Over the years, I’ve held several titles: student, wife, mom, farmer, spokesperson and leader. It is my greatest honor to now hold the title of director of agriculture.
Chris Chinn, Missouri Department of Agriculture director
I had no idea this opportunity was ahead of me, but I am thrilled and humbled to have it. I have always firmly believed that things happen for a reason. When Gov. Eric Greitens called, I knew it was time for me to step up. This is my chance to serve agriculture and to tell the farm story.
In Eric Greitens, we have a governor who really cares about rural Missouri and all Missourians. He demonstrated that genuine care during the ice storm in January. His ultimate goal was to ensure the safety of every single Missourian. I’m excited and optimistic about what the future holds for agriculture under his leadership.
As a wife, mom and farmer, I responsibly care for my family and farm. As director of agriculture, I will responsibly care for the ag industry. My husband, Kevin, and I are fifth-generation hog farmers from Clarence, in Shelby County. Everything we do is to ensure that our children (Rachelle and Conner) can, and want to, be the sixth generation to carry on the legacy. I became an advocate to bring the next generation home to the farm, and I still firmly believe in that cause.
We need to make rural Missouri a place that our children and their children want to come back to. We at the Department of Agriculture strive to efficiently and effectively serve the farm families of the Show-Me State through our regulatory role, but we will also focus on things like protecting the integrity of agriculture by sharing the truth about, and benefits of, our industry — through outreach to our urban neighbors, support of food banks (including further emphasis on the role that agriculture plays in their success) and dissemination of accurate information about agriculture and food production in our universities and schools. Another way we can increase efficiency is to further implement rural broadband, so that the internet connection can keep up with the technology that agriculture has at its fingertips. Ultimately, we will enhance our rural communities and make Missouri more vibrant.
The road ahead of us will be filled with many opportunities, and I’m sure some challenges — but I am looking forward to traveling this path with the thousands of outstanding farmers in the state, because I know that we can accomplish great things together. Thank you for supporting me as the director of agriculture; I look forward to meeting you and working for you!
Chinn is the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and a hog producer from Clarence.