If you ask most people where their food comes from, they’ll list off a few preferred grocery stores and maybe a specialist like a butcher shop. In Missouri, where farms make up two-thirds of the total land acreage, we know better.
Small Missouri farms have a big impact on the local economy. Almost all the state’s farms (nearly 100,000 of them) are family-owned, with an average plot size of 269 acres. Viewed as a whole, these farms contribute a combined $88.4 billion to the state’s economy — and the entire agriculture industry supports 378,232 jobs.
National Agriculture Week begins on March 10, and we proudly salute every farmer, rancher, and agribusiness person. They do a tremendous job that, frankly, many people take for granted. We encourage you to take a moment to thank a farmer for his or her hard work.
Agriculture Goes Beyond Crops and Cattle
Thanks to the state’s rich diversity of terrain, farmers in Missouri can grow a wide variety of crops. Soybeans are Missouri’s biggest commodity, and the 5 million acres of soybeans sell for about $2.2 billion annually. The 3 million acres of corn take second place when it comes to generating revenue, and there are more than 2 million cows throughout the state. While these staples are important, there’s much more to Missouri’s agricultural industry than soybeans and corn: forestry products, for instance, contribute $9.7 billion to our economy.
There are also more than 130 wineries in the state, operating on 1,700 acres of grapes. In addition to unique and robust wines, these farms create hotbeds of tourism. Where a winery appears, tourist attractions such as restaurants, bed-and-breakfast establishments, and local craft shops are sure to follow.
Another unique facet of the Missouri agricultural industry is beekeeping. Local example “beeing” Giofre Apiaries, a mid-Missouri company that makes commercial ice cream with honey the owners farm themselves. Nancy and Domenic Giofre started beekeeping in 2009 with two small hives. A decade later, they continue to add hives to produce more honey for their ice cream. They now have 25 different flavors, ranging from standards such as vanilla and chocolate to new varieties like elderberry, cherry blossom, and salted caramel.
We could continue, but the point is that agriculture and farmers contribute to aspects of our lives and the economy that we don’t often consider. It’s important to remember where our food comes from and the people who work hard to provide it.
Financing Missouri Farms
From corn to cows to hens to honey, Missouri agriculture contributes to the economy in countless ways. The Callaway Bank is proud to offer financial tools that support the agricultural community — something that we’ve been doing for the past 162 years. Our ag lenders come from farming backgrounds and have extensive experience with the unique demands of agribusinesses because they’re farmers, too.
We know what it’s like to be in your shoes, and we always strive to do business face-to-face. Want to meet on your farm before sunup? So do we. We’re happy to discuss our financial options, including loans for land, livestock, or crops. Need a flexible payment plan? We can help. Want to make one single payment per year? That’s an option.
At The Callaway Bank, we make client-focused decisions on a local scale, and our goal is to help you find the right loan solution to fit your unique situation. Whether you’re refinancing your farm or need a loan for an expansion, visit Cody or Garry at The Callaway Bank for all of your agricultural lending needs!
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