Richard Fordyce, Director
1616 Missouri Boulevard
P.O. Box 630
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Like Missouri agriculture, the duties of the Missouri Department of Agriculture are diverse. The department has the challenge of protecting the state’s producers, processors, distributors and consumers of food, fuel and fiber, while marketing Missouri products at home and abroad. The department administers programs that prevent livestock disease, monitor commercial transactions involving weighing or metering devices, regulate grain storage and inspection, establish rules for labeling and using farm chemicals, control plant pests and oversee feed and seed sales. Other department programs range from licensing and inspecting livestock markets to educating youth in agriculture through scholarships, loans and career programs.
The director of agriculture determines department policy and provides a representative voice on a broad range of issues affecting Missouri farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and agriculture policy-makers. The director oversees certain aspects of the State Milk Board and the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority and is a standing member of the Missouri State Fair Commission. The fair provides educational, competitive and recreational opportunities while exhibiting all aspects of Missouri agriculture: livestock, row crops, fruits and vegetables, farm equipment and machinery, and arts and crafts.
Agriculture Business Development Division
The Agriculture Business Development Division helps develop Missouri’s agriculture-based businesses and industries and helps create demand for products raised and processed in Missouri. The division provides business counseling, information and training on a sector-by-sector basis and works with key players such as universities, associations, private sector partners and federal and state agencies to facilitate the growth of each sector. The division also works to increase consumer awareness and sales of Missouri agricultural products, and is home to the Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), which provides a variety of financial programs for farmers and agribusinesses.
The Market News Program works to position the department as a state and national leader in providing information and outreach services to both agriculture and non-agriculture audiences. The division provides the educational resources and market information to improve the overall viability, public knowledge, and acceptance of agriculture in Missouri, resulting in a better image and understanding of the industry statewide.
Animal Health Division
The Animal Health Division administers programs to control, eradicate and test for livestock diseases. The division also inspects and licenses livestock markets and commercial pet dealers and breeders. Livestock brands are registered with this division.
Grain Inspection and Warehousing Division
The Grain Inspection and Warehousing Division inspects, grades and weighs grain stored in or moved through terminals in Missouri. The division licenses and bonds grain dealers and warehouses in Missouri, and works to ensure the overall quality, condition and weight of grain being bought or sold.
Plant Industries Division
The Plant Industries Division works to prevent the spread of harmful insects and plant diseases, certifies and licenses commercial and private pesticide applicators and dealers, assures quality and label accuracy of commercial feeds and seeds, and inspects fresh fruits and vegetables to assure quality and grade. Weights and Measures Division provides protective services to consumers and businesses. The division inspects commercial weighing and metering devices, administers regulations related to fuel quality, inspects eggs for grade, size, origin and packaging and ensures milk is not sold under cost.
Weights, Measures & Consumer Protection Division
The Weights, Measures and Consumer Protection Division maintains surveillance of 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 division’s programs are operated in accordance with national and international standards. The division works in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is a member of the National Conference on Weights and Measures, ASTM International, and the National Fire Protection Association.
State Fair Commission
The Missouri State Fair Commission works to communicate the story of Missouri agriculture and the Missouri State Fair in ways that appeal to the state’s citizens as the diversity of agriculture within the state and the Fair’s diversity continue to grow.
Dating back to 1901, the Missouri State Fair is among the state’s oldest and most tradition-rich events for summer family fun. 2012 marks the 110th Missouri State Fair, and we welcome all Missourians and guests to join us for an exciting season of showcasing all things from the Show-Me State!
State Milk Board
The State Milk Board administers Missouri’s Grade A and manufacturing milk inspection programs.
Wine & Grape Board
The Missouri Wine and Grape Board (MWGB) is funded by a twelve cents-per-gallon tax on wine sales. The board coordinates marketing and public relations activities with wine wholesalers, restaurant operators, retailers, and the public. Its goals are to strengthen interest in, and patronage of, our state’s grape, grape juice, and wine industry. It also underwrites the Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture & Enology (ICCVE) in its work with winemakers and grape growers developing grape varieties suitable for Missouri.
Missouri Agricultural & Small Business Development Authority
The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority makes capital available to Missouri farmers, particularly independent producers; agribusiness; and small business at competitive interest rates on a scale to make a major impact.