A local lawmaker will join a panel of legislators and citizens will meet for the first time in Mexico, Mo., to take public input from farmers and other Missourians who have suffered as a result of this year's drought.
Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, will serve on the Interim Commission on Agriculture Innovation and Economic Recovery in the first of a series of hearings designed to better assess the impact of the extreme weather as well the ongoing economic recession. The commission's first public hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Plant Science Center in Mexico, Mo.
The hearing kicks off a series of hearings around the state that the commission will use to assess the damage that has been done to the state's vitally important agriculture industry. Members hope to gather input from farmers in all areas of the state on actions the legislature can take to help mitigate the devastating impact of the drought. Future hearings will be held in Charleston, Mountain Grove and Neosho.
The commission is made up of six members of the Missouri House and four Missouri citizens with a healthy knowledge of the state's agriculture industry. Reiboldt serves as chairman and Rep. Jay Houghton, R-Martinsburg, serves as vice chairman. Other members include reps. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville; Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton; Steve Hodges, D-East Prairie; and Tom Shively, D-Shelbyville. The citizen members include: Lonny Duckworth of Duckworth Farms, Lloyd Gunter of Gunter Farms, Brent Sandidge of Ham Hills Farms, and Greg Sharpe of Pioneer Seed.