Joined by agriculture and conservation leaders at the MFA Feed Mill in Mexico, Mo., Gov. Jay Nixon today signed a bill that supports and strengthens Missouri agriculture by protecting farmers from losses due to grain dealer failure; clarifies that purchases and shipping of agriculture equipment are tax-exempt; and exempts sales taxes for captive animals sold to hunting ranches. In addition, the bill addresses urban agriculture and other measures that enhance Missouri's agriculture industry.
"Agriculture is the backbone of Missouri's economy," Gov. Nixon said. "Missouri farmers feed, fuel and clothe the world, and they also create jobs, support local businesses and help our communities thrive. It is important we make changes needed to keep the industry and Missouri moving forward. Senate Bill 356 not only modernizes agriculture law, but it protects Missouri farm families and consumers and strengthens our entire agriculture industry. Once again, I'm proud to stand with Missouri farmers and sign this important bill into law."
Senate Bill 356, also known as the omnibus agriculture bill, lowers famers' risk of loss due to grain dealer failure, helps maintain a minimum level of viability which increases long-term business success, and modernizes Missouri grain dealer licensing to benchmark the industry with other Midwest grain-producing states. Specifically, the bill addresses the following regarding grain dealers:
* Requires annual grain purchases to be included in financial statements which are audited or reviewed by a CPA.
* Requires grain dealers to demonstrate sufficient working capital.
* Requires a post security equal to 2 percent of annual purchase.
* Establishes the minimum security to be $50,000 and maximum at $600,000.
* Requires grain dealers to maintain a net worth equal to 5 percent of annual grain purchases.
In addition, the bill also exempts local sales and use taxes for the sale of captive wildlife to hunting ranches, including captive white-tail deer, quail, pheasant and other types of animals. The bill clarifies that the sale of any farming accessory upgrade for machinery and equipment used for agriculture purposes, and the freight charges for shipping such equipment, are also tax-exempt.
Further, SB 356 establishes the Missouri Farmland Trust Act to allow for the donation of farmland to assist beginning farmers; addresses noxious weed issues to expand requirements for landowners and prohibit the spread of noxious weeds; allows the Missouri Department of Agriculture to place the Missouri Livestock Brand Book online; and renames the Joint Committee on Urban Farming to the Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture and extends the work of this important committee for two additional years.