(Maysville,MO) The University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Farm Bureau are teaming up to tour the state to talk about the growing number of wind turbines in the state.
"I think the big concern is that people want to be heard, they want to be listened to and that's what we're here for," Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor of the Extension and Engagement for the University of Missouri said.
Tuesday night the group hosted a listening session at the Maysville Chamber of Commerce building to talk with area farmers about how the growing number of turbines impact their lives in northwest Missouri.
Blake Hurst,President of the Missouri Farm Bureau Board of Directors, said the roundtable meeting gave people a chance to weigh in on the new technology.
"There's differing opinions, some people see it as economic development and a welcomed addition to their community. Some people are not as enthusiastic, shall we say, they are very critical of the windmill development," Hurst said.
The team has been making stops around the state as a part of a listening tour.
"We don't have a position on this issue, it's not our place to do that. This is about this community and what we can do to inform and help them ask the right questions and we want to do that for all communities in Missouri," Stewart said.
Graduate students from the University of Missouri will be also be collecting feedback and conducting surveys about how wind turbines impact people’s daily lives.
"The extension service has a group of graduate students who are going around the state listening and doing public forums like this. When they're done they will write a report on what they heard," Hurst said.
Stewart said the collection of opinions from people around the state could give other communities insight to what communities do and don’t want for new development.
"We are here to listen and learn. There may be things that we hear tonight that could inform other communities. Whether it be wind turbines or bringing in an automobile company into your community or bringing any other kind of enterprise into your community, there may be other lessons learned here that could be helpful and informative to other communities,"Stewart said.
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