(CHILLICOTHE, Mo.) Missouri Lieutenant Governor Michael Parson made a stop in Chillicothe Wednesday afternoon at the Litton Ag Center to promote his new program Buy MO!, a new campaign that could boost Missouri business.
“The Buy MO! program is developed through the Lieutenant Governor's office and really it’s about promoting Missouri businesses and Missouri workers,” Parson said.
Buy MO! highlights products made in every region of the state to inform consumers about the local options and give local businesses better opportunities to compete with large out of state distributors.
“Anybody that comes and does business in the state of Missouri should not have an advantage over Missouri business,” Parson said.
Parson said the program will help build new businesses and promote established companies across all industries including agriculture. While in Chillicothe, Parson took a tour of the Milbank Mills (also known as Silver Mill Feeds), one of many businesses expected to be highlighted through the Buy MO! program.
Edward Milbank, President of Milbank Mills and fourth generation owners of the feed company said he is looking forward to participating in the Buy MO! program.
“I think it’s a great idea that will help our state and thereby help all the people who live here by generating sales, by aiding employment, by keeping dollars coming into Missouri. The success of this program should mean that we’ll all be better off,” Milbank said.
Milbank Mills had been making a variety of animal feed from grains and materials harvested in northwest Missouri for over 150 years.
“We are very happy that we’ve been able to survive for 151 years. We think the reason we have done that is because we have listened to our customers and given them what they need,” Milbanks said.
The program adds Missouri based businesses to an online registry and provides promotional videos to help customers find local resources in.
“Thousands of Missouri businesses are making product that are in our everyday stores,”Parson said. “We just want to make people aware the products that are there are Missouri products.”
Executive Director of the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce Crystal Narr feels this is a program everyone can get behind.
“Anytime we can bring Missouri made products, Missouri made industry to the forefront, thats a positive thing for everyone,” Narr said.
The program partners with the Missouri Grocers Association to work with area grocery stores to label Missouri made products with a sticker to help customers identify local goods.
“What we’re really trying to do is educate the public and make them aware of Missouri products that are made in the state,” Parson said.
Narr said helping customers identify Missouri made products could also help increase jobs.
“Just the product itself being made here is important, but the jobs that creates for Missouri residents is even more important,” Narr said.
State officials are hoping the program will help promote products made throughout the state and highlight growing brands.
“We’re all helping one another in the state of Missouri. Whether you live in Kansas City, southwest Missouri, Columbia, Springfield or St.Joseph. We know what products are made in each segment of the state, that we might purchase that product,” Parson said. “I think people will be surprised when they learn all those products are out there.”
The Lieutenant Governor’s office is expected to launch a website later this month will a complete list of businesses and products made in Missouri. For a look at the current list, or to register your business log on to https://ltgov.mo.gov/tourism-economic-development/buy-mo/.
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