Gov. Nixon Signs Bill Legalizing Tractor Parades
Standing next to an antique 1951 John Deere Model A tractor on the South Lawn of the State Capitol, Gov. Jay Nixon today signed HB 93 & 216, a bill to make tractor parades in Missouri legal. Gov. Nixon was joined at the signing by bill sponsor state Rep. Mike Thomson of Maryville; by state Sen. Frank Barnitz of Lake Spring, who handled the bill in the Senate; by Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; and by Col. James Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
"Agriculture has been the backbone of Missouri's economy ever since statehood, and is a rich part of our heritage," Gov. Nixon said. "Tractor parades give Missourians the chance to see the wonderful pieces of machinery that helped make Missouri an agricultural powerhouse."
The bill allows tractors to be driven on Missouri roadways in parades by licensed drivers during daylight hours for fund-raising events, with the approval of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. An emergency clause in the bill means the law took effect upon the Governor's signature. Gov. Nixon said that the beginning of summer also marks the beginning of many agricultural festivals and fairs around the state. The first tractor parade under the new law is planned for the Maries County town of Vichy on May 31.
The John Deere tractor was brought to the Capitol by its owner, Harold Wolf of Tipton. Several members of the Heart of America Tractor Club from Nodaway County also were present for the bill signing.
The majority of bills passed by the 2009 General Assembly were presented to the Governor today. Gov. Nixon has until mid-July to sign or veto those bills.