Agriculture Economy

Missouri’s Economy is driven by Agriculture

The economy in Missouri is driven by agriculture. All together in 2016, agriculture accounted for nearly $90 billion.  To put that in perspective, Missouri’s gross domestic product for 2015 was $261.5 billion.

I know what it means to be a farmer in Missouri. It’s tough, hard, and one of the most rewarding experiences in life. I’ve spent my life sharing my love of farming and agriculture with new generations, and I want to continue protecting, nurturing, and growing Missouri agriculture for future generations.

Farmers need to Farm

“Farmers need to farm” is a simple statement. Increased regulations, loss of farm land, and small farms going under make it difficult. In 2014, beef alone was an industry worth $2 billion, and employed over 39,000 people. I want to help nurture and grow those opportunities for more people in our state.

Below you will find some resources that detail the impact of Missouri Agriculture on each of the counties in the 28th Senatorial District – this is why I’m running for State Senate.

I’m asking for your vote on August 8th so I can continue my life’s work of protecting and growing Missouri Agriculture.

Agriculture Impact

Vague law references should not be used to communicate with citizens

A “Law” Passed in 2014

The letter sent out last month, vaguely referencing a law,  had two major issues with it.

Vague Law Reference

First: it was sent out two weeks before it took effect. There was no time given for seniors to make any changes or look for alternatives before their prescriptions became due. On a fixed income, a 50% increase (Mo RX paid for 50% of the cost) can be devastating. I believe that Missouri should provide at minimum 30 days notice before a program is shuttered. Ideally, we would notify individuals affected at least 90 days beforehand so they can inform their representatives about how the program affects their lives.

As your state Senator, I will push for that reform.

Second: In that letter, there is a vague passage that references “A law passed in 2014”. This brings to mind a couple of questions:

  1. What bill was passed that caused this to happen?
  2. Who voted for it?

This is an obvious attempt from the Governor to shirk responsibility for his part in kicking 63,000 senior citizens off of the Mo RX program. Any time a government agency wants to hide responsibility for an action, they can easily reference “a law” or “the law”. That is unacceptable. This letter should have included the bill that was lead to this course of action. Missouri’s Government has a duty to provide enough information to citizens to enable understanding. As a citizen, you have a right to understand the laws that affect you. It is too easy for the government to obfuscate its actions by hiding behind vague words.

As your state Senator, I will fight to ensure that the government properly and effectively communicates to Missourians the laws that are affecting them.

Seniors Under Attack

MoRX helps Seniors

Missouri RX was a program put into place back in 2006 to help cover the costs of medications for seniors. This helps keep them from having to make the choice between life-saving medications, electricity, food, clean running water, or transportation. As a state, we cannot allow this to continue.

Tough Choices

Eric Greitens was right when he said Missouri had some tough choices to make when it comes to our budget. Budgets are moral documents: Spending is prioritized based on the values of those who make them. Knocking 63,000 seniors off of Mo RX (with only 2 weeks notice) is a huge indicator of what the governor values.

Tough choices are a big part of fixing what’s wrong with Missouri. We need to focus on job growth, improving infrastructure, and improving health care. There’s a lot of work to do there. The easy answer, and the path the Governor has taken, is to cut services to those least able to defend themselves.

That’s wrong for Missouri. We’re the “Show Me” state. Not the “Hide from tough problems” state.

The Letter

In mid-June, 63,000 people in Missouri received a letter in the mail. It says that on July 1st, their prescription drug coverage was going to end. As you can see, it tries to push the blame off of Governor Greitens and on to a law passed in 2014. Unlike past Governors, Greitens chose not to try and change this sunset provision and instead allowed it to lapse, creating the situation that we see today.

Seniors kicked off MO RX

As your senator, I will fight to protect access to quality, affordable medication without having to make impossible choices between food, clothing, and healthcare. People deserve to live with compassion, dignity, and respect from their leaders. Nobody should have to live in fear that at any given time their government will present them with impossible choices.

I call on Eric Greitens to fix this, now. It’s too important to wait for the September Session.

Missouri State Teachers Association Endorsement

MSTA Endorsed Al Skalicky

I am proud to announce that the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) has endorsed me in my race for State Senate. The MSTA Legislative Impact Committee found that I was “a pro-education candidate that voters can enthusiastically support!”

Largest Education Association

The MSTA is the largest education association in the state of Missouri. In 1856 they started with just 110 members from 22 schools. They have now grown to over 47,000 members. The Legislative Impact Committee has 10 board members, and their primary focus for

MSTA Endorsed Al SKalicky

In the past, we have focused primarily on passing important ballot issues and retiring campaign debts. Today, our activities begin much earlier in the political process — by supporting the campaigns of candidates who will be our champions on key education issues in the future.

~MSTA Legislative Impact Committee

My support for students, teachers, and staff will never waver. I will always work and fight for our schools. I am humbled and honored to have the support of the MSTA.

Support Public Education

You can help support students and public education by voting for me in the August 8th Special Election. Our state has a chance, right now, to determine our future. We represent a specific choice: A choice to protect and develop our public education system. We refuse to give up on public education, and hope that you stand with us.

Yard Signs are In!

Yard Signs

We wanted to let you know that our Yard Signs have come in! These beautiful signs are going to start cropping up around the 28th district!

Yard Signs for Al Skalicky

If you see one of these yard signs out in the wild, let us know! Snap a picture and share it on our Facebook page!  Use the Hashtag #AlFor28 on Twitter to get your photo retweeted by @AlSkalicky.

Want one?

Do you want to:

  • Show your support for Teachers and Public Schools?
  • Help put an end to predatory lending and so-called “right to work” legislation?
  • Put a voice of common-sense in Jefferson City?

Then put up one of our signs today in your yard! Just call 417-425-7441 or e-mail us to get one for your yard!

Farming is Important to Missouri

An $88.4 Billion Industry

Missouri agriculture is important, not only to our state, but to the country. Farming produces $88.4 billion, which is 29% of Missouri’s $300 billion GDP.

How does Missouri do it?

From 2015 to 2016:

  • beef cattle inventory increased by 150,000
  • meat/milk goats inventory increased by 3,700
  • sheep inventory increased by 2,000
  • hog inventory increased by 50,000
  • soybean sales grew by $947 million
  • corn(grain) sales rose by $297 million
  • cotton sales grew by $41.9 million
  • rice sales increased by $9 million

All of this is thanks to the hard work of Missouri farmers.

Agriculture Education

We’ve seen the popularity of agriculture education grow over the past few years as well. Between 2012 and 2016 we saw an increase in Agriculture education across High School, College, and Adult training of 7,031. We had a total of 42,454 people involved in Ag education in 2016. That covers 10% of students.

The Future of Farming

We need to focus on making it easier, and more lucrative for farmers to sell what they grow. This comes in the form of easing economic burdens and making it easier for them to take their product to market. There are 114 counties in Missouri, but only 256 farmers markets.

If getting the product to market is difficult, it won’t be profitable. By focusing on innovative solutions when it comes to getting products to market, we can ease this burden.  Missouri farming is dependent on local, national, and global markets. Government should make that easier, not harder.

Farming is hard work – reaping the benefits of that hard work shouldn’t be.

National Teacher’s Appreciation Day

Teachers know how to Teach

Every few years it seems that someone has a brilliant idea to change education. Right now, that brilliant idea is charter schools. Most experienced teachers recognize that these ideas come around in cycles, and they are usually repackaged versions of older ideas with a new name and minor changes.

We need to stop handicapping our educators. Every time we require a school to make changes for the “newest, greatest thing”, (which, as I said, is usually a recycled, already-failed system tried years before) we add new levels of busywork that take teachers away from students. According to the Why Teach Survey in October of 2015, teachers are most likely to leave the workforce due to ineffective leadership, high workload, and low pay. This issue is even more prevalent in high-poverty Urban schools, where high-performers leave their jobs at nearly the same rate as those who do not perform well. (The Irreplaceables: Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America’s Urban Schools. The New Teacher Project, 2012.)

Teachers work best when they are able to build relationships with students. More interaction improves performance; adding layers of data-gathering and busywork will make our schools worse. They know how best to teach their students – it is vital that we give them the tools, and flexibility, to continue performing at the high standards we’ve come to expect.

Today is National Teacher’s Day.  I just want to say to my colleagues “Keep up the good work!” I know you face more challenges (both inside and outside the classroom) than you have ever faced before.  But I also know this. Teachers today are also better prepared than they have ever been and are prepared to meet those challenges and to meet the changing needs of their students.

Thank you for your service.

Missouri Flooding

Stay Safe

Due to massive flooding in Missouri, FEMA has given a few safety tips that we feel should be passed along:

  • If you need information about shelters, disasters, or need a referral, dial 211. The 211 service is available throughout Missouri.
  • Businesses and individuals should report any storm-related damage to their local emergency management officials.
  • Any local official should be able to connect you with any services being provided by state departments and non-governmental organizations who are assisting with any unmet needs.
  • Contact insurance companies immediately with any storm-related damage.
  • http://www.ready.gov/floods – this is a link to FEMA-recommended steps that should be taken immediately after a flood.
  • Flood Resources: http://extension.missouri.edu/main/DisplayCategory.aspx?C=259
  • If your home is flooded: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/MP904

Be Smart

Be aware that flash flooding can happen within minutes and with very little, or no, warning. If it’s possible that a flash flood could occur, move to higher ground immediately. Remember: Do not drive through flood water.

Downed power lines are especially dangerous during wet weather. Avoid them at all costs, and do not, under any circumstance, touch a downed power line.

It is important to be prepared. You should have emergency supplies on hand for situations like the one we are in. Please refer to ready.gov for guidance on building your own emergency kit.

Your family needs a plan – ready.gov also helps you prepare for emergencies by helping you develop a plan your family can use.

St. Clair County

Tuesday Night

We spent the evening with friends in St. Clair County. As great as it was to see familiar faces, it was refreshing to see new faces in the crowd.

One lady who was in attendance told me, “I’m here because I’m a concerned citizen.” Well, that’s why I was there, too. I am running this campaign because I’m concerned with the attacks on our public education system. I’m concerned with the direction our state is taking employment.

I’m running because it’s time that concerned citizens stand up and work hard for what we believe in.

In visiting with the people across our district, there have been two common themes: Excitement, and concern. Concern about where we’re headed as a district, as a state, and as a country. It’s important to keep voicing those concerns, and remain engaged in the process – keep that excitement high! Be ready, and prepared, to engage in meaningful and well thought out discussion with others; not just those who think the way you do.

I look forward to meeting, and getting to know my neighbors here in the 28th district.

We’re just getting started!