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The Missouri Times

August 16, 2021

INSIDE THE RACE FOR CD 4 An insider’s look at the district, who is in, and who might join the race Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Although the political party of its represenatatives has changed over the years, Missouri’s 4th congressional district is one that has long been focused on agriculture, faith, family, and the military. And with Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler jumping into the U.S. Senate race, the seat is left open for what promises to be an exciting 2022 race. Thus far, only a handful of Republicans and one Democrat have declared their candidacy for the seat. However, there are a few potential candidates waiting in the wings who could really shake up the race. Here’s a look at who is running, who could run, and what makes the 4th district unique.

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A look at the district

The 4th congressional district covers a large swatch of central-southwest Missouri in Congress, from the Columbia area sweeping west to just below Kansas City and down to Pittsburg and Lebanon, settling north of Springfield. The district includes 24 counties, including Pettis County which holds the annual Missouri State Fair. It includes both Whiteman Air Force Base in Johnson County and Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County. Continued on Page 16.


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The Missouri Times

LAWMAKERS DISH ON THEIR FAVORITE FAIR FOODS 225 Madison St., Jefferson City, MO | (573) 746-2912

tips@themissouritimes.com

Gov. Mike Parson

Cheese burger from the Missouri Cattleman's Association Beef House

@MissouriTimes

Scott Faughn, Publisher | scott@themissouritimes.com | @ScottFaughn Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Editor | kaitlyn@themissouritimes.com | @K_Schallhorn Cameron Gerber, Reporter | cameron@themissouritimes.com | @CamGWrites

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe Chocolate milk from the Missouri Farm Bureau Building

Auditor Nicole Galloway Pulled pork

Sen. John Rizzo I'm always a sucker for a funnel cake

Sen. Dave Schatz If I’m looking for fair foods that I always enjoy, I’m going to go with corndogs, but I am a big fan of beef and nothing beats a ribeye steak from the Beef House.

Sen. Lincoln Hough

Sen. Lauren Arthur I’m happiest with a corn dog in one hand and a vanilla ice cream cone in the other

Steak sandwich at the Beef House with my Cattlemen

Rep. Crystal Quade Fried Oreos

Rep. Wayne Wallingford Gyros

Rep. Brad Pollitt

Tater Tot Mess from Jackson's and tenderloin from Truck's Place

Rep. Travis Smith

Cheeseburgers made with local beef cooked by the VFW

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The Missouri Times

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2021 BILL SIGNINGS

sexual violence victims STATE ADDS PURPLE STAR CAMPUS DESIGNATION TO Domestic, will be able to seek unpaid leave SCHOOLS AIDING MILITARY-CONNECTED CHILDREN Kaitlyn Schallhorn Kaitlyn Schallhorn

School districts that implement plans to aid military-connected children — such as establishing transition programs or recognizing military holidays — can be designated as a Purple Star Campus under a new law signed by Gov. Mike Parson in July. To qualify as a Purple Star Campus, school districts must designate a staff member to serve as a liaison between the school and the military-connected students and their families, identify appropriate services and coordinate programs for military-connected students, establish a transition program to aid the military-connected students, and offer professional development and education for staff members regarding military-connected students.

Districts must also maintain an easily accessible website that includes information regarding registration and transferring records, academic planning, and counseling and support services offered. The school must also offer a resolution in support of military-connected students and families, recognize military holidays with appropriate school events, or partner with a local military installation for volunteer events, field trips, or other activities. The designation will be determined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). “One of the things we try to do is make our state very military-friendly,” Sen. Bill White, a U.S. Marine veteran and the SB 120 sponsor, said. “When you’ve been in the military and moved around, it’s a hassle checking in and checking out [of schools] every few years. This is a very good program

that schools can voluntarily do. This will make transitions for the students so much easier for them and their families.” The Purple Star Campus program is a “key issue” for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Defense-State Liasion Office, a spokesperson said. “The department applauds Missouri’s decision to approve of the Purple Star Program as a way of giving schools added incentive to care for military children in their districts and to recognize the importance of military service through the nation,” Lisa Lawrence, a DOD spokesperson, said. “Through this program, schools are rewarded for meeting criteria that address such issues as gaps and overlaps in the courses being taught, differing graduation requirements, and social and emotional challenges.”

New law brings WIC farmers market program to Missouri Cameron Gerber

“I’ve worked with a lot of low-income Missourians eligible for WIC will families in the past, and I know that soon be able to use their vouchers at food insecurity is a significant issue for a lot of them,” the Boone County farmers markets thanks to a new law. The language brings the WIC Farmers Democrat said. “It’s a great opportunity Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for our local economy and for these to Missouri, allowing eligible women families. For some families, this will and children to use vouchers at local be their first time being introduced to farmers markets. A partnership between farmers markets so that is a positive way the state and federal government, the to connect people with food while also program will cover the cost of the food helping these wonderful assets in our and 70 percent of the administrative communities.” While the department is at work on cost. WIC FMNP will an implementation plan be administered by the Department of “For some families, ahead of the bill’s Aug. 28 effective date, Stevens Agriculture. this will be their first said the idea was to pilot The program was the program alongside the time being introduced established in 1992 by Congress but required to farmers markets so Seniors’ Farmer Market Nutrition Program in states to implement it. that is a positive way the counties that offer it Missouri previously participated in the WIC to connect people with before expanding to other areas of the state. FMNP but halted the food while also helping The proposal was program more than a decade ago and will join these wonderful assets backed by a number 39 other states when it is in our communities.” of groups as it passed through the legislature revitalized later this year. this year, including the More than 1.2 million WIC participants across the country National Association of Social Workers, benefited from the program in 2020, the Missouri Soybean Association, according to the U.S. Department of the American Heart Association, and Empower Missouri. Agriculture. Christine Woody, Empower Rep. Martha Stevens proposed the Missouri’s senior policy director, said language as a standalone bill this session, a measure she had sponsored the bill would ensure children received over the last three years. Stevens, who proper nutrition as they grew. “Missouri lawmakers have identified has experience in social work, said the a focus on issues affecting young program was an opportunity to help low-income families as well as the children this year, and nutrition must be included. Pregnancy and early economy.

childhood are particularly vulnerable times for kids,” Woody said. “Getting healthier food into their bellies is important to supporting healthy growth and development at this critical stage.” Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, estimated more than 291,000 children faced food insecurity in Missouri last year. The language was added to GOP Rep. Hannah Kelly’s HB 432, a sweeping bipartisan package pertaining to vulnerable people. Other sections of that bill restrict schools from using restraint or seclusion punishments, create a food security task force, and require health benefit plans to cover children’s hearing aids. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson in July.

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Under a new law signed in July, victims of domestic or sexual violence in Missouri will be able to receive unpaid time off to seek medical or mental health treatment, legal assistance, and more. Employers with at least 50 employees must grant two workweeks of unpaid leave while those with between 2049 employees can grant at least one workweek per year. Individuals should give at least 48 hours’ notice to take the time off (unless that is not possible) and could be asked to provide documentation such as a police report or records from an attorney or medical professional. Employees with family members who are victims of sexual or domestic violence are also included under this law. Leave can be taken to seek medical or mental health care, relocate temporarily or permanently, or obtain legal services, including preparing for or participating in court proceedings. Individuals who take leave must be reinstated to their position upon returning and should not lose any benefits. The provision was included in a sweeping package pertaining to vulnerable people from GOP Rep. Hannah Kelly. Gov. Mike Parson signed it into law last week with an effective date of Aug. 28. “Missouri values every life, and I’m grateful that this bipartisan effort succeeded so well through the vehicle of HB 432. Standing up for these victims and helping them chart a path forward is never a waste of time,” Kelly said. The specific provision, called the Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA), was championed by Sen. Jill Schupp, a Democrat. She said it “provides that short amount of time needed for a survivor to get herself and her family out of an abusive relationship while maintaining her essential job security that is critical to successfully moving forward.” A National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (part of the CDC) study showed the value of lost productivity from employment for victims of intimate partner violence was nearly $728 million — when the study was published in 2003. These protections have been a long time in the making for the Missouri Legislature with former Sen. Gina Walsh advocating for them in the past. A host of bipartisan lawmakers and advocacy groups came together this year — as the COVID pandemic resulted in an increase in reports of domestic and sexual violence — to push the legislation across the finish line. “Missouri joins 34 other states that have passed legislation providing legal protection to victims from employment repercussions. Although Missouri has a law requiring time off from work for a victim to attend criminal justice proceedings, there are other reasons victims need to have time off from work — seeking medical treatment, attending a full order of protection hearing, safety planning with a victim advocate, and/or obtaining counseling and related advocacy support,” Jennifer Carter Dochler, public policy director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV), said. “No one should have to choose between their job and safety.” “No woman should ever have to choose between her job or safety, and no woman should have to risk losing her job to take care of her safety,” Ellen Alper, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis, said. “We need to know that women can take off work to get orders of protection, get legal services, medical care, social services, all as part of their safety plan to move on with their lives.” The Missouri Legislature also expanded orders of protection to include pets and extending them for life this year.


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INFRASTRUCTURE

What does the federal infrastructure package mean for Missouri? Cameron Gerber

Congress is debating the massive $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act touted as the largest long-term investment in competitiveness and infrastructure in nearly a century. The investment will “make life better for millions of Missouri residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth, and position the U.S. to win the 21st century,” according to the White House. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt voted in favor of the legislation during the upper chamber’s final vote, touting the potential benefits for the state’s roads and bridges as well as the information highway. “As a national transportation hub, Missouri is among the states that will benefit the most from the targeted investments in this bipartisan infrastructure bill,” Blunt said. “The bill authorizes more than $8 billion to help our state improve the safety and reliability of our roads and highways. It includes much-needed funding for ports and waterways. And, it focuses resources toward ending the digital divide that has left nearly one-third of rural Missourians without access to broadband.” “The investments in this bill will help us maintain that advantage and improve the quality of life for families, businesses, and farmers,” he continued. Missouri is expected to receive $6.5 billion for federal highway programs and $484 million for bridge repairs and replacements over the next five years. The state also has the opportunity to bid for a $12.5 billion investment in its bridges through the Bridge Investment Program and a $16 billion allotment for major projects aimed at economic development. Roads and bridges are a priority in the Missouri Capitol where Gov. Mike Parson recently signed off on an incremental increase to the state’s motor fuel tax in order to maintain the state’s infrastructure. Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, who sponsored the tax hike, touted the investment as a boon to a system in desperate need of maintenance but warned of potential spending concerns.

“I believe infrastructure is one of the most critical things you can invest in, from roads and bridges to broadband,” Schatz said. “We’re not sure what the stuff is in the bill where we might have to hold our nose, but these investments would be phenomenal for Missouri because we’re going to need it to continue pushing Missouri forward.” The state’s public transportation system is set to receive more than $670 million over the next five years. The White House estimated 32 percent of Missouri’s public transit vehicles had exceeded their useful lifespans and that commuters spend an extra 80 percent of their time on the commute. Another focus of the allocation was electric vehicles, with more than $7.5 billion invested in charging stations across the country. Missouri is estimated to receive $99 million over the next five years to expand its EV charging network in addition to the opportunity to vie for an additional $2.5 in grant funding. Missouri is expected to receive a minimum of $100 million to improve the state’s broadband infrastructure under the bill, providing access to more than 330,000 residents. Rep. Louis Riggs, who leads the Interim Committee on Broadband Development, praised the federal government’s focus on broadband but said the challenge was ensuring the funds were put to good use. “I’m encouraged by the interest in broadband and that investment. The federal government has been quick to clarify its requirements and move deadlines when asked, and this investment shows we all have a dog in this fight,” Riggs said. “The real challenge is to implement the funds and figure out how to use them to best serve Missourians once we have it.” Riggs said his committee would consider the investment in its report on bridging the digital divide ahead of the next legislative session if the bill were to pass as is. The U.S. Senate approved the bill by a bipartisan vote of 69-30 on Aug. 10.

The Missouri Times

Co-ops hope to bring electric vehicles to rural communities

Cameron Gerber As electric vehicles gain popularity across the nation’s roadways, Missouri’s electric cooperatives want to expand the network throughout the state. Commonly known as EVs, the innovative vehicles are becoming more prominent in communities as a way to preserve the environment while circumventing rising gas prices. While larger cities have been quick to invest in the emerging technology, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) CEO and Executive Vice President Caleb Jones said cooperatives were excited to bring the innovation to rural members curious about its benefits. “While some people might be leery of the technology, there’s certainly an opportunity for partnerships with rural electric cooperatives and those who want to own electric vehicles,” Jones told The Missouri Times. “We’ve worked closely with all of our member-owners to ensure they have every possible opportunity to participate if that’s something that they want.” Jones touted some of the advancements made by cooperatives across the state over the past year: Thanks to Lewis County REC, Missouri’s first electric school bus was introduced earlier this year in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) after years of conversation with the Knox County R-1 school district. Callaway Electric Cooperative unveiled a new charging

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station in Kingdom City in June, the first of nine funded through the state thanks to a Volkswagon trust fund meant to mitigate the company’s impact on the environment. Most of the state’s cooperatives are investing in EVs, with Missouri’s 47 coops each using at least one in their own fleet of work vehicles and most offering rebates for members using a home charger. Cooperatives are a staple of the Missouri State Fair, and this year they hope to give visitors a closer look at the emerging technology. Brent Schlotzhauer, manager of member services for West Central Electric Cooperative, plans to display his co-op’s EV in the Missouri Electric Cooperatives building this year. Schlotzhauer said EVs were a way for members to cut down on pollution while providing new business opportunities to cooperatives. “The more electric cars we have on the roads, the less of a carbon footprint drivers will see on a daily basis,” he said. “The cooperatives that have service areas established in some of the more metropolitan areas that are lacking charging stations could enter into agreements to have them installed.” The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which represents more than 900 coops nationwide, has advocated for EVs over the past several years, encouraging the EPA and other federal regulators to acknowledge the potential benefits, both in reducing carbon emissions and

creating new investment opportunities. “NRECA members are excited by the opportunity to provide electricity to their members choosing to purchase electric vehicles,” NRECA Regulatory Director Dan Chartier said. “This is a win for consumers and the environment.” Metropolitan areas are taking note of the new technology as well: Kansas City expanded its fleet of electric transit buses this spring, with Congressman Emanuel Cleaver seeking a federal investment for additional vehicles. Additionally, Ford Motor Company’s Kansas City Assembly plant is manufacturing its new electric F-150 models to be released next year along with its E-Transit vans. Electric vehicles have also been a focus of Missouri’s investor-owned utility companies, with charging stations and zero-emission cars popping up more and more in their service areas. Ameren Missouri is expanding its network of EV chargers, installing 11 stations across the state last year with more in the works in 2021 and beyond. Missouri’s electric cooperatives expanded power to rural communities nearly a century ago. Now, Jones said they were dedicated to bringing EVs and their benefits to members across the state. “The co-ops are very focused on using any and all technology to help rural Missouri continue to be successful, and electric vehicles are one of those opportunities,” Jones said.


The Missouri Times

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INFRASTRUCTURE

does rural broadband stand? A look at the state of public transit in Missouri Where Cameron Gerber The Missouri Times chatted with Kimberly Cella about the state of public transit in Missouri and its greatest needs. She is the executive director of both Citizens for Modern Transit and the Missouri Public Transit Association. Below is the conversation between The Missouri Times (TMT) and Cella (KC) with editors edited for style only. TMT: What do you see as the biggest need in public transit in Missouri today? KC: Missouri public transit has two significant needs right now. First and foremost, transit providers need financial support from the state. Last year, Missouri appropriated a total of $1.7 million for transit which had to be split among 34 providers. As a result, most of the transit providers received less than 1 percent of their annual operating funds from the state. And this amount will remain unchanged for 2021. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) 2021 Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation, Missouri ranks 45th in per capita funding for public transit. Only five states have a lower per capita investment than Missouri which currently stands at 28 cents. In short, Missouri needs to invest in public transit. There is also a desperate need for transit operators. Currently, almost every one of the 34 transit providers in Missouri has a help wanted sign out. Like so many other industries right now, public transit is facing an employment shortage and needs operators in both urban and rural communities. TMT: Why is public transit so important in the state of Missouri? KC: Public transit is a critical component of Missouri’s integrated transportation system — whether residents choose to ride it or not. It provides millions each year with access to jobs, health care, education, and goods and services. The significance of this was further underscored during the pandemic as transit served as a key community resource that moved to reduce food insecurity, deliver essential workers, and ensure equity in vaccine access on a widespread scale. Public transit also influences Missouri’s bottom line. Our 2019 Economic Impact of Public Transit Services in the State of Missouri Study revealed that public transit has a more than $3.6 billion annual impact on direct and indirect economic returns.

Transit agencies also collectively employ thousands of individuals throughout urban and rural communities in Missouri. TMT: How will the gas tax increase benefit Missouri and alleviate transportation needs? KC: For the first time in more than two decades, Missouri has a gas tax increase. The last time was in 1996. The measure is expected to generate $400500 million in additional annual revenue when fully phased in. It is important to note, however, that this funding increase will not provide direct funding for transit providers due to Missouri constitutional language but will impact the roads and bridges that most transit providers utilize to deliver service. This is yet another reason why it is now time for the State of Missouri to invest in transit. TMT: What do you see as the future of public transit in Missouri? KC: We are seeing shifts in how transit is delivered in Missouri. Many of our transit providers are establishing cleaner fleets through electric vehicles. Bi-State Development, KCATA, and GoCOMO are putting their first electric buses on the streets with plans to convert more of their fleets to these types of clean fuel vehicles. This comes at a time when the Biden-Harris administration is stressing the importance of alternative fuel vehicles to address climate change. We are also seeing many transit providers addressing the fact that some areas no longer have a need for larger vehicles with less flexible schedules. They are now offering on-demand, micro-transit options through Via, Transloc, and more to help fill service gaps. The Missouri Public Transit Association is about to launch a Missouri Transit Needs Assessment Study to determine exactly where there are service gaps and to identify opportunities and partnerships to help fill those voids. TMT: What do you hope to see the Missouri Legislature do next year when it comes to transportation issues? KC: We hope to see the Missouri Legislature actually address the fiscal needs of public transit. All 34 transit providers are delivering for Missouri yet the state continues to provide next to nothing with regards to operating support. This not only influences the current service offerings available out on the streets but also impacts these agencies’ abilities to option federal

dollars. A bigger investment by the state would provide the necessary match to draw down more available federal funding. TMT: What should we know about the massive infrastructure plan working its way through Washington, D.C.? How will that benefit Missouri? KC: Federal transportation policy has been on autopilot for the last four decades. Typically, 80 percent of transportation funding goes to highways and 20 percent to public transportation. This must change. While roads are important and cars are needed, the significance of public transit access is too often overshadowed. Public transportation is a lifeline for many. It’s the sole means by which they can access employment, education, health care, goods, services, and entertainment. In Missouri alone, public transportation delivers more than 60 million rides in every county each year. The economic impact is more than $3.6 billion. Transit access is essential for any community to survive, let alone thrive. Public transportation is also actively addressing some of our nation’s most critical issues. People need to get to work, and transit connects those who don’t have other transportation options to access employment opportunities. Urban cores are transit access hotspots and help break inequity barriers by providing access to the quality, livingwage jobs that exist in surrounding communities. Rail systems and electric bus fleets are also helping to address air quality and climate matters, especially with the help of cleaner fleets. Support for infrastructure legislation that makes transit investment a priority is imperative. TMT: Tell us more about you. How did you step into this role and become so passionate about transportation? KC: I have been working in the transit advocacy arena for the past 27 years. As the executive director of both Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) and the Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA), I understand that the benefits of transit go far beyond the ride from point A to point B, and therefore work to champion, challenge, encourage and advocate for public transit in an effort to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life for Missourians. The work of CMT and MPTA is making a very real difference by helping to build support for transit at the grassroots level, create programming to increase ridership, and ensure referendums are passed so transit can continue to deliver for residents across Missouri.

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Missouri ranks No. 32 in broadband access compared to the rest of the U.S., a number both the state and federal government hopes to improve in the coming years. From legislators to utility providers, Missouri is all in on addressing the digital divide. Rep. Louis Riggs is leading the House’s Special Interim Committee on Broadband Development, examining the state of broadband access in Missouri with testimony from various groups around the state. Tim Arbeiter, director of broadband development at the Department of Economic Development, told the committee Missouri’s ranking had seen a substantial improvement over the past few years, but is still far behind where the state needs to be. Arbeiter said there are more than 147,000 unserved or underserved households and more than 392,000 individuals without reliable internet access in the state. Riggs, whose district is among those struggling to keep up as the digital divide continues to widen, has made rural broadband access his personal mission during his time in the statehouse. “This is a nonnegotiable for me: We have to bring this state into the 21st century,” Riggs told The Missouri Times. “I’m going to work on this until it’s done. It’s about quality of life for students, farmers, and everyone in rural areas who have struggled with it. There’s no relaxation on this on our part, we’re going to stay on top of it until the need is addressed.” The committee has heard testimony from several groups, including the Missouri Farm Bureau, PEW Research, and several rural electric cooperatives. “Co-ops know more than any other organization how important broadband is to rural Missouri,” Caleb Jones, executive vice president and CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, said. “It’s the future of economic development and success in rural Missouri, and we’re dedicated to working together to make sure Missouri can continue to be successful.” Committee members are also conducting town halls throughout the state in their districts, both rural and urban, to gauge public opinion on best practices and problem areas. While different regions came with different issues — from costs to reliability — a universal concern has been speed. “We’re having really good discussions, asking folks where we are, where we need to be, and what actions can get us there,” Riggs said. “We’ve heard some challenges and some great success stories, and we know we know these areas need fast, reliable access so it’s great to see so much response from different stakeholders.” The committee is also investigating different delivery methods — be it fiber, cable, or wireless devices — in addition to digital literacy initiatives. The federal government has sounded off on broadband access as well, allocating millions in funding to address the state’s issues. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is working its way through Congress, is set to provide an estimated $100 million to improve the state’s broadband infrastructure, expanding access to more than 330,000 residents, according to the White House. The committee will file a report on its findings by the end of the year and present legislative proposals to the General Assembly. While there’s still a lot of ground to cover before the mission is completed, Riggs said lawmakers were ready to face the challenge head-on. “There isn’t just one solution to this problem; we’re looking at different methodologies to put this money to the best use we can,” Riggs said. “It’s a rare issue that we all agree we need to address, and it’s going to take buy-in from everyone to get us there. I look forward to the challenge and to working with other lawmakers and stakeholders to get this accomplished.”


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AGRICULTURE

The Missouri Times

FROM THE FIELDS TO THE BOARDROOM, KYLE Perry DURHAM PROMOTES MISSOURI’S SOYBEANS

County bowfisherman catches world record sized bighead carp Press Release

Cameron Gerber

Kyle Durham runs a farm along the Missouri River, growing corn and soybeans with his father in Norborne — the self-proclaimed soybean capital of the world that hosts an annual Soybean Festival. It’s only fitting that such a community would be home for Durham, who serves as chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. Durham was elected to his second term during the board of directors summer meeting, securing a final one-year stint as the head of the council. His father and grandfather both served on the council in the past, making his involvement a family affair. “I’ve always kind of kept up with the soybean industry, and there have been several of our neighbors who have gotten involved,” Durham said. “One of the board members became termlimited several years ago, and I was asked by a couple of organizations if I would run for that position. Knowing the good work that Missouri Soybean has been doing on behalf of the farmers of the state, it didn’t take much to convince me to throw my name in the mix.” Missouri Soybean promotes soybean use and innovation, drawing farmers like Durham to help spread the message about their product. Durham heads the 13-member Merchandising Council elected to oversee investments from the state’s soybean checkoff, a program where farmers contribute half of 1 percent of the sale price of their crop for education, research, and promotion. Innovative projects approved by the council range from ice cream and pet food to biodiesel and tires. A proposal to research and develop soy-based golf balls — an effort to take soybeans to the greens — was among the projects approved by the council this year. Soy can also be used in roofing, shoes, cereal, and more, according to the council. Durham was first elected to chair the council last summer as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact daily life across the state. While his first year held unprecedented

challenges and prevented some outreach and exhibition efforts, he said the council maintained its focus on innovation throughout the pandemic. “T​​h e past year has provided some challenges that we hadn’t seen before, but ultimately the focus of the council has been and will continue to be empowering growers across the state,” he said. “The council has prioritized innovation, so when we look at the world around us we really have had to be innovative over the last 18 months. We’ve focused on how we can deliver the programs our growers want and need and educating the public on what soybeans can do for them.” Durham said a priority of his was the Center for Soy Innovation, a facility showcasing soybased materials from flooring and insulation to biodiesel. The center opened in Jefferson City in March 2020, just before the pandemic drove the public indoors and shuttered most attractions. Durham hoped to encourage visitors now that vaccines are available and prioritized meeting with people around the state to maintain relationships and grow the soybean industry. “As we continue to navigate through this post-COVID world, we really want to be back meeting person-to-person with stakeholders from across the state,” he said. “That project was a vision to promote innovation in the soybean industry. We really want to get people through the center to see the exhibits and really understand how much soy impacts their daily lives.” Durham praised the other members of the board and its staff as they continue to work on innovative ways to use soybeans, from the kitchen to the greens. “Soybean farmers in this state have a tremendous story to tell as stewards of the land and as people that want to continually improve our farms and our farming operations so that we can hand that down to the next generation in a better form than we inherited it from our predecessors,” he said.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirms Matt Neuling of Perryville is the latest state record holder under alternative methods after shooting a colossal 125-pound, 5-ounce bighead carp. Neuling was bowfishing with a friend July 24 when shot the mammoth at Lake Perry. “I was out with my buddy early that morning when we both shot what we thought was a 30-pound grass carp,” Neuling recalled. “My buddy’s arrow pulled out, but mine shot straight through and stayed in there.” Neuling said his friend was eventually able to shoot another arrow into the fish, but they were shocked at just how massive their fish turned out to be. “We just couldn’t believe it,” he said. “We knew what type of fish it was, but we had never seen one

that size. This thing is a straight up monster. A five-gallon bucket could easily fit in its mouth. If my buddy wasn’t with me, there was no way I could have pulled it out of the water.” The carp was weighed on a certified scale in Perry County. It’s the eighth state record fish recorded in 2021. This catch also beats the existing bowfishing world record of 104-pounds, 15-ounces. “It’s just crazy,” laughed Neuling. “You know, I set that goal of breaking a record every time I go out to fish, but I never would have thought I’d be breaking a record with this fish.” MDC Fisheries staff took the head of the fish in an effort to age it, while Neuling used other parts of the fish for catfish bait. “When fish get this size, we estimate it to be at least 10-yearsold,” said MDC Fisheries Program Specialist Andrew Branson. “Bighead carp are an invasive fish from Asia. This particular fish is an

example of just how well an invasive species can thrive if given the opportunity. We encourage people to harvest these fish to help remove them from our waters.” Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: poleand-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.

back as 1868 when the cemetery began. Before 1980, when the cemetery switched to perpetual care, these books contained notations of generations of family members tasked with graves’ upkeep. Some might call Dick to find a great-grandfather’s grave but learn about a whole lineage of other family members through Dick’s research. And as Dick put it, he got roped into taking care of the cemetery because he’s related to a majority of those laid to rest there. Dick said his family has been involved in county politics since well before the Civil War, but he is the only one who has held elected office. He’s a vociferous proponent that Pettis County is the “best place to live” and has enjoyed seeing the county progress throughout the years. “Since I’ve been there [on the county commission] these seven years, the level of expansion in the industrial base has been huge, but at the same time, State Fair Community College has changed its approach to get people on the next level of college or trained to work in the industries we have here,” Dick said. “The community

is a very giving community, it’s a very resilient community that supports philanthropic things. We work together on a lot of issues when you probably wouldn’t necessarily think they would.” Dick said the greatest needs in Pettis County are infrastructure and workforce development. “There’s a lot of industry here, and a lot of other types of jobs — hospitals or the school system — that need more workforce,” he said. “We’re lucky enough here that we have State Fair Community College in getting folks retrained in different jobs. The ability is here for someone to improve themselves to be hired somewhere else.” As a Pettis County resident, Dick naturally has been long involved with the Missouri State Fair. He started as an entry clerk in the home economic department in 1973 and has worked every fair since — even getting to share a floor with President Ronald Reagan at one point. He worked his way up from assistant beef cattle superintendent to beef cattle superintendent to livestock superintendent — the position he’s held since 2000 where he oversees 19 departments.

Meet Pettis Co. Presiding Commissioner David Dick Kaitlyn Schallhorn

If you have a family member buried at Calvary Cemetery in Sedalia, chances are David Dick can tell you even more about your genealogy. Dick has a penchant for history — and it’s no wonder given his own family’s long connection to Missouri. Dick’s family moved to the Sedalia area in the early 1820s thanks to land grants issued by the government after the War of 1812. Even his birthday solidifies his connection to Missouri: He turned 59 on Aug. 10, Missouri’s bicentennial. For the past seven years, Dick has served as the Pettis County presiding commissioner. But also owns and operates Springfork Valley Farms, a cow-calf operation, and is the longtime livestock superintendent at the Missouri State Fair. He has served as the treasurer of the Pettis County Junior Livestock Show for three decades and is the vice-chairman of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. But don’t forget: Dick also takes care of the Calvary Cemetery and helps people look up their genealogy, paging through handwritten books from as far

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The Missouri Times

PSC dismisses Grain Belt Express complaint Cameron Gerber

Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) dismissed a complaint against the Grain Belt Express that alleged changes to the project violated prior PSC orders. A coalition of groups, including the Missouri Landowners Alliance (MLA), argued planned changes to the project released by parent company Invenergy would invalidate an order issued by the commission in 2019. The certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) required the project file an updated application if the design changed — which management had yet to do. The PSC dismissed the complaint against the transmission line during the Aug. 4 agenda meeting, with commissioners stating the change in plans did not violate the CCN and pointing to a lack of proof on the plaintiff’s part. The proposed 780-foot transmission line, which would deliver energy from Kansas to Missouri and other states, has been a point of contention among legislators and landowners. This was the last pending complaint against the project, with others pointing to alleged violations of easement agreements and the use of eminent domain denied earlier this year. The General Assembly weighed in on the issue this session, though no legislation made it across the finish line. Read more about the decisions from this agenda meeting at www.themissouritimes.com.

7

UTILITIES

Spire STL Pipeline seeks emergency certificate to continue operations Cameron Gerber

The Spire STL Pipeline is pleading with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow it to continue providing natural gas service to the St. Louis area. FERC granted the project a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) in 2018, giving the green light for the construction and operation of the 65-mile interstate pipeline. Though the pipeline began providing service the following year, three judges with the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated the approval last month after a lawsuit, remanding the issue back to FERC. The pipeline filed an application for a temporary emergency certificate this week, hoping to allow the pipeline to remain active while the commission reconsiders its order. Spire argued its ability to provide natural gas service to the St. Louis region would be heavily constrained if the pipeline was taken out of service, a change that could result in interruptions during the winter and loss of energy for 175,000-400,000 customers in the region. The gap in service could last 100 days or longer given fluctuations in the natural gas

market. “The Spire STL Pipeline has become a significant source of natural gas supply for the St. Louis metropolitan area, and if STL Pipeline is shut down now, access to natural gas supply cannot be replaced based on current market conditions,” said Scott Smith, president of the Spire STL Pipeline. “Losing the STL Pipeline would have a detrimental impact on the health, safety, property, and economic prosperity of the St. Louis region.” Smith said the project was committed to working with FERC to complete its review and ensure customers continued to receive service during the winter months. Spire was among the companies presenting their plans to mitigate the impact of February’s cold snap on customers’ bills at a Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) workshop in April, hoping to spread the resulting rate increases out over the next decade. Spire President Scott Carter said the overall impact would be a 25 percent rate increase for the western part of the state while the eastern side would see a 15 percent hike due to the pipeline. Without the pipeline in place, he speculated the increase could have totaled more than $300

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million. While Missouri avoided the mass outages that plagued Texas during the storm, Smith said removing a part of the network could lead to similar death and destruction if mass outages were to occur without interstate backup. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which argued the commission failed to prove the pipeline’s benefits would outweigh any adverse effects. Spire has opposed the argument, pointing to the commission’s 18-month consideration before signing off on the project. FERC is now chaired by Richard Glick, who voted against the project’s approval in 2018. Glick took a similar stance to EDF’s at the time, an opinion Smith hoped to see change as the commission reconsiders the project. Various groups are calling on FERC to review its pipeline policies after the landmark court decision, a rare revocation for a project already in operation. Environmental organizations and several Democratic state attorneys general are among the groups calling on the commission to consider updating its review standards, which were last altered in 1999.


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The Missouri Times

EDUCATION

What to know about Missouri’s school reopening guidelines

Cameron Gerber

As the new school year approaches, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is emphasizing a safe return to classrooms for Missouri students. The department issued its new guidelines recently, outlining safety and mitigation strategies for school districts amid rising COVID-19 cases. The state’s guidance aligns with the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Our children benefit from inperson learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in fall 2021 is a priority for our administration. Last school year, we saw more than 85 percent of our schools safely return to in-person learning, and we want to build on this progress,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “In Missouri, we have seen that with proper COVID-19 preventive measures in place, schools offer a controlled and

structured environment that is unlikely to increase the risk of students or teachers contracting COVID-19.” From vaccinations to testing strategies, here’s a look at the state’s recommendations.

Vaccination

The department recommended schools provide teachers, staff, and eligible students information about the vaccines and provide vaccination opportunities to those interested. A vaccine toolkit is in the works from the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to inform eligible students who are at least 12 years old about vaccinations. The guide noted there is no guidance on requiring proof of vaccination for students, encouraging districts to consult legal counsel and local public health officials for insight prior to enacting verification policies. Unvaccinated students and staff are encouraged to stay away from sports and other close-contact extracurricular

activities if they are exhibiting symptoms.

Mask requirements

The state’s masking guidance parallels general health recommendations, encouraging unvaccinated people over the age of 2 to wear masks indoors especially in crowds where social distancing is not possible. Mask requirements, school closures, and other mitigation strategies are left up to individual school boards based on community positivity rates and in consultation with local health officials. Masks are required on public and private school buses for passengers and students under federal orders, even at schools that do not require masks in classrooms. Schools are to provide masks to students who need them.

Social distancing

The CDC recommended at least 3 feet of distance between students and masking when that distance cannot be maintained. The guidelines also recommended equitable cohorting to reduce contact

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between teachers, staff, and students without the need to separate vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Distancing is recommended during lunch and in food service lines for unvaccinated students and staff, as is frequent cleaning and handwashing.

Testing & contact tracing

DHSS is offering a screening testing program for school districts — providing funds, staffing, and communications services through the department for periodic testing. Participating districts are required to conduct regular testing, receive permission from students and parents, and meet staffing and confidentiality standards. Schools are also encouraged to work with local health departments on contact tracing and mitigation strategies to constrain potential outbreaks. Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to quarantine or be tested after close contact with a positive case per CDC guidelines.


The Missouri Times

9

EDUCATION

ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S RUN OF SUCCESS HAS IT POISED TO MEET LABOR SHORTAGE WITH PROP R

Scott Faughn Dr. Jeff Pittman is the epitome of the St. Louis Community College motto: “Expanding minds. Changing Lives.” When he inherited the leadership of the largest community college in the state in 2015, it was languishing. Pittman was the fifth chancellor in eight years. But since coming to St. Louis from Indiana, Pittman has deftly implemented his mission of stability and efficiency to St. Louis Community College (STLCC). The multi-million-dollar budget deficit has been erased, and today the budget stands balanced from a series of cost reduction efforts, including rightsizing staffing levels and eliminating administrative duplications. Since 2015, the college has reduced its expenses by $15 million, Pittman said. In an effort to streamline the community college process, Pittman introduced the school to the Guided Pathways model, an approach that connects students throughout the collegiate process to improve retention. “It’s removing barriers on the front end for students. It’s doing things like making the registration process simpler, helping students complete the FAFSA, getting them enrolled in the right classes that they need, assigning an education coach for the student as they go all the way through their educational journey,” Pittman said. “It’s not the old model of community colleges where you provide students with minimal advising throughout their time at the college.” Pittman was born and raised in Bloomfield, Indiana, a rural area close to a large Naval weapons manufacturing center that requires the types of workers the community college system trains. “I really like the system we have here in Missouri. While I was in Indiana, I started out as a teacher and faculty member. Eventually, I was chancellor of the

Terre Haute region for 13 years,” Pittman said. In Missouri, the community college system is segmented into 12 districts. STLCC includes all of St. Louis city and county as well as small parts of adjoining counties. It has the largest taxing base of any community college in the state. Because of that and some effective budgeting, the system has been able to maintain a $122 credit hour for all courses — one of the lowest in the state.Pittman is famous for a quote too blunt to have been often heard in academia: “Unless you hate money, why would you not go here?” However, all of the innovations have not been focused on correcting the budget. STLCC has begun a series of partnerships to innovate its course offerings. It has upgraded its presence in state government, enabling the system to get several state grants and some from MoExcels. Gov. Mike Parson recently provided the college a $4 million grant for a new childcare center, removing a huge roadblock for students at the Forest Park Campus. But one of its most successful partnerships has been its relationship with LaunchCode, a company that provides IT training and is headquartered in St. Louis. The partnership utilizes LaunchCode’s innovative curriculum and has allowed the college to train workers who are needed the day they graduate. The curriculum is taught over a 14-week period as a fulltime cohort-based class. It starts off with 20 students and realizes an amazingly high graduation rate. It also provides students with transportation support and offers other measures of financial assistance if needed. There are approximately 2,000 coding position vacancies right now in St. Louis, and the partnership with LaunchCode will assist in filling these positions. “Any community has to be ready when an economic development opportunity arises. Now more than ever, that means having the right workforce training facilities and programs,” said Rob Dixon, director of

the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “Dr. Pittman understands that workforce training is the best economic development strategy there is.” STLCC has also embraced a cohort system to help students not just in the classroom. “This is the model of wrapping support around students and having a defined pathway and cohorts — the value of students being together,” Pittman stated. “I can’t begin to describe the value of that.” STLCC is expanding health care services and food programs for students and developing family resource centers in an effort to put all those services into one place. STLCC has begun hiring social workers; as the college has never employed social workers in the past, it has started with hiring one for each campus to help students with life challenges. “The dialog about social workers and student success coaches began a while back, and every year it’s just grown. These are the things that help a student with staying and completing. When you have this coach that helps you along the way, that is what gets the student through and is successful,” said Kedra Tolson executive director of Marketing and Communications with STLCC. “With sustainability and leadership, you’re able to gain traction, and every year it grows and gets better.” A key goal of the entire leadership team is to show students how to make education a part of their life and not simply an added burden. That plan has focused on removing barriers on the front end for students. It has included making the registration process simpler, helping students complete the FAFSA, getting them enrolled in the right classes, and assigning an education coach for the student as they go all the way through their educational journey. It’s not the old model of community colleges where students have minimal guidance but a holistic design of assisting students with every part of their lives.

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The average community college student usually completes 15-18 credit hours too many for their program because they haven’t been on a Guided Pathway to stay on track. At STLCC, the health care programs are the most regimented, and these students graduate on time with the right credits — eliminating wasted time and costs. “We need to make all of our programming this efficient,” Pittman said. One area of growth within the college has been the increase in high school students earning dual credit. “We saw the relationship grow between school counselors and college administrators and the relationships gained with school systems,” said Tolson. “So when you start to talk about opportunities for kids it becomes, ‘We’re all on board with that; how do we make it happen?’” “With our early college students, we found they should come in cohorts and not as individual students,” she continued. “It was nice that they came in groups so it would be this group of students that come together and carpool because that was the sense of safety some of the parents needed and wanted.” When Pittman got to STLCC, he had employees work as a college to put together a strategic plan that has evolved over the years. STLCC recently completed a master facility plan that is comprehensive in nature and allows flexibility with what can be done with each campus. “Dr. Pittman has proven to be an asset to St. Louis Community College as his innovative leadership has been so beneficial to his students and the community,” Rep. Jim Murphy said. “His dual enrollment program has given many high school students a very valuable head start.” Read more at www.themissouritimes.com.


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The Missouri Times

COURTS

State must open Medicaid eligibility to expansion population Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Missouri must open its Medicaid eligibility to the expansion population, a judge ruled on Aug. 10. Cole County Judge Jon Beetem said the Department of Social Services (DSS) cannot deny individuals who qualify under the expansion from enrolling in the MO HealthNet program. Additionally, those people cannot be subject to any additional restrictions or burdens than those already placed on Medicaid recipients. The expansion opens up Missouri’s Medicaid program to about 275,000 individuals in the state. It covers those making less than $18,000 per year and initially had an effective date of July 1. 

“The latest Republican attempt to block and delay Medicaid expansion has failed,” Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo said. “Let’s be clear: Health care for working families is a good thing.” The state had asked for a two-month delay to ensure it had the adequate technology to handle the influx of recipients, but no such stay was included in Beetem’s two-page order. The Attorney General’s Office declined to comment.  Late last month, the Supreme Court of Missouri unanimously remanded a lower court’s decision, saying the constitutional amendment expanding Medicaid did not appropriate money or hamper the legislature’s discretion in

appropriating funds. “I’m gonna follow the law. I’ve always done that, and I’m going to continue to do that,” Gov. Mike Parson told reporters. “We don’t have the funding to support it right now so we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to do that — whether we’re going to dilute the pool of money that we have now for the people that are on the program or how we’re going to move forward.” Lawmakers in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle have speculated there’s enough money already appropriated for the Medicaid program until at least January when lawmakers will already be back in the Capitol and can pass a supplemental budget.

Rep. Rasheen Aldridge sent a letter to the governor asking for a special session to ensure enough money is appropriated to fully fund Medicaid to include the expanded population, however. “[T]he people of this state cannot afford to wait a second longer for the realization of expansion after having their decision deferred by a government that occasionally seemed hellbent on undermining their choice,” Aldridge said. “We still have work to do on that front, given the majority’s limited funding for Medicaid in our state with the passage of the FY 2022 budget.” “We have already put expansion off for too long, even before the drama of the last year. Medicaid expansion

would have helped our state during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially benefitting people of color and Missourians who live in high poverty communities by providing greater access to much needed medical care.” Beetem had previously deemed the 2019 Amendment 2 unconstitutional due to its lack of a funding source. The lawsuit brought against DSS, Acting Director Jennifer Tidball, and the MO HealthNet Division, among others, was filed in May on behalf of three single mothers who would be covered under the expansion. The order for Missouri to allow eligible Missourians to apply for Medicaid came on Missouri’s bicentennial.

Pro-life Missouri A Legacy ~ A Promise ~ A Future Where every life, born and unborn, is protected and respected. Come join our Pro-Life family! Become a member of Missouri Right to Life on our website or by calling our state office. www.missourilife.org 573.635.5110 P. O. Box 651 Jefferson City MO 65102 The Missouri affiliate of National Right to Life www.missouritimes.com


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The Missouri Times

CAMPAIGNS

WASSON CONSIDERS CD 7 RUN Chandler Haynes announces bid for House Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Former state Sen. Jay Wasson said he’s “actively considering” a bid for the 7th congressional district after U.S. Congressman Billy Long launched his Senate campaign. When contacted by The Missouri Times, Wasson said, “It’s fair to say I’m actively considering joining the race for Congress.” A Republican, Wasson served multiple terms in the Missouri Legislature, representing SD 20 in the upper chamber. He currently serves on the Missouri State University board of governors. “He would be the best of any of the people I’ve heard considering running,” said former Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard. “He is well-liked, very smart, and had an excellent reputation in Jefferson City for doing the right thing. He would be great.” From Nixa, Wasson has a background in real estate development, particularly in

commercial development. It was that experience that made him particularly interested in economic development issues in the General Assembly, Wasson previously told The Missouri Times. In the upper chamber, he chaired the Economic Development Committee. His other legislative priorities were education, senior issues, and small businesses, according to his previous Senate biography. Wasson is the former mayor of Nixa and a member of the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce. He was awarded the Government Excellence Award in 2018 from Missouri State. One of Wasson’s longtime allies, Sen. Lincoln Hough, has been mentioned as a potential contender for the 7th congressional district as well. “Look, Billy [Long] will be a great senator and to those who have reached out and encouraged me to consider running in the 7th,

I’ve got cattle to sell, school starting for my boys, and hay to get in the barn before I start thinking about politics again,” Hough said. And Sen. Mike Moon said: “I’ve been encouraged to run for Congress. I’m flattered to be considered. I’ll definitely think about running. I’ll have conversations with my family. And, I’ll definitely seek the Lord’s Wisdom, too. Missouri needs to send someone to Washington who won’t back down. Someone who will fight for Freedom over Faucism, fair and free elections, and who will not rest until our troops are brought home.” On social media, state Sen. Eric Burlison asked for prayers as he considers whether to jump into the congressional race as well. Rep. Cody Smith said he plans to “remain committed to my role as House Budget chairman.” Former House Speaker Elijah Haahr also ruled out a bid.

Press Release

Personal banker Chandler Haynes has filed to run for the Missouri House in 2022. Hailing from Southwest Missouri, Haynes hopes to replace the termed-out Representative Jered Taylor. This seat represents Christian County. So far, Haynes is the only Republican candidate in the race to announce. “I want to thank Rep. Taylor for his efforts to preserve our way of life here in Christian County. I am ready to take the torch and continue the fight for freedom as our next state representative. I promise to uphold our Constitution and defend our rights in the legislature.” A lifelong Southwest Missourian, Chandler Haynes serves as a local banker in his hometown, but is often recognized for his many years of local conservative grassroots involvement. Alongside working with various campaigns, Haynes also has a strong record of advocacy with the Young Republicans of Missouri and TeenPact, a Christian-based organization that helps young people engage with the political process. “The next generation of voters is already here, and they are searching for a place to call home in this turbulent political landscape. I believe it’s so important that we as conservatives are able to connect with this demographic and equip

them with a practical alternative to the socialist daydreams of an increasingly radical and anti-American Democratic Party. That’s why I have dedicated my time to being a voice for constitutionally-centered political engagement.” Haynes is familiar with the legislative process as a former staff member of State Senator Burlison. When it comes to Haynes’s legislative priorities, there are three key issues that define his agenda: Upholding constitutional liberties, supporting law enforcement, and ending political indoctrination in schools. Haynes describes himself as staunchly pro-life, pro-gun rights, and pro-free speech. “It has become so normal for politicians to say they want to restrict our rights ‘for our own safety’—we’ve just come out of a year of mask mandates and lockdowns. I will fight every day to ensure your First and Second Amendment rights are never trampled on by an overreaching government or unelected big tech. I will also work to end the rewriting of American history in our schools. Divisive and hateful rhetoric like Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project have no place in our community – let alone our classrooms. Here in Christian County, we stand proudly with our men and women in law enforcement, not against them.” Chandler and his wife, Kailee, reside in Nixa.

Fitzpatrick, Gregory jump into auditor race

Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick and state Rep. David Gregory have launched bids for state auditor. Fitzpatrick was first out of the gate to announce his candidacy, saying Missouri “needs an auditor that will be a conservative watchdog for taxpayers.” Fitzpatrick is the former House Budget Committee chairman. “As a business owner, I learned that watching how every dollar is spent is critically important to long-term success,” Fitzpatrick said. “As auditor, I will watch over your money as if it were my own. In an era of unprecedented stimulus spending at all levels of government, this job has never been more important to

the public. Liberal politicians have used the pandemic as cover to justify spending trillions of dollars of borrowed money to fund their socialist agenda — and we must fight back to stop it. I’ve had the opportunity to live the American dream. I feel a duty to do all I can to help preserve that same opportunity for our kids and grandkids.” Auditor Nicole Galloway, who has held the position since 2015, is the lone Democratic statewide official. She has said she will not run for re-election or for another political office in 2022. Gregory, who has a background in both accounting and law, was immediately endorsed by the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) upon the announcement of his candidacy. As

he travels the state, Gregory has touted his support for law enforcement and promised to crack down on taxpayer money being spent on so-called critical race theory teachings in Missouri schools if elected auditor. “Parents deserve to know how much of their money is being spent on critical race theory,” Gregory said. “We should not be forcing our taxpayers to fund things like critical race theory. As your state auditor, I will expose it. I will expose how much of your money is being spent on critical race theory, and once I expose that, together we will fight it, and we will win.” The State Auditor’s Officer is tasked with overseeing the effectiveness of Missouri government and the use of

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public funds. It conducts audits of various agencies, boards, counties, and political subdivisions, taking a look at financial accountability and potential fraud. As treasurer, Fitzpatrick worked to bolster the state’s MO ABLE program, which allows Missourians with disabilities to save up to $15,000 a year tax-free for health-related expenses without losing federal benefits. He also expanded the Show-Me Checkbook, a state financial data portal, as well as Missouri’s 529 Education Plan. Another focus has been unclaimed property; Fitzpatrick returned more than $100 million worth of unclaimed property during his tenure, his office said. Fitzpatrick, the youngest statewide

official currently serving, represented Barry County as well as parts of Lawrence and Stone counties in the legislature for six years, leaving the lower chamber to join the executive branch. Gregory was first elected to serve HD 96 in St. Louis County in 2016. He serves as the chairman of the Special Committee on Government Accountability in the House. He said he found potential waste spanning more than 40 percent of the Department of Revenue’s budget in an audit he conducted of the department in the legislature. As of the latest campaign finance filings, Fitzpatrick reported nearly $101,000 cash on hand. Gregory reported having nearly $107,000 cash on hand during the same reporting period.


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CAMPAIGNS

The Missouri Times

Washington needs reinforcements to save America

Eric Schmitt

Joe Biden’s presidency has been nothing short of a disaster and a betrayal of hard-working Americans across our great nation. He’s been in office for less than 250 days, and it already feels like our culture and our country is slipping away. I am running for U.S. Senate to fight back, defend Missouri values, and defeat socialism. The Biden-Harris administration along with their cronies in Congress are peddling the most radical, liberal agenda in American history. Radical leftists are advocating for open borders and amnesty, taxpayer-funded abortion, job-crushing regulations, and billiondollar bailouts for blue states which translates to higher taxes for you. If you dare disagree with this insanity, the big tech censors will try to cancel you. Liberals want to silence every conservative voice, and they want to teach our kids to despise America. The radical left and Washington, D.C., are working every day to tear down all of the great progress that we saw under President Trump. We need proven fighters to save America. My record is very clear — I’ve fought alongside President Trump at every single turn for America First policies that made our country great. I was the first statewide elected official in the country to come out in support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that created unprecedented growth for every American regardless of race, color, or creed. I stood alongside President Trump on fighting big tech, the impeachment sham, and on law and order. I was the first attorney general in the country to sue Communist China for unleashing the deadly coronavirus on the world. Missouri was front and center in the fight alongside President Trump defending election integrity. Now, I am taking a blowtorch to the radical Biden-Harris agenda. Whether it’s the canceling of the Keystone XL Pipeline or the reversal of the Trump administration’s remain in Mexico policy, we have a lawsuit to win on that. Closer to home, we are fighting against critical race theory in our schools and fighting against the radical AOC-backed Green New Deal which would threaten the way of life for farmers and ranchers across the state. I also am fighting back against mask mandates and winning. We will continue to fight against mask mandates, vaccine passports, and lockdowns to protect the freedoms of every Missourian. As your attorney general, I am fighting for every Missourian including those dismissed by the ruling elites who only look out for themselves. The U.S. Senate needs more fighters, and I want to take that same fighting spirit to Washington, D.C. God created this wonderful country, and I refuse to let it be destroyed on my watch. I will be a champion for the America First agenda and a strong voice for the hardworking people of Missouri. Join me in this fight to save America.

Ann Wagner running for re-election

Kaitlyn Schallhorn

After much speculation about a potential U.S. Senate bid, Congresswoman Ann Wagner has decided to defend her 2nd congressional seat in 2022. “I am running for re-election to Congress because Missourians need a principled fighter who will hold the Biden administration accountable and stand up for what we believe and hold dear to our hearts,” Wagner said.  “In Congress, I’ve worked hard for the good people of Missouri’s 2nd district. Being your congresswoman has never been a job for me; it is a calling,” she said. “The work I do in Congress — from putting forward legislation to protect our values to ensuring the veterans and every single person I represent in the St. Louis area receive the benefits they have earned to working with business and industry to grow economic opportunity for future generations — the 2nd congressional district is personal to me and my family. It is home.”  Wagner, a former U.S. Attorney General Eric Schmitt is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate ambassador to Luxembourg in Missouri. and co-chair of the Republican National Committee, has held the seat since 2013. She is only the third Republican woman to represent Missouri in Congress.  Wagner slammed President Joe Biden, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democrats for disrespecting “our conservative Missouri values.” Specifically, she derided Democratic leadership for not supporting pro-life legislation, not securing the southern border, and not holding China accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We must get back to advancing

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policies that reward hard work, reduce government overreach, and allow our businesses to innovate and thrive,” Wagner said. “I worked for years in the private sector for major Missouri companies, but I learned my most valuable lessons as a young girl while working at my parents’ small retail carpet store, Carpetime in Manchester, where I learned the value of a dollar and a strong midwestern work ethic where the customer comes first.”

“Nancy Pelosi and the radical Left don’t want to hear this, but I am a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, and a fighter. I’ll always fight to protect our conservative values, and I’m asking you for the honor and privilege to continue serving you in Congress.” Wagner is the vice-ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee. She was instrumental in the bipartisan success of legislation

fixing VOCA, key to keeping victim advocacy groups afloat. The congresswoman reported having nearly $1.2 million cash on hand in her second-quarter report. She successfully defended her seat in a closely-watched race last year, besting state Sen. Jill Schupp by about 30,000 votes. That same year, former President Donald Trump only won the district by about 100 votes. In 2018, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley lost the district by about 4 points while Wagner won by 4; two years prior, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt won it by .2 percent, and Wagner won by about 21 percent.  The 2022 elections in Missouri are amplified due to redistricting and an open U.S. Senate seat. The seat is likely to become more Republican-leaning by the end of redistricting.  As it stands now, Missouri’s 2nd congressional district includes Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties. The last Democrat to hold the seat was Congresswoman Joan Horn who served one term in the early 1990s.   Democratic state Rep. Trish Gunby announced her bid for the 2nd congressional district Monday. Gunby was elected to the statehouse in 2019 during a special election in which she upset her Republican counterpart, raising about $156,000 for that race. Wagner’s name had been floated as a potential candidate in the already crowded GOP field to replace Senator Roy Blunt. Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Congressman Billy Long, former Gov. Eric Greitens, and attorney Mark McCloskey are vying for the GOP nod.


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The Missouri Times

CAMPAIGNS

Missouri Senate race: Who is running for Roy Blunt’s seat? Kaitlyn Schallhorn

After a storied career in Missouri politics, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt said in March he would not seek re-election in 2022. And the field to replace him in Washington, D.C., is already a crowded one. Blunt, 71, has represented the Show-Me State in the U.S. Senate since 2010. He is the former Missouri secretary of state and represented the 7th congressional district for five years. Despite much speculation, former Gov. Jay Nixon and former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill have both declined to enter the Democratic primary. Congresswoman Ann Wagner said she will run for re-election to the U.S. House and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe is running for governor in 2024. Still, there’s a growing contingent of Republicans and Democrats vying for the seat. Here’s a look at who has entered the race.

Republicans

Billy Long Congressman Billy Long made his entrance into the race on Aug. 3 with an appearance on Fox News. Long has represented the 7th congressional district, formerly held by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, since 2011. “We need to get the Senate back. You aren’t going to do anything until you get the Senate back, and I’m the guy who can win that Senate seat in Missouri,” Long said. “As Republicans, we must fight hard to regain control of the Senate. The Democrats are working at warp-speed to dismantle everything President Trump and I fought for over the last four years.” Long has tapped Jamestown Associates which did media for former President Donald Trump’s campaign. Kellyanne Conway, the former White House counselor who served as Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, has also joined Long’s team. Long reportedly entered the race after meeting with Trump in New York. Vicky Hartzler The first congressional official to jump into the race, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler made her campaign announcement in June from a shooting range and gun store in Lee’s Summit. Hartzler has represented the large 4th congressional district since 2011. “As Missourians, we embody the values that made this country great. We embrace hard work, love our country, stand by our families, help our neighbors, hunt on weekends, go to church on Sundays, and just want the government to leave us alone,”

Hartzler said. Hartzler said she voted in favor of and supported the former president’s policies more than 95 percent of the time. Mark McCloskey Attorney Mark McCloskey, who gained notoriety last year for pointing guns at protestors who marched past their St. Louis home, announced his candidacy in May. “God came knocking on my door last summer disguised as an angry mob, and it really did wake me up. And as I campaigned for [former President Donald Trump] last fall, and as we’ve continued to do rallies and events supporting our constitutional rights, what I’ve learned is that people out there in our country [are] just sick and tired of cancel culture and the poison of critical race theory and the big lie of systemic racism — all backed up by the threat of mob violence,” McCloskey said then. Eric Schmitt Attorney General Eric Schmitt made his entrance into the race on March 24. Schmitt has deftly risen through the ranks of Missouri politics, from alderman to state senator to state treasurer. After Josh Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate, Schmitt was appointed to replace him as Missouri’s attorney general and handily defeated his Democratic opponent last year to remain in office. “I am fighting every day to protect and defend our constitution in my service to Missourians as their attorney general. I fought alongside President Trump in defending election integrity, championing pro-growth economic policy, protecting our energy independence, and standing up to radical prosecutors who have allowed violent crime to rule our cities instead of upholding the rule of law,” Schmitt said. “As attorney general, I’ve already sued the Biden administration, and I’m going to keep suing Joe Biden to protect all Missourians when necessary.” Eric Greitens Embattled former Gov. Eric Greitens launched his political comeback on March 22, announcing on Fox News his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat. Greitens served as Missouri’s chief executive until he stepped down in 2018 amid multiple investigations into sexual misconduct and campaign finance allegations. He has been hosting a television show on the “Real America’s Voice” network. “The people of Missouri need a fighter in the U.S. Senate,” Greitens said. “They need somebody who is going to go — as I will,

as I am committed to do — to defending President Trump’s ‘America First’ policies and also to protecting the people of Missouri from Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer’s radical leftist agenda.” Greitens snagged Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has been romantically linked to Donald Trump Jr., as his national campaign chair — reportedly angering the former president. He has also been endorsed by Rudy Giuliani.

Democrats

Scott Sifton Former state Sen. Scott Sifton announced his candidacy even before U.S. Senator Roy Blunt said he would not seek re-election. Sifton launched his candidacy in February — about a month after the attack on the U.S. Capitol. “Our country is at a critical point in its history,” Sifton said. “We just saw what happens when our leaders don’t stand up for truth and when they don’t put the good of our country over their own political ambitions. Josh Hawley’s dangerous conspiracy theories and attempts to overturn the election helped lead to a deadly insurrection, and Roy Blunt — the ultimate insider — was once again too weak to speak out.” Sifton is an attorney who termed out of the state Senate last year, having previously served in the lower chamber. In the statehouse, Sifton was well-regarded on both sides of the aisle for his legal expertise as well as his discipline. Lucas Kunce Marine veteran Lucas Kunce launched his campaign in March and has already shown an ability to raise money. Kunce is an attorney and native of Jefferson City. He spent 13 years in the Marine Corps where he served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Asia. Kunce is the director of national security for the nonprofit Economic Liberties Project. “Every time I came home from Iraq and then Afghanistan, things have changed. The community I love had been hollowed out. Jobs shipped away for Wall Street profits,” Kunce said. “The wealth of our state sucked dry by guys like Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt, and their top donors who get rich stripping our communities for parts. It’s time to Marshall Plan the Midwest, fight to invest right here in the heartland, where we’ve been making things for generations.” Spencer Toder Spencer Toder, who works in real estate and leads a medical device company, launched his campaign in early May. Toder is the CEO of Atrial Innovations which

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develops devices to alleviate congenital heart defects. According to Toder’s campaign website, he lives in St. Louis with his wife and son but spends many weekends at the family farm near Washington, Missouri. “I never thought I would run for public office. But I’m tired of watching candidates use language that only resonates with people who already agree with them as they leave behind a whole group of people who want most of the exact same things,” Toder said on his website. “Our country is divided. That has never been clearer in our lifetimes. When I talk to people across our state, regardless of party, I hear a lot of the same values. Politicians these days don’t seem to actually hear what we’re saying and most of them aren’t trying to bring us together.” Timothy Shepard Activist and entrepreneur Timothy Shepard launched his campaign in early February with an emphasis on grassroots support. He grew up in Kearney and Excelsior Springs, according to his campaign website. “Our representative democracy isn’t just at risk in America, it’s broken,” Shepard said. “In its current form, our democracy represents the rights of corporations and the super-wealthy before the rights of American people. We have been living in a top-down corporatist system for far too long.” Jewel Kelly Air Force Veteran Jewel Kelly is running for U.S. Senate, billing himself as a moderate Democrat. He is focused on mental health care and started the A Fighting Chance Foundation non-profit with his wife. “I am running for the United States Senate as a Christian, veteran, small business owner, and moderate Democrat because too many Americans are suffering,” Kelly said on his campaign website. “Opportunities available to us will no longer exist if we stay silent. During these last few years in particular, many Americans experienced the four stages of grief to the extreme: shock, anger, depression, and acceptance.” Gena Ross Dr. Gena Ross, a licensed evangelist missionary, launched her Senate bid after unsuccessfully challenging Congressman Sam Graves in 2020. Ross has lived in Platte City for the past decade, having grown up in Minneapolis. Her platform is focused on health care, the economy, education, climate change, and social justice, among other things. Her slogan is “paving the way for change.”


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STATE FAIR

The Missouri Times

What does it take to put on the State Fair? State Fair offers vaccination opportunities Cameron Gerber

days of moderate conditions, the Show-Me The Missouri State Fair is one of the summer’s State’s fickle summer weather can have a big most anticipated events, allowing Missourians impact on the event. Wolfe said his staff spends an 11-day helping of music, carnival rides, time every year planning for the unpredictable exhibits, and time-honored traditions. For issues that (sometimes literally) hang over their Director Mark Wolfe and the rest of the fair staff, heads, hoping to ensure fairgoers enjoy their preparation for the big event is a year-round job. visit rain or shine. While the process typically begins and “It usually takes us a full year to get all the contracts done and get everything organized ends within a year’s time, planning for the for the next year’s fair,” Wolfe told The Missouri 2021 fair began much earlier; the Bicentennial Times. “We’re already looking at next year’s Commission came to the director five years concerts. Our staff is working on 2022 while ago with plans for the celebration, adding commemorative displays and events to the fair’s we’re finishing up this year.” Most of the winter months are spent working agenda and ensuring the celebration continued through the month of August. through contracts with musical With special tweaks to this acts, vendors, and concessions year’s Butter Cow Sculpture and while maintenance is handled on a celebration of the state’s oldest facilities and the grounds. While farms on display, this year’s carnivals sign on to multi-year event serves as a wrap-up for the contracts, the fair works with a bicentennial festivities. talent agency to secure musical Between scheduling concerts acts, coordinating schedules and for the Grandstand, rides for the payment. While a Def Leppard midway carnival, and vendors concert in the last few years proved to line the streets and offer to be one of their most expensive fairgoers refreshments, Wolfe acts to date — and one of its most said the ultimate goal was to do profitable — staff focuses on getting the best talent available State Fair Director Mark Wolfe everything possible to ensure Missourians had the best State Fair while ensuring an affordable experience possible while maintaining its focus experience. “There are a lot of logistics that go into on agriculture. “After all this work, you just hope you’ve done making sure everything works together for 11 days in August,” he said. “All venues face that what you can to put on the best event with the problem, and obviously cost is part of it as well. things that people want to see and experience,” We try to do things that keep the price down for Wolfe said. “With the State Fair there are so fairgoers while keeping the risks associated with many things that are long-standing traditions like livestock events and youths exhibiting their an outdoor venue in mind.” The fair puts a large allotment of money work, so the entertainment part of that is sort of toward weather insurance for concerts, battling an add-on to the overall package. We just want an issue that no amount of planning can control. people to come out and have a good time.” While last year’s youth livestock show saw 11

Cameron Gerber

As this year’s Missouri State Fair gets underway, visitors will have the chance to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on the fairgrounds thanks to the quick coordination of local health officials. As positive case rates increased across the country along with concern over the new delta variant, the State Fair Commission made the decision to offer vaccines just weeks before the event began. “Just a few months ago, people were really thinking COVID was going away when the vaccines became available, but obviously there’s been a turnaround in that and people are concerned — and rightfully so,” State Fair Director Mark Wolfe said. “We don’t want the fair to be dominated by that conversation, but at the same time we thought as a public service we had the opportunity to set up and offer information and the chance to get a vaccination.” Wolfe and the commission were guided by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and coordinated with Katy Trail Health, Bothwell Hospital, and the Pettis County Health Department to figure out the logistics. Pettis County Health Department Administrator JoAnn Martin said the local teams were prepared to offer vaccinations despite the short notice. “We were able to come together quickly to offer vaccinations on the fairgrounds,” Martin told The Missouri Times. “All three of our groups have been active in providing vaccines in our community, from large vaccination clinics to mobile programs. Recently we’ve focused on going out into the community and providing vaccines to those who are homebound, and we were ready to adapt when the fair commission came to us.” Martin, who had worked vaccination events on the fairgrounds and around the community

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since the vaccine became widely available, said the department was working closely with fair staff to provide the opportunity. Martin said the groups were thankful to see the fair return and happy to provide fairgoers with the chance to receive a vaccine. “We’re blessed to be able to work together and get things done so quickly. We have a lot of experience working together on vaccinations over the past few months, and we really have a great system in place where we can provide opportunities like this,” Martin said. “We’re just hopeful the fair goes well and that everyone enjoys it.” Fairgoers will have the chance to receive either the Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer vaccine. COVID-19 tests are also available the Mondays before and after the fair on the grounds in collaboration with the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). There is no mask mandate in place for this year’s fair, but hand sanitizing stations and optional masks will be scattered around the grounds. State Fair Marketing Director Kari Mergen encouraged people to use their best judgment when deciding whether to attend, noting the festivities will largely take place outdoors. Missouri has emphasized the vaccines as positive case rates increase across the country. The state recently enacted a vaccine incentive program giving 900 Missourians the opportunity to receive cash and prizes for receiving a vaccine. Local health departments will also receive $11 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide $25 incentives for vaccine recipients. Vaccines will be available every day of the fair except the final Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at a booth in the Mathewson Exhibition Center.


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The Missouri Times

MO STATE FAIR TIMELINE

Cameron Gerber

The Missouri State Fair is returning in full this year to celebrate the state’s bicentennial, continuing a longstanding tradition of showcasing everything Missouri has to offer. The annual celebration has hit many milestones — and a few stumbling blocks — since it began in 1901. Here’s a look at the fair’s history, from its early days to its expansion into one of Missouri’s biggest events.

Bicentennial Celebration: 2021

The bicentennial is a focal point this year: Missouri 2021 Central, a display in the Woman’s Building dedicated to the bicentennial celebration, will include the Bicentennial Quilt from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and state historical society. The display also offers a special Missouri Explorers challenge encouraging fairgoers to explore the grounds and learn more about the state’s history. The fair’s participation in the celebration dates back five years, according to its organizers.

Back to Basics: 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to many events last year, the State Fair opted to offer a more traditional celebration through a youth livestock show. Echoing the original fair, organizers held a showcase of the state’s agriculture, forgoing the carnival midway, Governor’s Ham Breakfast, and all other nonagricultural events.

IAFE awards: 2007

The 2007 fair saw high attendance, rising more than 8 percent over the previous year. The fair was awarded first place in several categories by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), including “Overall Program for Competitive Agricultural Exhibitors.” IAFE has awarded the fair several times since.

State Fair Commission & Master Plan: 1996-2000

The General Assembly established the State

Fair Commission in 1996 after years of consideration. The nine-member commission, appointed by the governor, collaborated with a consultant team and Missouri citizens to develop a master plan for the fair’s future, a project funded through a $4.3 million appropriation from the legislature. The plan aimed to bolster the fair and create new buildings and exhibits based on feedback from fairgoers and stakeholders. In 2000 the Electric Cooperatives Building was unveiled, adding a media center with a live broadcast booth to the mix.

Rock & Roll on the Fairgrounds: 1968-1974

A new grandstand was constructed in 1968, seating 8,000 guests at a cost of more than $500,000. The project utilized more than 60,000 pounds of concrete and 50 miles of wire steel. In 1974, the fairgrounds hosted the Ozark Music Festival, a three-day-long event in the vein of Woodstock. More than 160,000 guests were estimated to have flocked to the festival, which featured prominent bands including Aerosmith and the Eagles. The festival was held shortly before the 1974 fair began, forcing staff to clean the grounds quickly before opening day.

First Governor’s Ham Breakfast: 1953

The first Governor’s Ham Breakfast was held at the fair in 1953, beginning the tradition of political and agricultural leaders joining supporters for an early-morning meal of country-cured ham and other Missouri-made products.

Cancellation & Tragedy: 19431952

The fair was not held in 1943 and 1944 as the U.S. grappled with World War II but returned shortly after the war ended. In 1950, the Forty and Eight Railroad Car was installed on the fairgrounds to commemorate the friendship between America and France during the war.

The 50th fair was marred by tragedy when a tornado touched down in the early morning hours on Aug. 20, 1952. A carnival worker was killed in the storm and all 60 permanent buildings were damaged, leading to nearly $70,000 in repair costs. Despite the damage, the fair resumed the next day.

Early Years: 1903-1921

The first permanent buildings dedicated to the FFA and 4-H and the coliseum were built between 1903-1906, and attendance surged by the end of its first decade. National figures began appearing at the fair in 1910 when the Wright Brothers held daily exhibits throughout the length of the fair, with President William Taft attending the following year. The state’s centennial celebration was held at the fairgrounds in 1921, with nightly exhibits on the grandstand from an opera company depicting the history of the state.

The First Fair: 1901

The Missouri State Fair wasn’t the first attempt to organize an agricultural exhibition in the Show-Me State: In recognition of the state’s status as the leading agricultural producer in the country, the State Agricultural Society organized an exposition in Booneville that lasted three years in the 1850s. The fair was established only after a group of committed livestock breeders proposed action in 1897. While there were numerous cities vying for the event to be held in their towns, Sedalia prevailed with the highest bid of 150 acres. The 40th and 41st General Assemblies allotted a combined $65,000 to establish the site and begin construction. The Fair was led by Norman J. Coleman of St. Louis and took place from Sept. 9-13, 1901. The state faced a devastating drought that year, leading farmers to be underwhelmed with their yieldings. In addition, there were issues surrounding rail lines leading to the fairgrounds. Despite the challenges, Missourians were eager to attend and their enthusiasm led to numerous expansions over the coming years.

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STATE FAIR

How a 1970s music festival nearly derailed the State Fair Cameron Gerber

The Missouri State Fair has been challenged over its history by war, weather, and a pandemic. One year, however, the fairgrounds and surrounding community were jeopardized by a music festival almost universally declared a “disaster.” The Ozark Music Festival, a three-day-long event held on the fairgrounds in July 1974, was one of the country’s largest music festivals — and by most accounts one of the most destructive. It boasted a roster including Aerosmith, BachmanTurner Overdrive, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, and a host of popular rock bands of the day and was promoted by famed DJ Wolfman Jack. Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe said the event was a dark moment in the fair’s history and one that would not be repeated. “That did not turn out well, but it’s certainly a point in history for the fair,” Wolfe said. “It was an event that got out of control and basically overwhelmed a small rural community. We’ve had entertainers at the fair in my time that mentioned they remembered being here for it. We’re not going to repeat it, I promise you that.” Advertised as a bluegrass and pop-rock festival to the Department of Agriculture and the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce, the idea was broached by Musical Productions, Inc., which touted a maximum of 50,000 attendees. Turnout to the event far exceeded expectations; ticket sales surpassed the company’s estimate by 10,000 units prior to the event, and thousands lined up outside the fairgrounds the evening before it began. By some estimates, more than 350,000 people ended up packing the fairgrounds that weekend. The festival descended into chaos with 2,500 patients reportedly treated for medical issues and medical staff and National Guardsman working up to 20 hours a day to help attendees. The turmoil spread into the Sedalia community as well: The nearby

Pittsburgh Corning Plant halted production due to traffic backups which hindered employees from making it to work. Other businesses, including stores and hotels, reported damage and business interruptions, with more than 30 shopping carts going missing from the State Fair Shopping Center, it’s been said. Even the interstate was choked with festival-goers stopped along the side of the road to rest the week after the festival ended. With just a few weeks to prepare the grounds for that year’s fair, portions of the grounds were bulldozed while heaps of garbage were hauled away to local landfills. More than $100,000 in damages to the fairgrounds and surrounding areas were estimated to have occurred. Allegedly, helicopters sprayed lime over the fairgrounds to mitigate the possible spread of disease. The festival was infamous enough to catch the attention of the Missouri Legislature. Lawmakers assembled a committee, aptly dubbed the Select Senate Committee Investigating the Rock Festival, to analyze the event. A 67-page report was filed that October, decrying the event and the breakdown in communication between organizers, law enforcement, and the state. “The Ozark Music Festival can only be described as a disaster,” the report said. “While misrepresentations were made by the promoters at various stages of negotiations and preparations, the true nature of the event should have been clear.” The committee called for the creation of a Division of Drug and Crime Control within the Missouri State Highway Patrol which was finally established nearly a decade later — the result of more than 1,000 drug overdoses reported from the festival. The festival remains a sore subject for the community nearly 50 years later, according to Wolfe, who said he looked forward to more peaceful events on the fairgrounds as this year’s celebration begins.


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The Missouri Times

4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE 4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT AHEAD OF ELECTION SEASON

Kaitlyn Schallhorn

military, pro-Second Amendment, prolife, pro-family, pro-agriculture, said Continued from the front cover. “It is an honor to represent the 4th Pat Thomas, a venerable Republican congressional district which helps drive grassroots activist. Although Skelton Missouri’s economy with our strong and other Democrats certainly embodied ties to agriculture which is showcased those values, constituents didn’t also every summer by the State Fair. Beyond believe national Democrats like President agriculture, we have an impact on world Barack Obama or House Speaker Nancy events with two of our nation’s military Pelosi did — making CD 4 Democrats bases located within the district, and particularly vulnerable. “Those issues haven’t changed. more veterans reside in CD 4 than any Those are going to be the other district,” Hartzler said. same things all of the guys “We are proud of the fact competing today are going to we have Missouri’s land grant talk about,” Thomas said. and research university and However, the biggest are the home to so many other question is: What will CD 4 universities and colleges, look like once redistricting each with a rich heritage. We is completed? Missouri did are small towns and farms not lose any congressional that help feed the world, and seats following the 2020 we love our communities, apportionment from the U.S. families, and especially our Census Bureau. Missouri’s country. We hunt on the State Rep. Sara Walsh redistricting commissions weekends, we go to church on met for the first time on Aug. 10 — but Sunday, and we just want government to only leadership positions and meeting leave us alone.” dates were hammered out. Hartzler is only the second Republican Although he lost the overall election, woman elected to Congress in Missouri. then-President Donald Trump handily She defeated longtime incumbent defeated former Vice President Joe Biden Congressman Ike Skelton in 2011 to in the 4th congressional race with 66 become the first Republican to hold the percent of the vote to Biden’s 31.9 percent, seat in more than 50 years. according to data from the Cook Political Despite the Democratic stronghold Report. In 2016, Trump beat out former preceding Hartzler, the area has always Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with 65 had a certain set of core values: pro-

percent to her 29 percent. Education, health care, and social assistance is one of the largest industries in CD 4 with retail trade, manufacturing, and construction not far behind, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

off her candidacy in mid-July. Walsh is the chair of the Consent and House Procedure Committee as well as the Subcommittee on Appropriations - Public Safety, Corrections, Transportation and Revenue. Prior to her time in the General Assembly, A look at the Walsh served as a Member candidates Services Coordinator for Four Republican hopefuls the Missouri Pharmacy jumped into the race almost Association, a staff auditor in immediately following the Auditor’s Office, and the the congresswoman’s Program Outreach Manager announcement. Tragically, for the National Newspaper only three remain in the race Association, among other as of this reporting. things. Former state Sen. Ed Emery, Her husband, Steve Walsh, State Sen. Rick Brattin who was the first to jump into is the press secretary for the race, collapsed at a campaign in early Hartzler. August and died on Aug. 6 at 71 years old. Cass County associate commissioner Emery was a Vernon County native whose Ryan Johnson and U.S. Navy Reserves longtime work as an engineer with Texaco lieutenant commander Taylor Burks are made him a natural fit to lead utility also GOP candidates for the seat. issues in the General Assembly where he Burks is a former Boone County clerk served in both chambers. He was fondly — appointed by former Gov. Eric Greitens remembered by former colleagues on and the first Republican to serve in that both sides of the aisle as a statesman and position — and has led the Division of deeply religious. Labor Standards (under the Department “We served together in both the House of Labor and Industrial Relations) since and Senate, and Ed leaves an enduring 2018. He grew up in the Ozarks and was legacy in public service — he will be raised on his family’s farm before serving missed,” Gov. Mike Parson said. three combat deployments with the U.S. State Rep. Sara Walsh — who represents Navy. HD 50 covering parts of Boone, Cole, Cooper, and Moniteau counties — kicked Continued on Pg. 17.

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The Missouri Times

Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden (left); state Sen. Denny Hoskins (right) Continued from Pg. 16. Johnson unseated an incumbent commissioner last year — in what was his first political campaign — in his bid for the Cass County seat. He is a lifelong Missourian who served in both the Army and Coast Guard, spending eight years in active duty. He’s worked for Congressman Sam Graves and led the Missouri Alliance for Freedom, a nonprofit conservative advocacy group. But all eyes are on the slate of candidates who might jump into the race.

A look at who could run

Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden has met with the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in Washington, D.C., as he weighs a campaign. He has said he is “seriously considering” whether to jump into the

race. Rowden served in the lower chamber before he was elected to the state Senate in 2016, representing Boone and Cooper Counties in SD 19. He owns a media and marketing company in Columbia and is a former Christian music artist. Rowden chairs the Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee and is the vice chairman of the Administration and Gubernatorial Appointment committees. He’s also a member of the Select Committee on Redistricting. And then there’s state Sen. Rick Brattin, a member of the Conservative Caucus in the legislature, who is very likely to jump into the race. A former state representative and Cass County auditor, Brattin just wrapped up his first term in the upper chamber where he

Ed Emery passes away at 71 Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Cameron Gerber

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4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

represents SD 31 covering Barton, Bates, mounting a campaign. Also a Conservative Cass, Henry, and Vernon counties — Caucus member, Hoskins is not up for which makes up about a quarter of the re-election in 2022 and chairs the Senate entire primary electorate. Economic Development Committee. He “I am definitely considering is a consulting manager with it and looking into it. I haven’t an accounting and consulting put together anything formal firm that specializes in real yet, but I haven’t ruled it out,” estate and construction. Brattin said. Although his Senate district Caleb Jones, who runs includes eight counties, only the Association of Missouri two (Howard and Johnson) Electric Cooperatives, would are included in the 4th enter the race as a frontrunner congressional district. should he decide to jump At the time of this on in. He is a former state reporting, JD Leathers, a representative who should business consultant and have no trouble raising AMEC Executive Vice President subsistence farmer from Cass and CEO Caleb Jones money. County, was the lone Democrat Then there’s state Sen. Denny Hoskins who has filed to run in the district. from SD 21 who said he is considering Former state Sen. Ed Emery was laid to rest on Aug. 11 at First Baptist Church in Lamar. Remembered as a kind statesman and man of extraordinary faith, Emery died on Aug. 6 at the age of 71 after spending multiple days in the hospital. Emery, a candidate for the 4th congressional district, was speaking at a Randolph County Republican Women event last week “when he collapsed from a heart episode and was transported to the hospital,” his campaign said. Emery died late Friday at University Hospital in Columbia. He was the first Republican to jump into the race after Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler said she would run for U.S. Senate. A Vernon County native, Emery graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla and worked as an engineer for Texaco for 22 years, making him a natural fit to champion utility issues while in the General Assembly. Emery served four terms in the House before moving across the building, chairing the House Utilities Committee as well as the Special Committee on Immigration Reform during his tenure.

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Emery is survived by his wife, Rebecca, as well as his children and grandchildren. He will be buried Wednesday at Newton Burial Park in Nevada, Missouri. “We served together in both the House and Senate, and Ed leaves an enduring legacy in public service — he will be missed,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “Teresa and I are praying for peace and comfort for his wife Rebecca and their family.” “We’ve suffered a tremendous loss in the death of former Sen. Ed Emery,” said Rep. Doug Richey. “He was a gentleman, a statesman, and more importantly a faithful Christian. I count myself blessed to have known him as a friend.” “There are so many things I could say about Sen. Ed Emery,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden said. “But above all, he was a man of solid principle and unwavering faith. In addition, he was one of the most kind, most genuine people I have ever met — in or out of politics. His legacy and eternity are secure.” Emery served in the state legislature for 16 years. He termed out of the upper chamber earlier this year.


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EXECUTIVE BRANCH

The Missouri Times

Donald Kauerauf chosen to lead health department

Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Donald Kauerauf, the former assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, has been chosen to lead Missouri’s health department. Gov. Mike Parson formally named Kauerauf as the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) director on July 21, 92 days after Dr. Randall Williams resigned. He has a long career in public health and safety in Illinois and will take over DHSS on Sept. 1. Kauerauf most recently chaired the Illinois Terrorism Task Force under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency after working for Western Illinois University as the public health and safety intelligence officer. “I believe my qualifications will well serve Missouri,” Kauerauf said. “Today’s public

health requires someone to be able to make quick decisions, be able to weigh all the options, and be able to arrive at a decision to protect the public’s health. Some of the core values of emergency management and public health are the ability to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate. As we have seen during the COVID outbreak, these are core values you must be able to attain.” As the assistant director of the Illinois health department, Kauerauf oversaw more than 1,000 employees in Chicago and Springfield, seven regional offices, and three laboratories, according to his resume. He also established a public health leadership program within the office. Kauerauf serves on the executive board of the Illinois Public Health Association. He also served on the executive board of the Lincoln Land Down Syndrome Society. He’s led the Bureau of Preparedness and Grants

Administration for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and served as the chief of the health department’s Division of Disaster Planning and Readiness. In Illinois, Kauerauf oversaw the development and implementation of the country’s first statewide pandemic influenza exercise and authored the state’s Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan. He also led former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force. “We are excited to welcome Don to Missouri and look forward to the great work he is sure to accomplish in service to all Missourians,” Parson said. “Don is no stranger to state government and has more than 30 years of experience in public health and emergency management with the state of Illinois. It is obvious that he has a firm grasp on public health issues and the COVID-19 crisis, and we are confident in his ability to lead DHSS.”

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Robert Knodell has been serving as the acting DHSS director since Williams resigned in April and will head back to the Governor’s Office in September. Williams, an OBGYN, took over as the director of DHSS after he was appointed by former Gov. Eric Greitens in 2017. Before that, Williams worked in North Carolina, his home state, as the director for its Department of Health and Human Services. He didn’t plan to leave the Tar Heel State for Missouri, a place he only briefly visited as a child, but after flying out for an interview, he was hooked. Kauerauf comes to Missouri as the state struggles with the delta variant of COVID-19 and vaccination rates lag behind other states. As of early August, about 51 percent of Missouri’s adult population were fully vaccinated. However, nearly 75 percent of those who are at least 65 years old had completed the COVID-19 vaccination.


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19

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Dru Buntin named Trump praises Parson for pardoning McCloskeys DNR director Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Cameron Gerber

Dru Buntin was named the new director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on Aug. 11 after serving in the role since June. Buntin replaces former Director Carol Comer, who died in June after a battle with cancer. “Dru is an experienced and trusted leader within DNR and across state government. He worked closely with Director Comer during her illness and stepped up to be a steady hand of leadership upon her passing,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “We are confident in Dru’s abilities to lead DNR, and we look forward to seeing him implement his vision and ideas.” Buntin joined the agency as its deputy director in 2017; he also served as deputy director of the Missouri DNR from 20092012. He is the former executive director of the Upper Mississippi River

Basin Association where he served for four years. At DNR, Buntin has honed in on river-related issues, including drought relief and f lood recovery. He also served as the director of government affairs and deputy director for policy and chief of water resources at the department. “I am honored and humbled to be appointed by Gov. Parson to serve as the new director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources,” Buntin said. “Five generations of my family have lived in Missouri, and I love this state. We have a great team at DNR, and I’m excited about what we can accomplish working together with communities across Missouri” Buntin is a graduate of the University of Missouri. Comer took the helm of the department in 2017 after working in various capacities for

Indiana’s Department of Environment Management under then-Gov. Mike Pence. She was once considered a potential Environmental Protection Agency administrator under former President Donald Trump. Parson said she “left big shoes to fill.” Buntin promised to honor her legacy as he steps into the role. When Comer first publicly revealed her cancer diagnosis in 2019, she praised her staff, the Governor’s Office, and other Cabinet officials and said she was “being well cared for.” DNR focuses on protecting the state’s air, water, land, and mineral resources while promoting recreational and educational opportunities. The department also has an interest in energy-efficient and environmentallyfriendly business practices and policies.

Former President Donald Trump praised Gov. Mike Parson’s “courage” to pardon the McCloskeys last month. “Congratulations to Governor Mike Parson of Missouri for having the courage to give Mr. and Mrs. Mark McCloskey a full pardon. They were defending their property and if they had not done what they did, their property would have been completely destroyed and they would have been badly beaten, or dead — great going Mike!” Trump said. The McCloskeys pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in June related to the incident last year when the couple pointed firearms at protestors who marched past their St. Louis home. The couple also had to turn over their firearms to the state. Mark McCloskey is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who has recounted the events of that day in stump speeches, promising to defend Missouri and the country from the “mob.” “We couldn’t be more thrilled that the president has congratulated Mike Parson. Both President Trump and Gov. Parson, from the very beginning, demonstrated their wholehearted support of us when

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faced with the onslaught of the mob last June,” Mark McCloskey said. “Their sincere support for us and the rule of law is a constant reminder of what this country has lost as a result of the last election.” Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to a class C misdemeanor of assault in the fourth degree and agreed to a $750 fine. Patrica McCloskey pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of harassment in the second degree and agreed to a $2,000 fine. Parson pardoned the couple on July 30 along with 10 others, but their names weren’t made public until early August. After the pardons, McCloskey vowed to strengthen Missouri’s Castle Doctrine laws. Trump, a Republican, endorsed Parson in his 2020 gubernatorial bid. He has not yet backed any of the five GOP candidates for U.S. Senate although they are all touting their connections to the former president as they campaign. Aside from McCloskey, Congressman Billy Long, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and former Gov. Eric Greitens are vying for the spot.


20

SHOW-ME GOVERNMENT

The Missouri Times

R​​ehder’s Resiliency: Behind the senator’s mission to empower others

from rising to their potential because the road to not doing anything was too easy.” Holly Rehder still remembers the first Happy Rehder is passionate about empowering her Meal she was able to buy her daughter — nuggets, constituents — just as she was buying that first fries, and a root beer — and the paycheck she earned Happy Meal so many years ago. to purchase the treat. Rehder was just a teenager “I know how it feels to get out of poverty and how herself; her daughter was 3 years old. empowering that is and how it makes you want That moment of empowerment is the catalyst more. It makes you want to work hard. It makes you for Rehder’s legislative career, underscoring her want to do more, but I know so many women and drive to speak to and for communities like those women in my family who never experienced that,” in which she grew up, areas where people struggle Rehder said. with poverty, addiction, domestic violence, and So Rehder decided to run for office after coming untreated mental illness. to Jefferson City to lobby on behalf of the MCTA Rehder, 51, just wrapped up her first legislative and realizing there were countless attorneys session as a state senator where she served as the viceserving in the statehouse but not really anyone chairwoman of the General Laws Committee. She who mirrored her life experiences. In the Senate, previously served four terms as a state representative Rehder represents SD 27 which includes Bollinger, and on the board of directors for the Missouri Cable Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, Scott, and Wayne Telecommunications Association (MCTA). But her counties. journey to the Missouri Legislature was one fraught “Being up here made me realize we need people with challenges. from different backgrounds, different perspectives,” Rehder moved more than 30 times around the Rehder, a Republican, said. “We all come from country from third grade until high school, quitting different worlds so we have different views on how in 10th grade to care for her family. She had her first best to do it.” child at 16 years old. As a young mother, she stood “I know that I could be the only one — and if I’m in countless lines at food banks and called every not the only one, I’m one of the very few — who church in town to find food. She watched family can speak to the community that I came from,” members struggle with addiction and grappled she added. “My experiences are just incredibly with whether it would be helpful or just more unique and so I feel my voice is needed. There’s not harmful to call the police during domestic violence someone else being a loudmouth for some of the incidents. things I am. I know I need to keep going.” Eventually, Rehder earned her GED and a Rehder can certainly college degree while count her first session taking classes during as a state senator a nights and weekends success. Her priority so she could still legislation, establishing keep up with work a statewide prescription and her family. She drug monitoring worked her way up program, flew through at a cable company the legislature and — starting in the was signed into law mailroom before in June. Tackling the eventually becoming opioid epidemic is a top its director of priority for Rehder as government affairs. a lawmaker — and it’s Sen. Holly Rehder at 16 with her newborn daughter. She later started her one that is personal. own cable company and served with the MCTA. Growing up, Rehder was raised in a home and Even sitting in a bright and cozy office in the community riddled with drug addiction. She knew Capitol building, Rehder hasn’t lost sight of where from an early age she wouldn’t try recreational she came from and believes she’s in a position where drugs because she “needed to be completely with all God can use her. It’s what she experienced and saw [her] wits” to protect both herself and her younger growing up that has shaped her political views and sister. offers a unique perspective among the General Her daughter, however, was brought up in Assembly. church and without a lack of intervention from her “I watched the government policies — which parents. But her daughter’s story became one that come from very caring places but can sometimes is familiar to countless others in the U.S.: She was allow compassion to override commonsense — and injured at work, prescribed an opioid, and became so many of the policies kept women in my family addicted. At one point, Rehder gained custody of trapped in poverty because the road was so easy to her grandson, and there were times, she said, when stay on. The welfare programs were so easy to stay she didn’t know if her daughter was alive. on. To me, it was keeping women in my family

Kaitlyn Schallhorn

But unlike so many others, this story has a happy ending. Rehder’s daughter has been sober for several years and is “the best mama” to her child. “I want people to have that ending, but I also want people to never have that start,” Rehder said. “Nobody starts out saying, ‘Yeah, I want to be an addict.’ These things happen over time, and the more tools we allow our medical professionals to have to recognize these signs and treat addiction on the front end, the fewer people will become addicted. I want to help with both treatment and recovery.” As the legislative session progressed, Rehder chose perhaps an unusual but successful ally to advocate for her Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. PDMP bill in the lower chamber: “At the Safe House for Women here in Sen. Rehder’s a freshman representative. “I coached high school sports for almost two home district, we’re thrilled that she is now serving decades. Sen. Rehder is everything I strived for on the Rights of Victims of Sexual Assault Task my athletes to be later in life: honest, passionate in Force, and we look forward to what her next priority their endeavors, and never quitting when things get bill be to help survivors.” One of the bigger hurdles Rehder faced when rough. Then, when finally accomplishing a goal, it is deciding whether to run for public office was done in a joyous and humble manner,” Rep. Travis ensuring her three children — now ages 35, 30, Smith said of his time working with Rehder in the and 24 — would be prepared. But they’ve been statehouse. supportive of her service, particularly as she tells her Rehder has also made helping domestic and life story to help others, she said. sexual assault survivors — another area she said “I know it’s cliche coming from her son, but my she knows “too well” — a priority while in office. mother is genuinely the hardest working person Rehder is a member of the new Missouri Rights I’ve ever met. She spent eight years fighting for a bill of Victims of Sexual Assault Task Force and that she knew would help Missourians and lost that passionately advocated for legislation allowing ex fight year after year,” Christian Rehder, the senator’s parte orders of protection to be extended for life in youngest son, said. “She never gave up and finally Missouri. won on year nine — almost 10 When she was still in the House, years after the battle for PDMP Rehder championed legislation began. It takes a special type of expanding Missouri’s sexual person to fight for something for education curriculum to include almost a decade.” lessons on consent, harassment, “She has always been resilient, and assault. The idea is to better diligent, and dedicated to her inform high school students so they work,” he continued. “And most are prepared when they leave home importantly, she leaves every for college. That legislation is one decision in God’s hands.” she is still particularly proud of. So what’s next for Rehder? “Sen. Rehder is a valued ally in Back home in Sikeston, Rehder the movement to counter domestic still attends and serves with and sexual violence in our state. Life Church. She wants to Her personal experiences while continue to focus on domestic growing up give her tremendous and sexual violence law updates insight into the need for legislative and has spent some time this action to protect victims,” said Sen. Holly Rehder praying in the House year researching homelessness Jessica M. Hill, executive director of chambers with her grandson. in Missouri. Rehder also plans the Safe House for Women in Cape to look at how Missouri can improve its technical Girardeau and public policy chair of the Missouri training opportunities for high school graduates.

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The Missouri Times

21

MOVERS AND SHAKERS

ELIJAH HAAHR NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jessica Seitz is now Missouri KidsFirst’s executive director OF NEW NOBLE HEALTH FOUNDATION Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Kaitlyn Schallhorn Former House Speaker Elijah Haahr has been named the executive director of the new Noble Health Foundation with the goal of breaking down barriers to rural health care. An arm of Noble Health Corp, the foundation will support education, development, training, and implementing health care options. Haahr said he will be spending time raising money and meeting with school superintendents and college presidents to better understand the health care needs — from counseling to cardiovascular screenings to physicals — in their communities. “I grew up on a farm and spent eight years in the legislature trying to improve and protect rural Missouri,” Haahr said. “Having the chance to lead a foundation that is solely

focused on improving rural health care is an incredible opportunity. “My focus is primarily going to be on how we can spend nonprofit money in real communities and figure out what specific silos they need help in,” Haahr added of the brand new role. Noble Health Corp started just two years ago and has already brought two hospitals to Missouri (Fulton and Mexico) along with several clinics throughout the state. “We are very happy to welcome Elijah to the Noble Health team,” Don Peterson, executive chair of Noble Health, said. “As an accomplished attorney and public policy professional, we believe Elijah will have a substantial and positive impact on the communities in which Noble operates.”

Haahr served in the Missouri House from 2013 to 2021, representing HD 134 in Greene County as a Republican. He also served as the House speaker for multiple years during his tenure in the legislature — and was the youngest House speaker in the nation. While Haahr will not be practicing law in his new role at the foundation, he said he will maintain his licenses in Missouri and Oklahoma. He had worked for Kutak Rock in Springfield as part of the firm’s products liability division. He has tried cases in federal and state court, including having argued before the Southern District Court of Appeals. Noble Health Corp is headquartered in Kansas City. Haahr will remain in Springfield with his four children.

After serving as interim director for the past two months, Jessica Seitz was named Missouri KidsFirst’s newest executive director effective Aug. 1. Seitz served as the organization’s policy director for nearly four years before she was tapped to step into the leadership role. She has successfully lobbied for a requirement to provide traumai n f o r m e d , developmentally appropriate sexual abuse prevention education in schools as well as the implementation of safeguards for children in Missouri’s unlicensed schools this year. “Anyone who has worked with Jessica knows she is ‘all in’ on protecting kids. She is a dedicated and knowledgable advocate for child abuse prevention and child and family well-being,” Jack Jensen, president of the Missouri KidFirst’s Board of Directors, said. “We are very excited for Jessica to advance into this role and look forward to her leadership.” Seitz is a former lobbyist for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, but before joining MissouriKids First, she worked in Washington, D.C., on youth development issues. She said she was “drawn by the innovation and change that happens at the state level,” and ultimately came back to

Missouri to what she called “a dream come true” position with Missouri KidsFirst. As the executive director, Seitz said she will continue to lead the Missouri KidsFirst policy and communications work while also directly supporting the group’s members. Missouri KidsFirst has 15 regional Child Advocacy Centers serving more than 9,000 children who have been victims of abuse and neglect. She will also be working with the o r g a n i z a t i o n’s SAFE-CARE network which provides a medical response to children who have been abused. Seitz named two potential areas for growth she’d like to tackle: board development and recruitment and an increase in Missouri KidsFirst’s child abuse prevention programming. She noted the board has some vacancies which she hopes to fulfill with diverse individuals. “Child abuse prevention is one of the most challenging programmatic areas to raise funding for, but it has an enormous impact,” Seitz said. “Several of our prevention programs, including our work to educate adults on how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse and to implement Missouri’s mandate to provide child sexual abuse education in schools, are in high demand. I plan to focus on identifying resources to grow our work in prevention.”

Jean Evans now leading Missouri Federation for Children Jean Evans has been chosen to lead the Missouri arm of the American Federation for Children, a pro-school choice education advocacy organization. Evans was picked to lead the Missouri Federation for Children with a focus on implementing the new education savings account program that passed through the legislature this year. The new ESA program allows taxpayers to claim a credit on qualifying contributions to education assistance programs. The funds are pooled

in ESAs for students to use on tuition, textbooks, tutoring services, and other associated costs with charter, private, public, or virtual schools. Her role went into effect on Aug. 1. “We are very excited to have Jean join the team and continue the fight to expand educational opportunities in Missouri,” Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children, said in a statement. “As a former member of the Missouri Legislature, she understands

what it takes to fight for students in the Show-Me State. We look forward to having such an accomplished advocate for children lead our efforts in Missouri.” Evans is the former executive director of the Missouri GOP. She has also worked as a real estate agent, investor, and volleyball coach. Evans served in the General Assembly for two years. After leaving the GOP, Evans started her own consulting business. “For far too long, Missouri has lagged

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other states in giving students and parents meaningful school choice. After the historic passage of Educational Savings Account legislation this past legislative session, I’m thrilled to lead the Missouri Federation for Children so that we can make families across Missouri aware of this innovative student-first program,” Evans saids. “Hopefully this is the first of many education reforms we make to provide more high-quality educational options that put the needs of Missouri students first.”


22

WASHINGTON

The Missouri Times

The State Fair: A Proud Tradition Officials push for accountability in meatpacking industry & Celebration of Missouri Ag Roy Blunt

Every year, thousands of Missourians travel to Sedalia for the State Fair. For many families, it’s an annual tradition, and it’s pretty easy to see why. You can sample delicious food, listen to great concerts, and see what makes Missouri’s farmers and ranchers the best in the world. As the son of dairy farmers, I know firsthand how hard farmers and ranchers work to feed and fuel the world. With global food demand expected to double in the next 30-40 years, Missouri farmers and ranchers are well-positioned to meet that demand and benefit from the economic opportunities that come with it. In Washington, I’m focused on making sure our farmers, ranchers, and businesses have the tools they need to not only compete but lead the way in a global economy. One of my top priorities has been expanding access to broadband in rural areas. We’re moving in the right direction, but nearly one-third of rural Missourians still don’t have access to high-speed internet. For a farmer, access to broadband can mean a 15-minute update instead of a five-hour wait when machinery isn’t working or isn’t working right. For a student, it can mean researching an assignment from home rather than driving miles to a place that offers wi-fi. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve advocated for the ReConnect Program which has provided nearly $200 million in funding to Missouri over the past two years, amounting to about 20 percent of all the support provided nationwide. We’ve also received nearly $255 million through the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF-II) auction, about 17 percent of the total amount awarded nationwide, the most of any state. The infrastructure bill that just passed the Senate makes additional investments in broadband and physical infrastructure that will boost our state’s competitiveness. One of the biggest economic advantages we have in Missouri is our location. Situated right in the center of the country, Missouri is a hub for our nation’s highways, railways, and waterways. That’s why a top priority of mine is strengthening our transportation system — from locks and dams along the Mississippi River to the roads, bridges, ports, and airports that connect communities large and small. The world price of grain is the market price less what it costs to get it there. The better the transportation network, the more

competitive every Missouri industry will be, especially agriculture and manufacturing. The infrastructure bill authorizes an estimated $8.2 billion for Missouri’s roads and highways over the next five years and makes additional investments in areas like airport improvements and clean drinking water. Our economic competitiveness is also significantly impacted by the regulatory environment which is why I’ve fought massive regulations that impose huge costs with little to no benefit. I worked to block the Democrats’ Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS) which would have put more than 99 percent of Missouri under the jurisdiction of Washington bureaucrats. Now, the Biden administration is once again moving toward the same kind of power grab we saw under the Obama administration’s WOTUS rule — but potentially even worse. The Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which replaced the WOTUS rule, takes a much smarter approach to safeguard our clean water without imposing excessive, unnecessary burdens on Missourians. I signed onto legislation this month that would prevent Democrats from reinstating their misguided, overreaching WOTUS rule. I also opposed the Democrats’ so-called Clean Power Plan, which would have amounted to an additional tax anytime someone flipped on a light switch, harvested a crop, or paid for groceries. Families are already facing higher costs due to inflation, and they can’t afford to pay more for the things they use every day. That’s also why I’m opposed to the $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend spree Democrats are planning to ram through Congress in the coming months. More spending has the potential to drive inflation up even further, and paying for it all with huge tax hikes, including an increase in the death tax, will hit farm families especially hard. The State Fair offers us a unique opportunity to celebrate our hard-working Missouri farmers and ranchers, and I look forward to it every year. I always appreciate the advice I get from our ag industry leaders, and I’ll continue doing my part to ensure we have the right policies and resources in place to keep Missouri agriculture moving forward.

Cameron Gerber

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is the latest Missouri official to push for increased accountability in the meatpacking industry, joining other lawmakers and the Missouri Farm Bureau. Hawley called on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to investigate alleged fraud and anticompetitive behavior from large meatpacking companies, including Tyson Foods, JBS, and WH Group, pointing to supposed instances of price-fixing and refusal to allow inspections. Hawley said the nation’s meat industry was in a volatile state, leaving producers and consumers open to harm while a handful of large corporations maintained their profits. “After years of consolidation in the beef, pork, and chicken processing industries, the food supply chain in the United States has become dangerously fragile,” Hawley said in a letter to Vilsack. “The biggest firms will not curb their anticompetitive practices unless they face a penalty that impacts their bottom line. Big companies require big penalties. Federal statute provides you with robust authority to revoke inspection services following convictions for fraudulent behavior in the marketplace.” Hawley urged Vilsack to probe the largest firms and revoke inspection services for violators in order to “restore competition, safeguard farmers and ranchers, and ensure food security for all Americans.”  Hawley sent a request to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last year calling for a similar investigation after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered facilities across the country.  The Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) voiced its own concerns over concentrations in the market: The group sent a letter to congressional leadership requesting an investigation earlier this year, warning of the impact on farmers and consumers.  The MOFB said the spread between the price producers were receiving for cattle and the cost packers charged for wholesale boxed beef going into the supply chain caused frustration among farmers and producers. This was on top of increased prices for consumers as the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 reached the agriculture industry.  The call to action has been nationwide, especially since the start of the pandemic: Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined 10 other Senator Roy Blunt is a Republican who has states on a letter calling for an investigation by represented Missouri in the U.S. Senate since 2011. He the Department of Justice (DOJ) last year, with is a fifth-generation farmer who was born in Niangua, Gov. Mike Parson voicing his own support for an investigation.  Missouri.

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“As a third-generation cattleman myself, I understand the stress many in the cattle business have faced for years,” Parson said. “Cattlemen and cattlewomen across the United States are simply asking for transparency and accountability from our meatpackers in the beef business.” Other members of Missouri’s congressional delegation have proposed legislative measures directed at the industry. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler introduced the Optimizing the Cattle Market Act of 2021 in June, seeking regional regulatory minimums for negotiated cash trades in cattle markets and requiring peer-reviewed research from land-grant universities to be the basis for the minimums. “After their valiant efforts to keep food on the tables of American families, it’s critical that we do everything possible to ensure ranchers have the market transparency necessary to make informed decisions that will help them stay in business and continue to generate economic activity throughout rural Missouri,” Cleaver said.  The bill would also require the USDA to catalog beef contracts between producers and marketers while keeping them confidential and order packers to report the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered over the next two weeks, allowing producers to plan their marketing strategies. It has yet to receive a committee hearing.   Shane Miller, president of Tyson Fresh Meats, testified before Congress on the accusations last month. Miller said the company welcomed competition and said while the concentration of the market has largely remained the same over the past 30 years, the quality of the product had increased.  “We believe market forces are working as they should,” Miller said. “Customers have multiple meat suppliers from which to choose and they subject suppliers to competitive bidding processes based on terms the customers specify. Customers often work with several meat suppliers to ensure orders are filled according to their product specifications, volume requirements, and pricing terms, which adds to the constant pressure to outperform the competition.”  Missouri is home to more than 95,000 farms and ranks in the top 10 states in terms of beef, chicken, and pork production, according to the Department of Agriculture.


23

The Missouri Times

OPINION

MISSOURI’S FUTURE IS BASED ON TODAY’S EDUCATION Lincoln Hough

Throughout my life, the value of a good education has been instilled in me by my parents. My dad is an educator by trade and every opportunity growing up was a lesson in disguise. At some point, I realized my life is better because those around me value education. I was fortunate to be raised in a community that shares that same commitment, and I think this is where my steadfast commitment to education — whether it’s elementary, secondary, post-secondary, or technical — comes from. An educated society is critical for the success of our communities and our state. An educated workforce drives business growth and plays an important role in providing families with the resources they need to thrive. If we are to continue to provide for our families and our futures, we need to have leaders who believe that an educated workforce is critical. To prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, we need the best career and technical education we can possibly have; otherwise, Missouri will lose out to other states when it comes to new business relocations and expansions. Part of my job as a state

senator includes finding ways we can best utilize our institutions of higher learning, which includes community colleges and technical schools. To help prepare our state for the technology of tomorrow, SB 176 was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law earlier this year. This measure relates to some new emerging technologies. It is vital to the success of our state that the legislature continues to promote an economic climate where technology and innovation are not only supported but encouraged to thrive. To attract and retain businesses, we must have a trained and skilled workforce. This is something our schools can offer through trade schools, community colleges, and universities. I serve as vice-chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and passing a balanced budget is the sole constitutional duty of the Missouri Legislature and something I take seriously. As a state, we have made a commitment to doing all we can for education, including funding the needs of higher education which includes technical and community colleges as well as universities.

Take, for instance, the Fast-Track Workforce Incentive Grant. This is a fairly new financial aid program for adults, who are over the age of 25, that are seeking a certificate or degree in a high-need workforce area. The legislature added $1 million to this program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, with $5.7 million allocated for the current fiscal year. By the same token, funding for community colleges has also continued to be increased from $121 million in FY 2020 to $139 million last year, to $154 million for FY 2022. The state has also nearly doubled funding for State Technical College of Missouri, from $5 million in FY 2020 to $8 million for FY 2022. Why did we make this investment? It’s simple. Employers throughout our state need a skilled and trained workforce, and our community and technical colleges are equipped to meet this demand. They can get people in the door, trained, and back out into the workforce quickly in two years or less, with many programs lasting only six months. And because students get out with little or no debt (85 percent+ graduate with no debt), they can take what they earn and immediately start putting it back into their local economy. They aren’t paying off student loans to some bank in Washington, D.C.; they are buying houses, starting businesses, and more. A jobs projection survey for the Springfield area,

the community I represent in the Senate, indicated three specific jobs will be in high demand over the course of the next five years: registered nurses, truck drivers, and machinists and welders. This means thousands of jobs right here in our community, many with salaries starting at $48,000 and only going up. And the best part, our local community colleges can prepare people for these jobs in less than two years. There will always be a need for doctors, lawyers, and teachers, but for some students, those aren’t positions that hold their interest or best utilize their talents, and that’s okay. A skilled workforce has always been a vital part of this country. This is why I will continue to work to fund training programs, certifications, and apprenticeships along with continued support for traditional higher education. Please feel free to reach out to our office at any time. Our phone number is 573-751-1311, and our mailing address is Room 419, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Sen. Lincoln Hough is a Republican who represents SD 30 in part of Greene County. Hough is the chairman of the Government Accountabilty and Fiscal Oversight Committee and vice-chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

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24

OPINION

The Missouri Times

A look at the diverse tapestry of Missouri agriculture

Hannah Kelly

My first lesson in agriculture was falling flat on my face cleaning out the back lot of the milk barn. Any farm kid knows this means you are covered in mud from head to toe. Boy, did I used to absolutely not like going to the milk barn. Now, looking back on those years, I realize they were formative in my work ethic and understanding of what is a large portion of the backbone and heart of Missouri. If you would have told that kid who fell flat on her face that day that she’d be serving in the Missouri Legislature, I would have laughed at you. As they say, “God laughs while we make plans,” and here I am. One of the biggest privileges of my life has been serving in this capacity for the home and people I love. However, what moves me more than successful legislation and victories in the committee room is the incredible body of people who I serve with. It is true that the House is closest to the People. My grandfather, who served many years ago as a representative, told me this when I decided to run, and as each day passes, I realize in the most unique of ways how right he was. Today, as I visited with my colleagues at Summer Caucus, I began to ask the members their background and history with farming. The answers I got were educational as well as a refresher course on our diversity and rich tapestry of people throughout this great state. Whether talking with Rep. Randy Railsback about the family farm that he now owns and operates that was homesteaded by his greatgrandfather in 1872 or visiting with Rep. Bennie Cook about why he is so grateful to have the chance to raise his kids on the farm alongside his wife Amanda, the passion for

agriculture in our legislative body obviously runs deeper than policy ideas written on paper. If you sit next to Rep. Scott Cupps, you will be sure to hear some great stories about working cows with his twin brother and have an honest conversation about the work ahead of us to always make sure that our farmers’ voices are heard in the budget room where the framework for the direction of our state’s financial focus begins through his role as Appropriations chairman for Agriculture. Anyone who knows Rep. Mike Haffner knows that he has a strong passion for biodiesel among many other agriculture subjects. If you catch him on the phone at the right time of year, you will hear him say he’s been tending to the Christmas trees on his farm. My reminder of the diversity in our agriculture community that makes us who we are. If you talk to Rep. Kurtis Gregory, you will find someone who is well known — not just on the football field, but in the agriculture community for his commitment to making sure we continue to have strong family farms and commonsense in the legislature that protects them. Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher will be sure to tell you with a big smile on his face about the happiness he gets out of making time to work on the farm he now owns that has been in his family for many generations. Someone who I call the godfather of the House makes an impact on anything he has something to do with — but when it comes to agriculture, let’s just say the whole room goes extra quiet and is guaranteed to listen to what

this wise man says. If you know him, you know that his love for Miss Myra is his No. 1 priority, but No. 2 is agriculture and making sure our farmers get what they need — whether it be in the budget room, committee room, or on the House Floor. Rep. Don Rone is a force to be reckoned with. Rep. Dean VanSchoiack doesn’t just wear a cowboy hat for fashion. As an auctioneer and cattle/corn farmer, he knows hard work and isn’t afraid of it. Rep. Greg Sharpe always used to tease me when I chaired the Agriculture Appropriations Committee and tell me I was the boss. However, I do know that his commitment to all things agriculture as a farmer is a strong asset not only in the budget room but also on the House floor. Rep. Rodger Reedy always has a mission, but the thing that makes him smile from ear to ear is when he starts talking about his family and how grateful he is to have been able to raise his family on the farm. Rep. Louis Riggs is known as a champion for rural broadband, but an interesting fact he doesn’t bring up much because he’s busy helping connect communities to resources for broadband is the fact that he was a hog farmer for 10 years. Rep. Mitch Boggs builds barns for farmers all of the time. I know this because during both of our busy seasons in our private sector work, we will cross paths often stepping out to take a quick phone call, making sure that bases are being covered at home. Another reminder that in order for agriculture in Missouri to succeed,

we need businesses of all kinds to know that we want them here at home in our state with the opportunity to invest revenue back into their businesses versus sending more money to the government in the form of taxes. Rep. Rusty Black offers a wealth of knowledge from his years farming and serving as an agriculture teacher. You can always expect commonsense and honesty from him. When the folks at The Missouri Times asked me to write this, they requested the focus to be on the House. However, I would be remiss not to include some individuals at the state and federal level who reflect the rich tapestry of our farming community as well. If you know our governor, you know he actively farms in Bolivar and knows what it means to put in a hard day’s work there. Our lieutenant governor actively farms and was talking about getting the hay cut just a few weeks ago when he was in my district. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler actively farms alongside her husband. Her awareness of the challenges farmers face everyday is something that rings home with many of my constituents as I visit folks in the district. Congressman Jason Smith is known for his agriculture diversity. You will see cows, sheep, buffalo, goats, and donkeys in the field when you visit his farm. I believe all mentioned here would attest to the values of farm life shaping who they are as public servants today. As Rep. Dirk Deaton reminded me today, “Agriculture is the heart of our state.” The heart exemplified by these hardworking farmers and others that I have probably forgotten to mention, at all levels of government, is a beacon of light for the future farmers who come after us. Missouri is truly a tapestry of business owners, education professionals, health care professionals, moms, dads, grandparents, tradesmen, and — last but not least — farmers. At all levels of government, this is well reflected. I’m grateful to be a farmer’s daughter who walks in the same halls that her farmer grandfather walked in, doing the same job that he had the chance to do. America is a beautiful place where dreams can become a reality, and Missouri is a great place to call home because of it.

Rep. Hannah Kelly is a Republican who represents HD 141 in Webster and Wright counties. She is the assistant majority floor leader and was first elected to the House in 2016.

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The Missouri Times

OPINION State Fair a reminder of Examining critical race theory agriculture’s impact on MO from a Biblical perspective Kyrell Newell

Garrett Hawkins Every summer, we get the chance to celebrate our state’s No. 1 industry at the Missouri State Fair. After 200 years of statehood, agriculture remains Missouri’s heart and soul. Long gone are the days when nearly every family lived and worked on a farm – today, less than 2 percent of Americans are farmers or ranchers – but farms remain every bit as important as they were at our state’s founding in 1821. The 2021 Missouri State Fair’s official theme, “Our Missouri Celebration,” will remind fairgoers how important agriculture has been to our state’s first 200 years. In 2016, a study found that agriculture contributes more than $88 billion to Missouri’s economy. Agriculture is a growing industry. Missouri is now the global hub of innovation and change in agriculture and is leading the charge to break barriers once thought impossible. Just 17 years before Missouri became a state, the Lewis and Clark Expedition set off from Camp Dubois near St. Louis, then a tiny trading post home to fewer than 1,500 people. Working their way upriver west to Kansas City and north to St. Joseph, these explorers left behind an inspiring spirit and vision for the future that lives on today. At our bicentennial, Missouri stands as the worldwide epicenter of biotechnology. More plant science Ph.Ds live and work in the St. Louis region than any other city on the planet. The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, running from the University of Missouri in Columbia to Kansas City and St. Joseph, is home to the largest concentration of animal health companies in the world. Missouri is where ag innovation happens. This exciting future for agriculture will

be on display at the Missouri State Fair. Visitors to the Missouri Farm Bureau building on the fairgrounds in Sedalia will learn about how early farming methods have been improved, allowing modern farmers and ranchers to grow and raise far more than in the past while using fewer resources. Today’s farmers use much less fertilizer, pesticides, and water per unit of production than ever before — and, on average, each farm grows enough food to feed an astonishing 166 people. To remember and recognize the contributions of farmers to Missouri’s first 200 years, many displays will highlight the history of farming in the state. Next door to the Farm Bureau building, at Mizzou Central in the MO-Ag Theater, visitors can peruse the histories of nearly 30 “Founding Farm” families that have been farming the same ground since before statehood. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the trailblazing pioneers who bravely settled the land that produces such a bounty today. The Missouri State Fair is a fun experience for people of all ages — from concerts and rides to food and dirt track racing. But while you’re there, don’t pass up the opportunity to see the hard work of our youth on display in the 4-H and FFA buildings or see them in action showing their livestock, poultry, and rabbits. Make sure to explore the educational displays throughout the fairgrounds and learn more about our state’s top industry. I think you’ll be impressed with what you see. Garrett Hawkins, a farmer from Appleton City, is the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.

believe has happened is that a vastly simplified Faith and family. Is there anything more understanding of CRT has been disseminated sacred or valuable than these two? If there is in our culture and is influencing what people any innocence in the world, it would be found think about race relations in America. The left in children. If there is anything holy, it is the is focusing on the technicality of what CRT God who made us. The idea that our children’s is to deny that it is in our schools but avoids innocence or our faith is being exploited the reality that some of the more radical or corrupted seems to be at the heart of the and objectionable implications of CRT are raging debates around critical race theory influencing school curriculum. The right (CRT) in Missouri’s K-12 school curriculums uses CRT as a catchall for the more radical and churches. Despite the fact that there are and objectionable ideas about racism from elements of truth in the critiques the left and the left and avoids the serious and credible right make of each other, I don’t think the right critiques CRT has about how deep racism is in is “afraid” of CRT because they are racist or our nation and that there is a good reason to that the left is pushing CRT to “indoctrinate” adjust how we talk about race and racism in our kids for their authoritarian purposes. our schools. Schools aren’t the only place where CRT is To understand this conflict, we must first hotly debated; it is happening in churches as understand CRT. well. As a biracial (black and white) youth What is CRT? I’m sure you’ve heard 1 million and children minister, I think the church explainers by now, but I hope my thoughts needs to engage with race relations and racism can provide us a deeper understanding of it. in America. Acts 10:34 tells us that there is Technically speaking, CRT is an academic field no favoritism in God. At its core, racism is a in legal scholarship. It is grounded in what is defilement of this and is the sin of partiality. called “critical theory,” which is an approach Since racism is sin, Christians should be to analyzing the world through the lens of committed to eradicating racism in all forms, power and thinking about what groups have wherever it is in our world. If racism is a power and how this shapes our societies. CRT feature of individual people dehumanizing then is a field of study that analyzes how U.S. law and systems/institutions of power (justice other people, then we need to fight that. If system, policing, education, etc.) create and racism is a feature in a system which makes it perpetuate racism and racial disparities. This disadvantageous to non-white people because isn’t an exhaustive view of CRT, but I think of skin color, then we need to fight that. I believe all truth is God’s it gets at some of the most truth — so anything that is true important features. Let’s look at “Matthew 18:6 is a ultimately comes from God and CRT in schools first. strong warning that points us back to God. Matthew The right and the left say what we teach children 18:6 is a strong warning that they care about how racism is what we teach children is taught in schools because both is important, and we important, and we are not to sides want to prevent children’s are not to cause chilcause children to stumble. So, innocence from being dren to stumble.” to the extent CRT contains exploited, resulting in kids truth and can lead us to truth, it being taught (either explicitly should be absorbed in the church to edify the or implicitly) to be racist. The right claims that body of Christ. CRT is only a tool, which can CRT is being taught in schools and is teaching be used for good or evil. If there are features of kids to judge people and the world based on CRT that perpetuate racism, then we need to race and that white people are inherently fight that. If there are features of CRT that help racist. The left denies that CRT is in schools us fight racism, then we need to adopt those. or that they are even advocating for CRT to be taught in schools but say that our education Kyrell Newell moved to Jefferson City with his system needs to teach a more accurate history wife in 2019. He received a Masters of Theology from of race and racism in our country and how it Fuller Theological Seminary and is the NextGen shapes us today. Director at Jefferson City First United Methodist So I ask, is CRT being taught in K-12 schools? Church. You can follow his blog at kyrellnewell. Technically speaking the left is correct, CRT is com. not being taught in K-12 schools. I think both the left and right know this though. What I

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OPINION Traffic Safety in Missouri – A Deadly Serious Problem

Cathy Chase

These are dangerous times for Missouri motorists and road users. Crash fatalities skyrocketed to a 13-year high in 2020, with nearly 1,000 deaths, including 120 pedestrians, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT). Speeding, distracted and impaired driving, and lack of seat belt use all contributed to this alarming increase. While every Missourian deserves a safe drive, bike ride, walk, or roll, the data shows that far too many are not reaching their destinations safely. These tragedies are compounded by the fact that they are preventable with known solutions. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) publishes the Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws report each year outlining 16 traffic safety laws proven to reduce crashes, fatalities, and injuries and rating states on their enactment. Missouri is notably at the

bottom of the pack with only three laws on the books. One of the laws tracked in the report is an all-rider motorcycle helmet requirement. Unfortunately, Aug. 28 will mark one year since Missouri repealed its law, and the impact has been as expected. According to media reports from mid-June citing MODOT, motorcycle fatalities were up 40 percent over the previous year, with 18 motorcyclists who were not wearing a helmet killed, compared to only two unhelmeted fatalities at the same point in 2020. This lifesaving law should be reenacted. In addition to lacking an all-rider helmet law, Missouri is one of 16 states without a primary enforcement seat belt law for drivers and passengers, and one of just four that has not passed an alldriver text messaging ban. Child safety also could be improved by enacting a rear-facing through age 2 or older law

as well as upgrading the state’s booster seat law. The state is missing six of the seven laws Advocates recommends for protecting novice teen drivers and those who share the roads with this inexperienced group. Lastly, an open container law that complies with federal requirements is needed. In addition to being backed by research, these laws are strongly supported by the public. For example, polling by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on laws mandating helmets for all motorcycle riders finds overwhelming support (82-percent). A survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found more than 90-percent support for state laws banning texting or emailing while driving. A 2020 survey commissioned by Advocates similarly found 90-percent support for the passage of state laws to prohibit distracting activities behind the wheel while still allowing phones to be used for getting directions. Safety advocates in Missouri understand that these measures prevent

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crashes or mitigate their impact, save lives, and keep families whole. Lawmakers in Jefferson City should expect continued calls during the next legislative session for progress on efforts to curb distracted driving, ensure everyone buckles up on every trip, prevent motorcyclist fatalities, better protect child passengers, and other critical traffic safety issues. These tried and true solutions will reduce the horrific death and injury toll as well as associated crash costs borne by all taxpayers in the state. Cathy Chase is President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to improve road safety in the U.S. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.


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The Missouri Times

THE GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOORS ACT IS ALREADY SECURING MO’S PUBLIC LANDS Bridget Sanderson

The Great American Outdoors Act, the most significant conservation and recreation legislation passed in decades, was signed one year ago into law. Already, we’re starting to see the benefits for Missouri’s public lands. When thinking back to last summer, it’s perhaps surprising that amid an election year and the fiercest partisan tensions of a generation, lawmakers from both aisles of Congress were able to come together to pass any legislation at all. But the Great American Outdoors Act demonstrates that Americans, with many different political beliefs, agree on at least one thing: protecting America’s natural heritage is essential. The Great American Outdoors Act fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which protects millions of acres of our nation’s most beautiful and irreplaceable public lands across our country, including national parks, wildlife refuges, state parks, and community parks. GAOA also invests billions in updating our decades-old public lands infrastructure. Here in Missouri, LWCF has funded everything from Ozark National Scenic Riverway to the Macon County Park. With the Great American

Outdoors Act, the funding for these shared natural treasures is guaranteed for the foreseeable future. “Missouri has long been a national leader in conservation efforts, and we are committed to preserving our state’s abundant natural resources,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said. “From our alluring lakes, rivers, and streams to our famous Ozark Mountains, Missouri state parks offer some of the best destinations to experience wildlife, explore scenic beauty, and enjoy outdoor recreational activities with friends and family. This year we authorized more than $60 million in bonding authority to improve and maintain our state parks. The Great American Outdoors Act is complementing our state efforts, and this bipartisan achievement will help preserve Missouri’s public lands and natural beauty for generations to come.” Cody Norris with the Mark Twain National Forest echoed the importance of the Great American Outdoors Act and its impact on the Mark Twain National Forest. “Since the pandemic, we have seen an increase

in visitorship; people have been wanting to get outdoors and enjoy camping,” Norris said. “Because of this funding, we are able to not only provide safer conditions for returning visitors but we are able to welcome new visitors to show the importance of our public lands, nature, and the ecosystem.” He pointed to the Lane Spring electrical upgrade and hydrant replacement project as an example. “We only had one electrical outlet in that popular campsite, and new visitors were deterred from coming with their RVs because the one outlet was reserved,” he said “Now we can provide more electrical outlets to encourage people to come to our park” The Great American Outdoors Act marks the first major infrastructure investment in public lands in more than 50 years. Our public lands agencies, such as the National Parks Service and the Bureau of Land Management, have tens of thousands of desperately needed maintenance and repair projects. The law invests $9.5 billion over the next five years to update bridges, trails, roads, campgrounds, and visitor centers.

Before the Great American Outdoors Act was passed, Environment Missouri and its national partner Environment America had been working to expand permanent funding for the LWCF for several years, serving as a continual presence on Capitol Hill and in congressional districts in support of this critical public lands program. At the same time, the Great American Outdoors Act never would have passed without the leadership of lawmakers like Congressman Billy Long and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver who put aside partisan differences and worked together to protect America’s public lands. Congress should consider building on this bipartisan consensus around protecting our beautiful outdoor spaces by working both to reconnect habitat with wildlife corridors and to fund state wildlife action plans for species of greatest conservation need. We need more nature in this country, and the Great American Outdoors Act is playing a crucial role in making that happen. Americans of all stripes value the great outdoors: Congress needs to keep following their lead. Bridget Sanderson is the Environment Missouri state director.

Rural areas struggle to fund 24/7 victim services Meghann Kosman

Recently, my executive director, Linda Mattson, and I were invited to speak to a local community organization that included attorneys, newspaper reporters, and hospital workers. They were all familiar with North Star Advocacy Center’s services because we speak to the group almost every year. This year, we discussed the decrease in the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding and the potential to receive a smaller grant. Advocates are used to being creative, but when we risk a potential funding cut for 24/7 life-saving services, it takes much more than creativity. This group consistently asked, “What do you need? How can we help?” Over the years — and having grown up in a rural area myself — I’ve learned the compassion that comes from small towns. North Star Advocacy Center covers five counties, the city of Maryville (population roughly 12,000) being the most populated city among those counties. We have collaborated with civic organizations that have paid for a client’s reading glasses and others that adopt clients at Christmas to make sure they have gifts to open. Workers from the local hospital helped a victim of domestic violence fix her garage door on their personal time and did it so the person felt support and safety from her community. Recently, the grocery store in Albany (the second largest city in this area with a population of 1,675) helped by

delivering groceries to a person we were assisting. We placed the order, and they had it gathered and scheduled for delivery before they even had our payment information. My coworkers and I have had clients who needed resources the rural areas often struggle to provide. For example, we had to have those groceries delivered in Albany because that client did not have a working vehicle. Although the town is small, this person was elderly, and the temperature was in the mid-90s that week; the humidity even worse. Walking was not safe or practical for her. There is no public transportation in any of the towns we serve except Maryville. It has an OATS bus, but it has limited hours that don’t always align with the times people have to be at work. Lack of transportation to get to the store, medical appointments, and/or work is a huge barrier in rural areas. Mental health resources are limited in rural areas as well. North Star offers short-term counseling for victims of domestic and sexual violence, but often this issue is deeper than the current circumstance that brought them to our doors. Abuse can occur not only in current relationships but can also exist from past relationships. An unfortunate outcome of lifelong abuse leads to mental health issues that often go untreated because of a lack of resources. If a client is seeking counseling from one of our surrounding towns, they may have more than an hour drive, one way, to make it to their appointment. If a client needs

long-term therapy with someone who practices certain specialties, they must drive to a much larger city. Being able to afford counseling is another barrier for victims. Maybe they can afford it, but they don’t have the transportation to get to the nearest town that offers it. Or maybe they don’t have enough money to fill their vehicle’s gas tank. It could be they don’t have enough money for the co-pay, or maybe they don’t have insurance that will cover a few sessions. I’ve worked with victims who wanted to receive counseling, but they didn’t want their insurance billed because then their abuser would see it. Like many other shelters in rural areas, ours has limited housing availability and even more limited affordable housing. Domestic violence isn’t a crime that affects only people with little to no income. This crime is about power and control. Advocates work with many victims who were not allowed to have a job, or their abuser would make it very hard to keep a job. We’ve worked with people who weren’t allowed to see or touch the finances. Often when they flee, they are starting over with very little to nothing. Saving money takes time, and unexpected life events like sickness and car trouble are inevitable. One typically can’t afford the first month’s rent and deposit when they’ve only established a part-time job at one of the five restaurants in town. Often, safe housing is hard to find in a rural area. To help with this, we provide transitional housing to help keep

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them safe. Creativity is figuring out how to meet the needs of the victims we serve when resources aren’t as accessible. Our organization isn’t in an area where long-term, specialized counseling is available, but we can provide gift cards for gas to travel to the city that does provide this specialized service. We can sometimes pay the first month’s rent and deposit so a victim can save the first paycheck. I look at our community and am so grateful and amazed at how they take care of each other, and particularly, take care of those in need. There are a lot of struggles, but there’s a lot of kindness, too. To answer the question, “What do you need?” I’d say this: We need stable state and federal funding in rural areas to be able to provide 24/7 for victims of domestic and sexual violence who may not have the means to access safety and support without it. Something as simple as providing a gift card to someone who can’t afford gas this month is so simple, yet cannot be provided while funds are being cut. While urban areas of the state might have higher numbers of victims served, rural survivors also need and deserve safety and support in their local communities. Meghann Kosman is a court and victim advocate with North Star Advocacy Center in Maryville, an MCADSV member agency. Linda Mattson, the executive director, contributed to this piece.


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OPINION Missouri soybean farmers bring solutions to today’s challenges Casey Wasser

As we enjoy time with family and friends during county and state fairs, it’s easy to forget why these fairs truly started. It wasn’t the sketchy rides or the popular Boyz II Men concerts. Just like the foundation of our country’s oldest profession, the foundation of all county and state fairs is agriculture. It’s easy to take farmers for granted as access to healthy and affordable food is simply expected and should be available at every box store near you. But in reality, our food supply system is a very complex one with many different local, state, federal, and international policies all playing together to impact the quality, price, and availability of our food. At the Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) and Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC), it’s our job to help influence policy that will provide good quality food at a sustainable price while building strong and healthy people and communities. We do this in many different, unique ways, and we are continuing to find solutions to problems our soybean farmers face while working to bring products to market that meet these same goals. Just recently, the farmerleaders on the MSMC board began wide distribution of SOYLEIC® soybean seed. When food science and agriculture technologies meet, opportunities

flourish. High oleic soybean oil is leading the way with high functionality while producing zero trans fats. SOYLEIC® is a non-GMO, high-oleic trait available for today’s soybean varieties and results in high oleic oil and meal. This was made possible because of our farmer leaders on the MSMC board and their strategic and forward-thinking investment on behalf of their fellow soybean producers. This means the future of a healthier food system isn’t manufactured — it’s grown. I encourage you to check us out at www.soyleic.com. Our reach extends well beyond soybean variety development and seed technology. Near Columbia, Missouri, at the MSA’s Bay and Smith Research Farms, our farmer leaders are actively supporting tests on many different farming practices. Some of the research plays a pivotal role in comparing soil health practices and subsequent yield impact. For example, the MSMC board funds a project examining corn and soybean production in long-term plots, with and without cover crops. One of the long-term plots is on the MSA Bay Farm. This research is part of the MU Strip Trial program and is providing valuable insight into management practices that impact crop yields while reducing erosion and improving the soil. Field edge plantings for improved quail and pollinator

habitat have been established. The MSA and MSMC farmer directors are very dedicated to research and demonstration for enhanced soybean production while continually improving soil, water, and wildlife resources. The Bay and Smith Farm is a great place to visit and experience these efforts in person. As the farmers approve these checkoff-funded projects and data is provided for review, it’s fulfilling to see evidence of our work paying off. For example, our farmers invested with the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) to fund a study on the deepening of the lower Mississippi River. I was in New Orleans when we, as a group of soybean farmers and staff, met with the Corps of Engineers, officials from the Port of New Orleans, and their mayor to provide further input on how this deepening project would result in an improved basis on soybean prices back up the Mississippi into Missouri. The STC research estimates farmers in the 31 evaluated states will annually receive an additional $461 million for their soybeans due to dredging the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet from its current 45 feet. It’s critical that the MSA continues to be a leading voice for Missouri agriculture in Jefferson City. We are focused on supporting our supporters. If anyone

has spoken with Gary Wheeler, MSA/MSMC CEO, you know we mean it. Our farmers spend their PAC funds and support candidates that have the best interest of Missouri and Missouri agriculture in mind. We have proven that we will band together with our livestock partners to pass meaningful reforms that will hopefully grow their industry and our No. 1 customer. We’ve worked to proactively engage with urban leaders that oftentimes don’t see eye to eye on soybean issues. The reality is after we take the time to collaborate and listen (Vanilla Ice to the State Fair, anyone?), we are working toward the same goal. We all want to provide good quality food at a sustainable price while building strong and healthy people and communities. MSA and MSMC look forward to continuing our growth as Missouri’s No. 1 cash crop and our impact on Missouri agriculture. We hope everyone enjoys the Missouri State Fair and sometime come visit our Center for Soybean Innovation in Jefferson City. Casey Wasser is the COO for the Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, and Foundation for Soy Innovation. Casey lives in California, Missouri.

It’s time we act to fix federal flood insurance WE NEED TRUE CONSERVATIVES IN CONGRESS

Bennie Cook

We here in rural areas are no strangers to hard times and disasters. Time and time again, we have encountered floods and high waters, and time and time again, we have recovered. We always look toward preparing for the future, knowing that in any season there may be a natural disaster on the horizon. We pray for the best but prepare for the worst. Unfortunately, our federal government has been slow to prepare for these worst-case scenarios, especially when it comes to disaster mitigation policies. Take federal building projects, for example. Despite exorbitant disaster costs and the unprecedented frequency of high waters in recent years, our government continues to focus on 20thcentury flood policies and outdated weather patterns when deciding where and how we fund building projects meant to last lifetimes. When the government spends billions of dollars on a building project in an area known for flood-risks, the government is basically building on a foundation of sand. We know the likelihood of a disaster coming along and wiping away the project, yet because of outdated models, the government builds there anyway. Then, when the disasters do come, as they eventually will, the investment gets destroyed and the government has to rebuild all over again. This is a losing game for taxpayers and communities around the nation who lose out on limited resources. That is why reform is needed. The Flood Resiliency and Taxpayer Savings Act can address these shortcomings by bringing the country’s flood-ready policies into the 21st century by preparing our communities and infrastructure for future floods. The Act modernizes federal practices, requiring federally funded projects to account for future

risk of flood throughout a project’s design life. This will safeguard taxpayer dollars by avoiding the needlessly costly cycle of flooding, damage, and repair. This is just a commonsense approach to good government and good planning. We should not be paying twice for the same project. Imagine it was your personal domicile you were building — you would want to incorporate risk into deciding when and where to build while also investing a little money today to make sure the structure can withstand disasters tomorrow. The principle is the same with federal projects as it is we, the people, who are paying for it. The Flood Resiliency and Taxpayer Savings Act takes commonsense into account by planning for disasters. The Act also ensures that all these new building projects employ modern and innovative building techniques to mitigate damage from disasters. This will save both money in repairs and time in the recovery. We have the tools and equipment to make these structures more resilient so we should be using them in all future projects. It’s no secret that the government can be slow to adopt best practices, but when the need for reform is so apparent, it’s high time we get a move on. We need to light a fire under Congress’ feet before the water comes up and over our heads again. The Flood Resiliency and Taxpayer Savings Act protects government investments, protects taxpayers, and safeguards our future. It is the modern legislation we need to address the problems of disaster mitigation and recovery.

Mike Moon

When I first decided to run for office, I did so because I found myself troubled by the lack of true conservative elected officials who were willing to stand up and fight for our values. These Republicans would talk a big game at home, but then come Monday morning, fly out to Washington, D.C., and vote like Democrats. These Republicans would say to me, “Mike, you don’t understand how it works,” or “Mike, I have to vote for the spending bill or leadership will never let me become a committee chairman.” I kept thinking to myself: There are 435 members of Congress, and we only have a handful of congressmen who truly care about defending the constitution more than protecting their own careers. Too many members of Congress are there simply to play the game to help themselves when they were really elected to uphold conservative principles. When Donald Trump was elected president, he did a great job getting the Republicans in Washington on board with his America First Agenda, but there were some growing pains since most of them didn’t have a spine in the first place! Fast forward to today, we’re still facing the same old problems and some new ones. Is Bennie Cook was elected to represent HD 142 in 2020. He Congress going to increase the debt ceiling resides with his wife, Amanda, and their five children in Houston, again? Do we have a plan to pay down the Missouri.

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$27 trillion in debt? Are we going to bring our troops home? Will we restore trust in our election system? Lastly, will we protect the Judeo-Christian value system on which our country was founded? On many of these issues, Republicans are no better than Democrats. In fact, both parties are guilty of adding trillions to our deficit. Nancy Pelosi knows that Republicans will cave on trillions of domestic spending the second she puts military spending on the chopping block. This is madness, and it has to end. The ways of Washington are broken, and the work President Trump started isn’t finished. We need to drain the swamp if we’re going to Make American Great Again. If we want to fix the problems coming out of Washington, then we need to start electing true conservatives who will stand strong with their convictions and fight even when it’s unpopular to do so. If we send another typical politician to Washington, expect to get the same results. We need someone who’s going to go to D.C., to get the job done and be back home for church on Sunday. Sen. Mike Moon is a Republican who represents SD 29 in Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Stone, and Taney counties. He is vice-chairman of the Small Business and Industry Committee.


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BICENTENNIAL

The Missouri Times

HAPPY 200TH BIRTHDAY, MISSOURI!

Cameron Gerber Officials gathered at the Capitol on Aug. 10 to celebrate 200 years of statehood, commemorating its storied history while looking forward to the future. Gov. Mike Parson recalled famous Missourians, from Thomas Hart Benton and Mark Twain to Harry S. Truman and Walt Disney, while looking forward to the contributions of the next generation. Parson encouraged Missourians to remember the state’s achievements and their own history within the state during a ceremony on the Capitol steps.  “No matter whether you live in a big city or you live in the country, everything within the borders of Missouri is what makes us who we are,” Parson said. “You think of all the history of who we are and what we’ve been made of. The bicentennial is a great time for all of us to reflect a little bit, and I encourage all of you to take a little time to think of where you

came from. It’s an honor to be a fellow Missourian with all of you that are here today.” The south lawn was packed with lawmakers, statewide elected officials, members of Congress, and other Missourians celebrating 200 years of their state. Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Wilson, and State Historical Society of Missouri executive director Gary Kremer also gave remarks on the celebration. “It’s a great day to stop for a minute and look at all the struggles of who we are and where we’ve been,” Lt. Gov. Mike  Kehoe said. “It’s a great time to think about where we’ve been and where we’re going.” U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, who was slated to make an appearance but remained in Washington, D.C., for an important vote on an infrastructure package, commemorated the state’s milestone in a video.  “You can’t talk about

American history without talking about Missouri history, especially the men and women whose achievements shaped who we are today and where we are today,” Blunt said. “Our bicentennial is a time when we celebrate the significant contributions Missouri has made to the United States and to the world. With our remarkable past, Missouri has a bright future ahead of us.” Parson helped unveil the Bicentennial Stamp, a tribute from the U.S. Postal Service released as part of its 2021 stamp program. The stamp depicts a photograph of Bollinger Mill State Historic Site taken by landscape photographer Charles Gurche, whose career began in Missouri. Located near Cape Girardeau, the site is a stateowned property preserving a mill and a covered bridge predating the Civil War. The park opened in 1967 and offers picnic areas and tours of the mill; its bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic

Places. Jefferson City’s celebration kicked off Aug. 9 with the dedication of the Bicentennial Bridge which will provide a pedestrian and bike path from the Capitol to Adrian’s Island, an area along the Missouri River. The bridge will connect to a 30-acre parkland north of the Union Pacific Railroad. The new park will include a large Bicentennial Chessboard and use columns from the renovation of the statehouse.  Other celebrations included an ice cream social, tours of the Missouri Supreme Court, and various displays in the statehouse depicting the history of the state.  The celebration will continue at this year’s State Fair, which is returning in full to commemorate the bicentennial through displays and special challenges.  Missouri was officially incorporated as the 24th state in the union on Aug. 10, 1821.

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The Missouri Times

BICENTENNIAL

OFFICIALS DEDICATE BICENTENNIAL BRIDGE New stamp commemorates bicentennial

Cameron Gerber

Cameron Gerber The capital city kicked off its celebration of 200 years of statehood with the dedication of the Bicentennial Bridge on Aug. 9. Supporters and officials gathered on the Capitol grounds for the dedication of the bridge, commemorating the project with speeches, unveilings, and a musical performance. “As we celebrate our bicentennial, it is fitting that we dedicate the Bicentennial Bridge — the largest gift to the state of Missouri for the state’s bicentennial,” Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said. “When we celebrate Statehood Day tomorrow, we celebrate what we have completed so far on the bridge and we anticipate the future.” Gov. Mike Parson, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, and state Sen. Mike

Bernskoetter also spoke at the event, applauding the landmark and its features as a lasting testament to the state in commemoration of the milestone. “It’s special when we do things like this and people have the forethought to really make something that’s lasting, something that people really get to enjoy,” Parson said. “Kids will walk down this for the first time and get to see the state Capitol. This will make this place a little more special, and it will make our state a little special.” Tergin and members of the DeLong family, whose support for the project dates back half a century, unveiled a donor panel depicting family matriarch BJ DeLong who died earlier this summer. The Bicentennial Chessboard, a project from several groups including local Scout troops and the World Chess Hall of Fame, was also teased. The chessboard will feature engravings celebrating the state’s 200-year history and will be part of a new park along the other end of the bridge. The bridge will provide a pedestrian and bike path from the Capitol to Adrian’s Island, an area along the Missouri River. The

project will connect to a 30-acre parkland north of the Union Pacific Railroad in an effort to expand Capitol tourism and provide access to the new park as well as the City Greenway and Katy Trail system. The entrance to the bridge features a Gold Star Memorial honoring veterans and their families, and educational panels will adorn its length from various sponsors. The new park will have walking and biking trails and feature assets taken from the statehouse during its renovation, including stone columns from the top of the building. The largest project approved by the Bicentennial Commission, the bridge has several beneficiaries in the community; the DeLong family has been longtime supporters, putting more than $3.5 million behind the construction while Union Pacific announced its $200,000 sponsorship in the spring. Tergin said funding for the construction itself was covered but further donations for additional features were welcome. Construction on the bridge is still underway, with the final support beam placed as the ceremony commenced. Tergin said a ribbon cutting ceremony was expected to follow in October once it is completed. Ground was broken on the project last August, a year to the day ahead of the bicentennial. The ceremony was the first of several events scheduled to celebrate the bicentennial on the Capitol grounds.

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A new stamp from the U.S. Postal Service commemorating Missouri’s bicentennial is set to be issued this year as part of the service’s 2021 stamp program. The design depicts a photograph of Bollinger Mill State Historic Site taken by landscape photographer Charles Gurche. The historic site, located near Cape Girardeau, is a stateowned property preserving a mill and a covered bridge predating the Civil War. The park opened in 1967 and offers picnic areas and tours of the mill; its bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The original owner of the

site, George Frederick Bollinger, received the property as a land grant from the Spanish government. Bollinger was later elected to serve as a senator in Missouri’s first General Assembly. “The new 2021 stamps are designed to look beautiful on your envelopes, to be educational, and to appeal to collectors and pen pals around the world,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Director William Gicker. “As always, the program offers a variety of subjects celebrating American culture and history, and this year, we made a special effort to include a little fun.” Missouri was officially incorporated as the 24th state in the union on Aug. 10, 1821.

Missouri Constitution Released in Audiobook Format Press Release

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Missouri’s entry into the U.S., has announced that the Constitution of the State of Missouri will be released in audio book format on August 10. This 13-hour recording, produced by the Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library, is the first audio version to be created in the history of the state. For over three months, Wolfner Library volunteers, including narrator Keith Krueger, who practiced law for over 45 years, and reviewer Paul Otto, a former Assistant Attorney General for Missouri, worked countless hours in the recording studio preparing the audio book for its bicentennial release. Mr. Otto said, “Although I began practicing law in 1974, I was reminded how detailed and precise this document is, and am honored that my involvement will finally make it accessible to many who otherwise were not able to read it.”

“Wolfner volunteers donate thousands of hours each year to provide an immeasurable service to the many Missourians who use the library. Every Missourian deserves access to important state documents,” Ashcroft said. “The goal is to help print-disabled individuals have the tools and resources they need to reach their God-given potential. It’s just the right thing to do, and this project is important in reaching that goal.” Leslie Bowman, Director of the Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library, said, “I am extremely thankful for the dedicated volunteers and staff who work so hard to make sure that the print-disabled citizens of Missouri have equal access to this foundational document.” As with all Wolfner audio recordings, the Constitution of the State of Missouri is digitally marked with navigation points, allowing quicker access to amendments, articles, and other key sections of the document.


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The Missouri Times

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Profile for Missouri Times

The Missouri Times State Fair Edition | August 16, 2021  

Special State Fair edition of The Missouri Times with exclusive content from Senator Roy Blunt, an insider's look at the 4th congressional d...

The Missouri Times State Fair Edition | August 16, 2021  

Special State Fair edition of The Missouri Times with exclusive content from Senator Roy Blunt, an insider's look at the 4th congressional d...

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