Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon made a number of stops in Northeast Missouri Friday, touting economic development and educational programs in the region.
His first stop was at the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Ursa Farmers Cooperative's new $11 million grain elevator in Canton. The state provided a $1.99 million community development grant to clear the blighted property to build the new facility.
"20 years ago on December 5th is when the folks were killed crossing this. Everybody at that time realized that going across in filled up trucks is dangerous, and you think about a better way to do this. For a lot of years, a lot of folks looked at ways to get this done," Nixon said.
Co-op officials say the new grain elevator will make it easier for Missouri farmers to take their grain to market. It will also eliminate the need to ferry grain trucks across the Mississippi River to the co-op's facility in Ursa, Ill.
Co-op official said that the new elevator will make the storage and distribution of grain faster which will help them better compete in the market.
"This elevator was built with convenience and speed in mind. It's all about speed for us to bring people in and get them out, the convenience of being able to pull in the inbound scales and, read your information as it scans it automatically from when you pull in the scaled here," General Manager of Ursa Farmers Coop Gerald Jenkins explained.
The governor also stopped at Palmyra high School where he recognized the district for its continuing excellence in academics, a distinction the district has received for the last 12 years.
Nixon then travelled to Louisiana, Mo. where he gave Stark Bro.'s Nurseries and Orchards the Governor's Award for Agricultural Achievement.