Farm Bureau's Blake Hurst speaks at county meeting

Holly Eschenbrenner, Jamestown, is a candidate for Farm Bureau Ambassador.

Holly Eschenbrenner, Jamestown, is a candidate for Farm Bureau Ambassador. Photo by David Wilson.

Members of the Moniteau County Farm Bureau heard from Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst at the annual dinner meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The event, held at the California United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, began with the annual dinner. Entertainment was provided by the California Kids directed by Stacy Friedrich.

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Stacy Friedrich, left, directs the California Kids as they sing at the Moniteau County Farm Bureau annual meeting.

The meeting was called to order by Moniteau County Board President Dennis Feezor. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the local staff and board members, as well as elected officials present, were introduced.

The Friend of Agriculture award for this year goes to Rep. Caleb Jones who was unable to be present for the event.

Holly Eschenbrenner, Jamestown, was introduced as a candidate for Farm Bureau Ambassador. She is a University of Missouri - Columbia student studying education.

Guest speaker Hurst mentioned that it was good to see his in-laws John and Virginia Renken, who live near California.

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Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst speaks at the Moniteau County Farm Bureau annual dinner meeting.

He spoke of the recent drought and how it was the second or third most expensive natural disaster.

"It will affect us for years to come," he said.

He said the most recent comparable drought in 1988 cut the corn production by 26 percent, but at that time there was 7.5 billion bushels in storage. This time, the drought cut production by 24 to 25 percent, but started with only one billion bushels in storage. As a result, corn consumption has to be cut with high prices.

"This is bad for livestock producers," Hurst said. A recent drought conference thought corn would be $3.50 a bushel in a year.

Hurst spoke of the work of the Farm Bureau on behalf of members in the areas regulated or under recommended rules by agencies ranging from the Missouri Department of Conservation - specifically mentioning recent "crayfish as bait" sales restrictions - and the EPA.

"The EPA is the only government agency in a hurry," Hurst said. "We need to slow it down."

He closed his remarks by talking about the future of family farms, with attention given to the estates tax increase. He works with his father, brother, sons-in-laws and nephews on family farms. The increase in land prices puts estates into the high tax range, just from land value alone.

On behalf of the nominating committee, Andy Clay named the new board members nominated. They are Clay, Kenny Jones, Sandy Knipp and Lashley Rohrbach. Fred Snyder is leaving the board after at least 30 years and Gary Reichel will be coming on as a new member.

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