The Agriculture Business Development Division improves the profitability of Missouri’s farmers and agribusinesses by increasing international and domestic sales of agricultural products that are produced or processed in Missouri. The division provides services for Missouri farmers and agribusinesses, including the following: business planning, domestic and international marketing assistance, product promotion, and financial assistance programs. The division also administers the Missouri Grown branding initiative which promotes products that are produced or processed in Missouri through a variety of marketing channels, including retail, restaurants, schools, institutions, and direct-to-consumer marketing.
The Director’s Office initiates policy decisions on agricultural issues, establishes department goals and priorities, and coordinates activities of the various divisions to achieve those goals. The Director’s Office includes administrative functions such as financial services, human resources, and public information.
The Division of Animal Health safeguards the health of Missouri’s livestock. The division’s stringent animal health regulations and rigorous disease testing help keep Missouri free from costly and threatening livestock diseases and ensure public health. In addition to animal welfare and food safety responsibilities, the division, under the direction of the state veterinarian, is responsible for controlling, eradicating and testing for livestock disease in Missouri. This is accomplished through testing, vaccinations and regulatory programs involving cattle, swine, horses, poultry, exotic animals, sheep, goats and small animals as provided under the Diseased Animal Law.
The Division of Grain Inspection and Warehousing operates grain inspection labs in St. Joseph, Marshall and New Madrid which provide official grain inspection services under designation from USDA. The division’s purpose is to protect the interest of grain producers, merchandisers, warehousemen, processors and consumers by providing inspection, auditing, mediation and collection services to the grain and commodity industries.
The Division of Plant Industries works to prevent the spread of harmful insects and plant diseases; registers pesticides; licenses pesticide applicators; assures label accuracy and quality of commercial feed, seed and treated timber; and helps ensure the safety of produce grown and packed in Missouri.
The Division of Weights, Measures and Consumer Protection tests and approves all commercial weighing and measuring devices. The division promotes uniformity in weights and measures laws, regulations, and standards to achieve equity between buyers and sellers in the marketplace and thereby enhance consumer confidence, enable Missouri businesses to compete fairly at home and abroad, and strengthen the state and U.S. economies.
The Missouri State Fair is held annually in August on the state fairgrounds in Sedalia. The fair provides a showcase for livestock, agricultural products, commercial exhibits, and other displays. In addition, the fair offers a variety of youth programs, entertainment, and educational events. The fairgrounds are used during the rest of the year for exhibits, sales, meetings, competitions, and entertainment events.
The State Milk Board inspects, samples, and tests milk and milk products ensuring that they are wholesome and safe for consumption. The board operates both a Grade A Milk Inspection Program and a Manufacturing Grade Milk Inspection Program to ensure milk quality. The Manufacturing Grade Milk Inspection Program ensures sanitation, safety, and quality standards for milk used only for manufacturing dairy products (e.g. cheese and butter). Approximately one-half of all Grade A milk is consumed as fluid milk with the remainder used for manufacturing other dairy products.