Barn bedding benefits State Fair cattle exhibitors

StateFairCattleNora Kate McGaugh of Carrollton, Mo., washes a show calf during the 2019 Missouri State Fair. She and other livestock exhibitors will benefit from a new cattle barn bedding project for the 2020 event.Cattle exhibitors at this year’s Missouri State Fair will no longer have to bring in their own bedding, thanks to a pilot project approved by the fair commission last month. The plan calls for premium mulch bedding to be provided by the fair in each cattle stall and then composted after the event.

“This project has been a priority for the commission and Missouri State Fair staff,” said Fair Director Mark Wolfe. “Through the efforts of many dedicated individuals, I am excited to see this pilot project being implemented for the upcoming fair.”

Wolfe said the first part of the pilot project is removal of the existing sand in the cattle barn stalls and the addition of a compacted lime base. These efforts are currently in progress by State Fair maintenance staff. Bedding will then be purchased from Missouri Mulch of New Florence, Mo. The mulch comes from scrap pieces of white oak lumber used for wine barrel staves.

Following the fair, Bluebird Composting of Fulton, Mo., will pick up and haul the used mulch to be made into organic compost, which, in turn, will be used to fertilize the white oak trees that are grown for barrels.

“The life cycle of the mulch is fascinating and shows real efforts in agricultural stewardship and doing what’s best for our fair, our exhibitors and our environment,” said Wolfe.

Costs for the pilot project are estimated at $33,000 a year. The State Fair Commission approved a plan to divide the costs into thirds. The Missouri State Fair Foundation is sponsoring the costs associated with the composting (approximately $11,000) and the fair will pay approximately $11,000 to support cattle exhibitors. The remainder of the funds will come from a $10 per head bedding fee charged to beef cattle exhibitors only. The fee will be collected along with beef cattle entries, which totaled around 1,100 head in 2019.

Dairy cattle exhibitors, who show toward the end of the fair, will still be allowed to bring in their own straw to place on top of the mulch bedding. Exhibitors will be required to keep their bedding clean and trash free so that it can be composted.

The 118th Missouri State Fair will be held Aug. 13-23 in Sedalia. For more information, visit

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Building for beans

BuildingBeansSoybean farmers, industry representatives and government officials gathered for the grand opening of the new Center for Soy Innovation on March 5 in Jefferson City, Mo.Connecting developments in soybean innovation with farmers, industry partners and the community, the new Center for Soy Innovation opened last month in Jefferson City, Mo.

The center brings together the many organizations working with and on behalf of Missouri’s soybean growers in one location, housing offices for the Missouri Soybean Association and Merchandising Council, the Biodiesel Coalition of Missouri, Foundation for Soy Innovation, Missouri Farmers Care, Ag Education on the Move and administrative functions for farmer-owned biodiesel plants.

“Missouri Soybean has a foundation of farmers coming together to solve problems, from developing markets for beans to ensuring farmers’ freedom to operate,” said Ronnie Russell, Missouri Soybean Association president. “This is both a celebration of that rich history and a huge step forward in growing our relationships with all who rely on soy through innovation, advocacy and education.”


BuildingBeans1During his address at the center’s grand opening ceremony, Gov. Mike Parson points out the presence of Missouri FFA members and described them as the future of agriculture.The organizations broke ground in July 2018 for the 14,300- square-foot building, which features demonstrations of soy-based construction materials such as countertops, flooring, insulation, turf, asphalt sealant and biodiesel heating. Interactive displays help tell the story of Missouri’s soybean industry and highlight the many uses for the state’s No. 1 cash crop. The new facility also provides education and training space as well as a community room and will serve as a hub for business development and value-added agriculture.

“There’s no other facility that brings together an education center and conference space with Missouri-based research and commercialization work,” said Robert Alpers, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council chairman. “We look forward to hosting groups and events to better serve soybean farmers and connect with people who might not have personal ties to agriculture.”

The Center is located at 734 S. Country Club Drive in western Jefferson City. To learn more, visit

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Waste wanted

Ste Gen Pesticide CollectionDuring the Aug. 3, 2019, collection event at MFA Agri Services in Ste. Genevieve, approximately 3,142 pounds of waste pesticides were collected from 22 participants. The program continues at different locations in 2020From 2012 to 2019, the Missouri Pesticide Collection Program has conducted 50 events, collecting more than 530,000 pounds of waste pesticide from 1,571 participants. In 2020, the department will again collect herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, dewormers, fly tags and fertilizer containing pesticides. Events are held from 8 a.m. to noon at these locations, which include MFA Agri Services in Montgomery City and our local affiliate in Clinton.

  • April 11 — Heritage Tractor, 3285 N. US Hwy. 63, West Plains
  • May 16 — Greenway Equipment, 20919 State Hwy. 114, Dexter
  • June 13 — Northeast Missouri Fairgrounds, 2700 E. Illinois Street, Kirksville
  • Aug. 1 — MFA Agri Services, 226 N. Walker Street, Montgomery City
  • Aug. 29 — Hundley-Whaley Research Center, 1109 S. Birch Street, Albany
  • Oct. 10 — Farmers Elevator and Supply Co., 511 S. Center Street, Clinton

At these events, approved hazardous waste contractors will send the chemicals to a permitted incineration facility.

To participate, keep all pesticides in original containers and identify those not in original containers or with missing labels. Do not mix the pesticides with other materials, like used motor oil or antifreeze. Make sure lids are tightly sealed. If the container is leaking, place it in a larger container with a non-flammable absorbent, such as clay-based cat litter. Secure waste pesticides upright in a cardboard box and transport in the back of a pickup truck, trailer or car trunk. Keep flamma­bles out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat.

A hazardous waste contractor will unload the waste pesti­cides from your vehicle. Non-pesticide waste brought to the event will be rejected and sent back with the participant.

For more information, visit online at hwp/pesticide/ or call 573-751-0616.

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