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3rd Annual "Salute to Agriculture" Breakfast
Mervyn Jenkins Expo Center
February 19, 2010

Farm Bureau Official Highlights Ag Challenges
By Catherine Stortz Ripley, Constitution-Tribune
Friday, February 19, 2010


C-T Photo, Catherine Stortz Ripley

CAPTION: Chillicothe FFA students serve up breakfasts of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and fruit to around 200 people attending the Salute to Agriculture Breakfast hosted this morning by the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce and Chillicothe FFA Chapter at the Mervyn Jenkins Expo Center. The FFA chapter cooked and served the breakfasts. The event was sponsored by Monsanto and is held annually to celebrate National FFA Week. Dan Cassidy, chief administrative officer of Missouri Farm Bureau, was the guest speaker for the program.

The third annual Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce and Chillicothe FFA Salute to Agriculture featured Dan Cassidy at the Mervyn Jenkins Expo Center following the Chillicothe FFA breakfast. Cassidy is the chief administrative officer of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation and Affiliated Companies. In addition, he coordinates Farm Bureau's political and legislative action programs and serves as a lobbyist for the farm organization.

Cassidy holds a bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics, a master’s degree in agricultural economics and a Ph.D in natural resource policy. He spoke to the crowd of chamber, FFA and community members about the relevance of agriculture. He stated that even though agriculture is facing hard times, it is also a modern success story. He stated that in 1940, the average farmer was feeding 19 people compared to today’s numbers of 155. He also stated that by 2050, there will be a need for 70 percent more food for the constantly increasing population. "There is a bright future for agriculture," said Cassidy. He attributed the challenges of agriculture to global climate changes, the Humane Society of U.S. and the lack of education to those who may need it. "We’re doing our very best at Farm Bureau to meet those challenges head on," stated Cassidy. He expressed that the most important thing to do is "to stay involved and to tell our own story." He stated that the most effective combative is to work together.

The Salute to Agriculture breakfast was sponsored by Monsanto in conjunction of National FFA Week.

The invocation was given by Baillie Schnieders, FFA chaplain, with Jon Black, Chillicothe FFA Chapter president as emcee for the morning’s activities. Mayor Chuck Haney welcomed everyone to the program and Megan Jennings, Monsanto Account Manager, expressed her thanks to the Chillicothe FFA and Chamber office for working together.

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