farm, it seems there’s always something for a farmer to do. Even after all the hard work of a farmer’s busy season is over, there’s still the essential task of planning for the next season.

Just as it is on the farm, planning ahead is important in the Legislature, too. While the work is much less labor-intensive, Missouri lawmakers are already thinking ahead and looking at ways to support our farmers during the next legislative session.

On Sept. 8, the Joint Committee on Agriculture held a hearing where we discussed nearly a dozen topics, ranging from rural broadband investment, eminent domain, streamlining regulations and more. A significant portion of the hearing was spent on a number of ag-related tax credit programs, including several available through the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA). Since 2000, MASBDA tax credits are estimated to have generated $247 million in direct and indirect benefits to our state, and have helped farmers and spurred job creation in rural communities. Unfortunately, several of these tax credit programs are set to expire at the end of 2021.

These are important issues for our farmers and rural communities, and work remains to be done to resolve them. After our committee hearing though, I feel lawmakers are better prepared to tackle these important issues when the General Assembly meets again in January of 2022 for our regular legislative session. Until then, I know my colleagues and I will continue doing what we can to keep agriculture our state’s No. 1 industry for years to come.

As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.

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