Judy Canales, Administrator for Rural Development Business and Cooperative Service, joined Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for an evening reception and visited with many of Missouri’s agriculture and rural elite to celebrate Missouri agriculture. The following morning Administrator Canales, Governor Nixon, and 1,000 other farm and community leaders attended the Missouri State Fair Ham Breakfast. The breakfast was a continuation of the Governor’s salute to agriculture. The delicious cured ham was the main course for the 59th Annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast in the Director’s Tent on the fairgrounds in Sedalia. The theme for the 2011 fair is “It’s a Show-Me Thing!”
Governor Nixon addressed the guests, which included the introduction of distinguished guest such as Administrator Judy Canales, Missouri Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler, several federal officials, state officials, and locally elected officials, Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe, the State Fair Commission and many other agriculture leaders and State Fair supporters.
Canales visited with many of the agricultural leaders and shared information about President Obama’s policies on the Rural Council and the USDA Rural Development programs. A stop was made at the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) to visit CEO Barry Hart and extend appreciation for the excellent partnership with AMEC on the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant programs, the Rural Utilities programs including Electricity and Telecommunications, and the Rural Energy for America Program.
Another stop was made in the Agricultural building, which included a wide assortment of AgriMissouri products from elderberry jam to pork rubs. Unique to the many other vending areas at the state fair, AgriMissouri’s vending area includes products produced only in the state of Missouri. Many of these producers were recipients of federal funding that aided in their respective success such as the Value Added program.
The final stop was at the Missouri Corn Growers booth which featured a flex fuel blender pump. A press conference focused on the excellent partnership between the Missouri Corn Growers, Growth Energy, Missouri Department of Agriculture, and Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives to promote the Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“Missouri was the place where the agency kicked off the REAP program for the flex fuel blender pumps,” said Canales. “I’m happy to report that Missouri has helped provide more customers with choices at the pump than any other state with the number of flex fuel blender pumps financed with REAP funds. Missouri is definitely “reaping” the benefits of the REAP program.
Perhaps this is just another example of the state fair theme…. “It is a Show – Me Thing!”