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Missouri State University Collegiate Farm Bureau hosted the 2012 Agricultural Forum tonight at the Christopher Bond Learning Center in Springfield, Mo.

Roy Blunt addressing the crowd

Speakers included Senator Roy Blunt and Congressman Billy Long. Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Todd Hays served as moderator of the event. This was the thirteen annual Agricultural Forum held at Missouri State University, and the first to be held in The Christopher Bond Learning Center.

Billy Long addressing the audience

Prior to opening the floor to guests for questions, Senator Blunt and Congressman Long discussed what they are working on in Washington and issues that our government should be working toward improving.

Senator Blunt discussed looking at more renewable energy such as bio bass as he does not believe that solar and wind energy is a long-term solution to energy problems.

Congressman Long talked about the work he has completed in order to have free trade agreements with Latin American countries such as Panama and Columbia, which greatly benefit agricultural industries.

A Missouri Corn Growers Association representative voices his concerns to Senator Blunt and Congressman Long

A Representative from the Missouri Corn Growers Association discussed the increasing energy costs facing American farmers. Senator Blunt responded by stating that we need to “be as energy efficient as we can.”  He also believes that “we could be largely energy independent in a decade.”

A young farmer brought the current death tax rates to the attention of Senator Blunt and Congressman Long saying, “Folks are getting excited about agriculture.” He went on to discuss in detail how the death tax rates can ruin young farmers, which forces them to lose their excitement.

Senator Blunt said, “I’m for zero death tax.”

Guests also asked about future energy credits from forage crops such as native brush found in Southwest Missouri.

Missouri State University Collegiate Farm Bureau President Samantha Warner thanked supporters of the Agricultural Forum for their support. They include Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Greene County Farm Bureau and County Farm Bureau members in Southwest Missouri.

Attendance of special guests, farmers, students and professors made the Ag Forum a HUGE success