A banquet for farmers and ranchers in Newton and McDonald counties will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Neosho High School.

The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee's Agriculture Appreciation Banquet will be start at 5 p.m. The evening includes a social time/exhibitor booths at 5 p.m., dinner and bluegrass music at 6 p.m. and keynote speakers Congressman Billy Long and Rep. Bill Reiboldt. Long will be discussing the new Federal Farm Bill, while Reiboldt will be introducing his Constitutional Amendment Bill called "The Right to Farm."

"The main focus is exactly what it is called, it is agricultural appreciation and that goes beyond farming," said Eric Norris, co-chairman of the chamber's agriculture committee. "We have a lot of agricultural industry from Moark to retail farming. Missouri's number one is agriculture. We just want to take the chance that evening to give these folks, that work hard every day to advance the number one industry, they do a lot for our economy, just a free evening with a good meal and good information that they can enjoy."

Farmers, gardeners, forestry, conservationist, Ag retail, Ag support, any agriculture related vocation is invited. RSVP to the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce at 451-1925 or info@neoshocc.com by Wednesday, Oct. 30.

"We also recognize newly recognized century farm families of the year for both Newton and McDonald counties," he said. "To sum it all up, it is truly just an appreciation for those that work in all facets of agriculture."
As far as the booths at the event, Norris said there would be around 20 vendors.

"There will be educational and retail vendors there for folks to enjoy before and after the event," Norris said.

Asked if they are seeing more and more people going into the Ag field, Norris said, "there are so many different avenues in Ag, and Ag technology is probably one of the fastest growing, in all facets from GPS planting systems to dairy management and everything. Farming is no longer just you and your tractor anymore it is really a technology advanced industry – both in the education side of things, that is even more important, it is almost difficult these days to go and run a successful farming operation without the education, without the high school and a lot of times an associate and more to run a successful farm. It is one of the biggest businesses that you can operate.