I took a tour of Grassland Consultants last week. Their headquarters are located in Monett but much of their business is in Newton County. They are a New Zealand based company who specialize in paddock style grazing operations for dairy cattle. By planting perennial Rye Grass, they are able to provide a dairy cow with the necessary nutrients to produce milk much cheaper than conventional practices. Each cow receives around six pounds of supplement daily in addition to the grass. They are currently milking seven thousand cows. Each five hundred acre farm supports six hundred and fifty cows. Their program allows young people to get started in the business as a share partner and work their way up to ownership of their own farm. I really enjoyed the tour but it's a little hard to understand that New Zealand accent.
We were in Neosho Friday for the last Eggs & Issues for this Session. It was very well attended and there were four of us Reps as well as Senator Richard giving our views on the successes and failures this year. All in all, we had a successful year. Measures were passed on tort reform, reduction of welfare, school transfers, right to work, and much needed agriculture bills. Right to Work always attracts a lot of attention but the bottom line is that passage in the near future is inevitable. Six of the eight states touching Missouri are already Right to Work states and their populations and job numbers continue to grow while ours are diminishing. In April our jobless rate went from 5.5% to 5.8% and we lost nearly 6,000 jobs. We are supposed to be in economic recovery but we continue to lag behind our neighbors. Missouri, and particularly Southwest Missouri is perfectly situated for economic growth. There is no place in the U.S. that is a better place for industrial growth. We must position ourselves to compete on a level playing field with our neighboring states by passing a Right to Work bill.
Our hats are off to our local law enforcement folks for their quick and professional handling of the Anderson bank robbery. While Sheriff's department personnel were conducting a search of the area, Gregg Sweeten broadcast a description of the robber, which was picked up by Highway Patrolman Corky Burr who had seen a suspicious truck earlier in the day and had run the plates. The picture on the license matched the description and they went to the suspect’s home where Sheriff Hall made the arrest! Now that's what you call teamwork!