Skip to main content

Farm Bill listening session among events at Missouri State Fair

With the theme, “Where Traditions Grow,” the Missouri State Fair returns Aug. 10-20 to the historic fairgrounds in Sedalia, offering a complete lineup of livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, concerts, rodeo and bull riding, vendors, carnival and more.

This year, the fair will also serve as a sounding board for farmers who want to voice their thoughts on the 2023 Farm Bill, which expires in September. A listening session is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 14, at 10 a.m. in the Nucor Directors’ Pavilion at the fair. U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson and Missouri Governor Mike Parson are among those expected to attend. Admission to the session is free, open to the public and does not require a fair ticket. The pavilion is located near the Centennial Gate along Highway 65.

MFA Incorporated continues to support the state fair with several types of sponsorships and participation. MFA booths, demonstrations, equipment and farm supply displays will be part of the machinery area of the fair, with employees on hand to talk with visitors throughout the event. MFA’s traditional sponsorships of youth exhibitions will also continue, including the State 4-H Saddle Award and the 4-H Dog Show.

MFA is also a sponsor of the Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive, which will be held Tuesday, Aug. 15. Visitors that day can receive $2 gate admission for a minimum donation of two cans of food or $2 contribution to benefit Feeding Missouri. Tuesday is also Missouri FFA’s Food Insecurity Service Day, with hundreds of FFA members packing child-friendly meals that will be distributed to food banks across the state.

Missouri Farmers Care will also accept 50 show pigs at the state fair for the “Hogs for Hunger” campaign. Feeding Missouri will provide 4-H and FFA exhibitors with an $0.80-per-pound live weight stipend on market hogs committed to the program, which provides fresh pork for hunger relief efforts through The Foodbank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Youth exhibitors should indicate their willingness to pledge their hogs at
Visit the fair’s website at for up-to-date information and schedule.

Photo cutline: Farm equipment displays are a popular feature of MFA’s exhibits at the Missouri State Fair.

CLICK HERE to read more articles from this August/September 2023 issue of Today's Farmer Magazine.

  • Hits: 956

Markets make their mark

Kansas, Missouri venues ranked as nation’s favorites

The top two farmers markets in the nation are right here in MFA territory, according to the 2022 America’s Farmers Market Celebration. As part of the event, more than 2,000 markets were included in a public poll, with those receiving the most votes declared the national winners. The celebration also recognizes top markets in five regions nationwide and in all 50 states.
National winners are awarded $5,000 for first, $2,500 for second, $1,500 for third, $750 for fourth and $250 for fifth. These funds are awarded to markets for marketing, communications and other needs that help expand their reach and impact.

In 2022, first place went to Overland Park Farmers Market in Overland Park, Kan., just outside Kansas City. Although it’s been around for more than 40 years, this was the market’s first year competing in the national contest. The market is open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7950 Marty Street. For details, visit
Coming in second was Columbia Farmers Market in Columbia, Mo., which had also topped the list in 2021.

“To be recognized as one of the top markets in the country, for the second year in a row, is such an honor for our organization,” said Corrina Smith, Columbia Farmers Market executive director. “Our community has supported our hard-working farmers and producers for 42 years and has allowed us to grow into the thriving organization we are now. We owe such a big thank you to the mid-Missouri community for supporting our producers and voting for us in this competition.”

The Columbia market is open April through October on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, May 24 through Sept. 27 on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m., and November through March on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The market is held at the MU Health Care Pavilion at Columbia’s Agriculture Park, 1769 West Ash Street. Visit for more information.
The celebration, sponsored by the American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition, is the only ranking of America’s favorite farmers markets. The 2023 contest is now underway, giving customers a chance to vote for their favorite farmers market through Sept. 18. Cast your vote and learn more about past winners at

Image cutline: The Columbia Farmers Market was ranked second in the nation by popular vote in the 2022 America’s Farmers Market Celebration. You can vote in the 2023 contest now through Sept. 18 at The Columbia venue is a year-round, producer-only farmers market featuring products sourced within a 50-mile radius. Saturday customer counts regularly surpass 5,000, and the vendor membership has expanded to 85 local farmers, producers and artisans. The market was established in 1980 and moved into its new home in the Columbia Agriculture Park in 2019.

CLICK HERE to read more articles from this August/September 2023 issue of Today's Farmer Magazine.

  • Hits: 449

Missouri Innovation Center cultivates growth in local agribusinesses

Value-added agricultural producers now have access to a variety of hands-on assistance and resources through the new Missouri Agriculture, Food and Forestry Innovation Center (MAFFIC).
Supported by a two-year, $1.3 million grant from USDA Rural Development, the center offers free services for agricultural producers working to take their value-added businesses to the next level. With a staff of 13 advisers knowledgeable in a wide range of subjects, MAFFIC draws on expertise at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority. A group of industry leaders provide oversight and input by serving on the center’s board of directors.

MoFoodForestryInnCenterT“The challenges of the last few years have created opportunities for Missouri producers,” said Ashley McCarty, MAFFIC board member and executive director of Missouri Farmers Care. “When producers can mobilize production, marketing and distribution, they can meet market demand and give consumers access to locally produced products. MAFFIC is ready to help Missouri value-added producers succeed.”

Since MAFFIC officially opened in early January, the center has already worked with 65 small business owners who develop niche goods, including farm-finished meat, honey and elderberry products.

“Many food and farm entrepreneurs are really good at making a product,” said Mallory Rahe, co-director of MAFFIC and faculty with MU Extension. “It’s our job to support them on the financial analysis and business decision-making side, and that’s where our skills and services come in.”

Agricultural entrepreneurs interested in exploring or expanding value-added businesses can learn more about the center, find resources and request technical assistance at

  • Hits: 446