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Urban agriculture is key component of Missouri governor’s special session call

Urban agriculture is key component of Missouri governor’s special session call

Missouri Governor Mike Parson speaks at Columbia’s Clary-Shy park, as state agriculture director Chris Chinn and Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe listen (August 25, 2022 photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Columbia’s mayor is supporting Governor Mike Parson’s (R) special session call, saying the tax credit extension for urban farming is critical in Columbia.

Mayor Barbara Buffaloe introduced Governor Parson during his Thursday visit to Clary-Shy park, which is the home of the Columbia Farmers Market.

“When we’re talking about support for urban agriculture, obviously Columbia supports that a lot. And so anything we can do. We’ve already taken advantage of a lot of those tax credits for our MU Health Care Pavilion and our local farmers market. So anything we can do to help build up this campus … because it provides so much for our community,” Buffaloe tells 939 the Eagle.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson (left) and CPS Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood speak at Columbia’s Farmers Market on August 25, 2022 (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

The Columbia Farmers Market is a year-round producer-only farmers market, with everything produced within a 50-mile radius of Columbia.

Governor Parson wants lawmakers to approve a six-year extension of farm tax credit programs, including the establishment or improvement of urban farming operations.

Mayor Buffaloe supports that, and she also emphasizes that Columbia’s Farmers Market gives back.

“Our agriculture park here provides food for our food pantry, so that those who are having food insecurity can get locally-generated healthy food, fruits and vegetables. And so just having opportunities for that. There’s so much more that goes on here than just what you see,” says Buffaloe.

About 5,000 people attend the Columbia Farmers Market on a normal Saturday.