Gov. Parson stops in Mexico to hear about farmer struggles

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MEXICO - Gov. Parson is traveling through the northeastern part of Missouri this week and he started his travels in Mexico on Monday with a farmer-to-farmer discussion.

"There are real opportunities for the state of Missouri to do big things," Parson said at the beginning of the hour-long discussion.

He opened by stating his main focuses were improving infrastructure and job development in rural areas. 

"We just need to be able to help to do our part as government and from the governor's road to see how I can help with those two issues, which are crucial for Missouri. They are critical for the future of our state and for the young men and women coming up," Parson said. 

Parson opened the floor to allow farmers to introduce themselves and share with him the biggest problems they are currently facing.

Farmers brought up many different issues including health insurance, road safety, the drought, property rights and connecting with consumers. 

Larna Schnitker, 19, has grown up on a farm in Middletown her whole life and shared with the governor how her biggest problem was education. 

"I feel, to be point blank, that school is not teaching kids the right stuff anymore," she said. 

Schnitker just graduated high school and is about to start her freshman year at the University of Missouri.

"If we are preparing entire generations to only be book smart and graduate with good grades, but not have any life skills our industries, our businesses, our society as a whole might be affected negatively from that," she said. 

Tariffs and current U.S. foreign policies also came up frequently in the discussion.

Some of the farmers in the room expressed their support of the tariffs, and Parson agreed it is good for the future of the country. 

"I think long term they are the best thing for the country, I think they'll be the best thing for the state. Am I concerned about it? Sure I'm concerned about it, just like every farmer and every ag business are. But I think right now it is important to stay the course and see how this develops," he said. 

Parson frequently talked about how Missouri needs to market itself better. 

"We have a great state for people to come here and to live in. We just have to do a better job of selling it," he said.

Schnitker said Parson coming to hear their voices was touching to her. 

"I think for someone to actually come to us and hear our opinion and hear our thoughts and feelings about this is really something new. We haven't seen that in a long time, if ever. That to me shows the character and the caliber of the governor that we have," she said.