The June meeting of the Mid-Missouri Agribusiness Club was held at the Missouri Cattleman’s Headquarters in Columbia, MO and was attended by 85 area agribusiness leaders.
The featured speaker was the newly appointed Missouri Director of Agriculture, Katie Smith. Director Smith grew up on a family farm in Platte County and has spent her career working to further Missouri agriculture interests and values at the nation’s Capitol.
Mrs. Smith has worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Energy and served for federal elected officials in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Most recently she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Energy’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. At USDA, she served as Special Assistant to Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Hawks where she represented the department during the 2002 Farm Bill conference negotiations and served as the agriculture representative for the transition of Agriculture border inspectors to the Department of Homeland Security.
She served for four years as the chief policy advisor on agriculture issues for Senator Jim Talent. She has also worked on agriculture issues for Senator Kit Bond and Congressman Sam Graves.
Director Smith discussed her activities during her first four weeks on the job. She shared her experiences with assessing flood damage, and announced that FSA assessments would soon be ready to assist farmers with repairing flood damage.
Director Smith also shared her focus areas for the future of the Department and for agriculture in Missouri. She stated she looks forward to hearing the opinions of Missouri agriculture stakeholders, and is going to make reaching out to young people, in an effort to stop the “brain drain”, a priority of the Department.