Touting his first six months in office, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said that rural Missouri is on the march.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

"We're taking Missouri in a new direction," Greitens said at the annual
Governor's Ham Breakfast, held Thursday morning at the Missouri State Fair
Director's Tent.

"In the last six months, Missouri has moved up nine places in the rankings
of the best states to do business. Today in Missouri, we have more people
employed than we have had at any time in Missouri's history," Greitens
claimed. "Missouri's been outpacing the nation in job growth. And that's
happening because we recognize the importance and vitality of agriculture
here in Missouri."

Gov. Greitens also promoted the scaling back of governmental regulations
under his administration.

"Our administration from day one has been rolling back regulations,
working with our federal partners .. to eliminate and reduce unnecessary
regulations. Our farmers and ranchers have raised their voices to help
kill Obama's EPA "Waters Of The US" (WOTUS) regulations," Greitens said.

"My first week in office, we put an emergency hold on all new regulations,
and we are doing a thorough review of every single regulation that is on
the books in Missouri," Greitens said.

The governor was the featured speaker at an event that focused on raising
money for the State Fair Foundation, which hosted the event, through an

Proceeds from the auction of the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Hams,
Grand Champion Bacon and Limited Edition Belt Buckle are used by the
Missouri State Fair Foundation to pay premiums to winning exhibitors and
to provide scholarships for youth in agriculture.

Missouri State Fair Queen Natalie Ayers helped exhibit the auction items, which also included a commemorative belt buckle as well as an autographed acoustic guitar signed by members of Sawyer Brown.

Several other distinguished guests attended the Ham Breakfast, including Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn, State Fair Director Mark Wolfe, State Fair Commissioners, State Fair Foundation members, state and local elected officials and numerous other agriculture leaders and Fair supporters. Former Senator Jim Mathewson emceed the event and Dick Hutchison auctioneered.

Hutchison led the time-honored auction of the champion hams and bacon and commemorative belt buckle. A new item, a limited-edition Missouri State Fair Swine Barn Commemorative Plaque, was auctioned this year.

The auction began with the Grand Champion Ham, exhibited by Jennifer McCord of California. The ham was purchased by Ditzfeld Container and Trash Service, Murphy Brothers Exposition and Guesa USA for $8,000. The buyers presented the ham to Fair Commissioners Lowell Mohler and Jim Mathewson, who, in turn, donated it to Missouri 4-H.

The Reserve Grand Champion Ham, exhibited by Russellville Locker of Russellville, was purchased by KCP&L for $5,000, and was donated to the Missouri FFA Association.

The Grand Champion Bacon, exhibited by Alewel’s Country Meats of Warrensburg, sold for $2,000 to Starline Brass, and was donated to the Missouri FFA Association.

The commemorative belt buckle was purchased for $1,500 by Former Senator Jim Mathewson, and was presented to Governor Greitens.

The Swine Barn Plaque was auctioned with funds allotted for an Agriculture Education Endowment. It was purchased by Ron Ditzfeld for $1,600.

An additional item, a guitar signed by all the band members of Sawyer Brown, was also auctioned with funds benefitting the Drive to Feed Kids. It was purchased by Missouri Corn Growers Association for $1,600 and was presented to Governor Greitens.

The total amount raised from the auction equaled $19,700. Proceeds from the auction and breakfast will support the Missouri State Fair Foundation for projects, including youth scholarships and fairgrounds improvements.

More From AM 1050 KSIS