On July 17, the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC) and Kip Cullers hosted a Lunch and Learn program at K&K Farms in Newton County. More than 45 people, including local elected officials, gathered in a tent adjacent to crop fields where Cullers has twice set the world record for soybean yields.
Attendees were presented with information illustrating the significant role agriculture plays in Missouri, including the important connection existing between the animal agriculture and row crop industries. During the presentation, Cullers explained how he uses waste products from a poultry facility he owns to fertilize his fields.
"We are proud of the roles that the poultry and soybean industries play in Missouri," Cullers said. "Poultry litter is an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter for growing crops. These programs are an excellent opportunity to share some of our state's achievements in agriculture. Our goal is to provide local leaders with a better understanding of our operation and the importance of animal agriculture."
The poultry industry is crucial to the crop farmers of Missouri since animal agriculture consumes more soybeans and corn than any other industry. Poultry and livestock consume 94 percent of all U.S. soybean meal and 60 percent of all corn products.
"Livestock and poultry producers continue to be our No. 1 customer," said Dale R. Ludwig, MSMC executive director/CEO. "Educating local leaders and elected officials about the importance of animal agriculture to the Missouri economy and the state's soybean farmers is one of our highest priorities."
In 2006, the poultry and livestock industries had a combined economic output of more than $7 billion and animal agriculture producers paid more than $240 million in income taxes and $79 million in property taxes. The tax revenue from poultry and livestock facilities provides funding for rural schools, hospitals and libraries.
The Lunch and Learn series is supported by: the Missouri Agribusiness Association, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri's Cattlemen Foundation, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Dairy Association, Midwest Dairy Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture, The Missouri Egg Council, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Pork Association, The Poultry Federation, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and the University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program.