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Marshall to host town hall meeting on agriculture issues tonight (Updated Oct. 26)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Marshall will host the second in a statewide series of town hall meetings focusing on current threats to agriculture.

The meeting, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the Martin Community Center, is sponsored by Missouri Farmers Care and the Santa Fe Agri-Leaders.

Dan Kleinsorge of Missouri Farmers Care will be the emcee of the meeting and local state senator Bill Stouffer R-Napton will give a Powerpoint presentation. Three other state legislators, Joe Aull, D-Marshall; Caleb Jones, R-California and Mike Lair, R-Chillicothe, will also speak.

"They will be talking about ag policy in the legislature, HSUS's (Humane Society of the United States) past activity, Prop B's impact and how it was fixed, the Your Vote Counts initiative being pushed by HSUS and what Missouri Farmers Care is and how we're working to protect Ag in Missouri," explained Kleinsorge.

At the end of the session, audience members will get a chance to ask questions to the panelists.

HSUS reportedly backs a current initiative petition that would place on the ballot a measure limiting the Missouri legislature's ability to amend laws approved by referendum. Supporters of the measure hope to have it considered during a 2012 election.

The petition drive was started after legislators made changes to Prop B, also known as the Puppy Mill initiative. The proposition was turned down overwhelmingly in most rural counties, but passed with 51.6 percent of the vote, after results from Kansas City and St. Louis were tabulated.

"We want to have them in every part of the state, including St. Louis and Kansas City," said Kleinsorge, adding they are still working out dates and places for future events. The first event was held last month in Bowling Green.

Marshall was picked as a location for the meeting after Kleinsorge and Santa Fe Agri-Leaders advisor Brittany Hemme and others in the area talked to him about the possibility.

"Several Marshall-area groups inquired if we were going to have a town hall in the area soon, and so it seemed like the perfect place to have one after Bowling Green," said Kleinsorge. "The Santa Fe Agri-leaders have been a huge help in putting the event together, but Cargill and United Producers has also helped spread the word."

Missouri Farmers Care is "a joint effort by Missouri's farming and agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our community depends," according to their website.

Their purpose in holding the meetings is to connect with "ag supporters and spread the word about what HSUS is up to now and what Missouri Farmers Care is doing to stop them and protect ag in Missouri," said Kleinsorge.

The meeting, which is free, is open to anyone interested in finding out more about the issues.

"I would recommend all agricultural producers attend as their livelihood is threatened by animal-rights extremists," said Kleinsorge. "Anyone who is concerned about price stability for meat products and their grocery bill should also attend. Attacks on agriculture ultimately affect everyone, and that's why we've made the event open to all."

Hemme also said it is important for young people to attend.

"Even if they can't vote, we still need the younger generation to start getting involved and be aware of the activists out there trying to attack agriculture, because they are the next generation," she said.

For more information, contact Dan Kleinsorge at Dan@mofarmerscare.com or 573-821-2040.

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