JOPLIN, Mo. —
Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, doesn’t often get positive words from Republican leadership in the Missouri General Assembly.
State Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, the majority floor leader, departed from that trend in describing the pace when he accompanied the governor on a recent trip to Europe that included meetings with representatives of businesses that have interests in the state.
“He worked hard. He had us all going 10 to 12 hours a day,” said Richard, who described himself as “the lone Republican” in the contingent that traveled with the governor.
He said the Missouri delegation met with leaders of 24 businesses involved in technology and aircraft production, including some that have contracts in Southwest Missouri.
“We went to the Paris Air Show, and he (Nixon) was able to announce that Boeing is adding jobs in Missouri,” Richard said.
In Belgium, members of the group met with officials of InBev, the company that now owns Anheuser-Busch. The members also got a briefing from NATO commanders. They met with the American ambassadors to France and England during stops in Paris and London, and they also visited the beaches of Normandy and laid wreaths at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
Richard was chairman of the Job Creation and Economic Development Committee in the House when he served there, and he has traveled with governors on economic development trips, starting with Gov. Bob Holden.
Reiboldt on committee
State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, chairman of the House Agriculture Policy Committee, has been named co-chairman of a committee appointed to address issues affecting agriculture in the state.
House Speaker Tim Jones last week announced the creation of the House Interim Committee on Emerging Issues in Agriculture Policy. The panel is to assess the state of agriculture in Missouri and develop policy recommendations that will promote the continued growth of the farming industry.
Jones named Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, to chair the committee. Jones said he is confident that the panel will work “to develop innovative solutions to help the state’s $11 billion agriculture industry thrive” in the future.
“I want Reps. Guernsey and Reiboldt to take a closer look at some of the issues impacting our dairy industry, as well as some of the infrastructure needs our state will have to meet in order to move our agricultural products to new markets,” Jones said.
The industry contributes billions to the state’s economy and supports more than 23,000 jobs. It has been affected by last year’s drought, higher feed costs and, most recently, the failure of Congress to approve a farm bill.