The final session in a six-part series of “Ag Forward” was held Tuesday night at the Thompson Conference Center on the State Fair Community College campus.

“Ag Forward” was a joint project of SFCC and Central Bank of Sedalia to offer three ag-related seminars in the first semester of the academic year and three more in the second semester.

The seminars were free of charge to anyone interested in agriculture in mid-Missouri. Central Bank paid for dinner, which was catered by Great Westeern Dining for each of the six sessions.

Tuesday night's session featured Davin Altoff, director of Marketing and Commodities for Farm Bureau.

Altoff gave a one hour, 20 minute “Ag Outlook” presentation for those attending. Topics included a moisture and weather prediction for Missouri, as well as hog production, cow costs, corn production and how it relates to ethanol, farm income and expenses, interest, the high cost of production overall, and the global market for nutrient use.

The US saw another record year in corn production in 2023, Altoff noted.

A drought assessment committee met last week in Missouri and said that a drought task force was scheduled to disband May 1. Farm Bureau lobbied the committee to extend it to September 1, “because we're not out of the woods yet,” Altoff said.

As for the drought and soil moisture, Altoff stated that “we're worse off now than we were last year, adding that Missouri was above historical average in February and March. We're seeing an evaporation rate that we typically see in July and August … The next six weeks are going to be very, very important for us here in the state of Missouri.”

Adrienn Dieckman, Commercial Banking/Marketing Assistant for Central Bank of Sedalia, said she was pleased with how Ag Forward went this academic year and plans are underway to produce another series in 2024-2025 starting in September.

Dieckmannn said she tries to book a variety of speakers for the seminars, due to the diverse nature of agriculture in the mid-Missouri area. “We have crops, cattle, pork and poultry, so we try to hit all of those (topics),” she told KSIS.

The difficulty comes when you realize that in the fall it's harvesting season and in the spring it's planting season, making it hard for local producers to attend the seminars in person at the college, which has a thriving Agriculture program.

Dieckmann noted that the fall sessions feature local and regional speakers, while the spring sessions feature statewide speakers, including Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn.

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Preceding Altoff's speech was a six-minute presentation by Pettis County Farm Bureau President Dana Binder.

She said FB is celebrating 112 years of agricultural excellence and a voice for the American farmer. Pettis County Farm Bureau began in 1915 with 34 members, and now has more than 1900.

Pettis County Farm Bureau has sponsored such activities as the La Monte Truck & Tractor Pull, Dream Factory Truck & Tractor Pull, the Pettis County FFA and 4-H Livestock Show, as well as many other FFA and 4-H activities in the county.

There is also a “Read A Book” program that Farm Burea sponsors, which places ag-themed books in elementary school libraries.

Farm Bureau also offers high school seniors headed to college with FB family memberships a scholarship every year.

Binder placed business cards on the Thompson Conference Center tables that contained the phone number of an AgriStress Helpline. That number is (833) 897-2474. Or you can text 988 for help.

On May 17, SFCC will graduate 140 Aggies from the college's agriculture program.

Ag Forward

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby

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