Missouri State Senator Dan Hegeman represents parts of northern Clay County. This is his November 28, 2o16 email newsletter. For more information on our Opinion Section please click HERE.
As a longtime public servant, lifelong farmer and someone who has chosen to live and raise a family in rural northwest Missouri, I am passionate about finding solutions to the problems specifically affecting small, rural communities. And here in Missouri, just as in much of the country, our rural communities continue to face serious challenges— most notably are declining populations, limited economic opportunities, and complicated infrastructure problems.
Although many of our rural communities have been working together to promote our strengths, it is clear that we simply haven’t been making enough progress in enough areas. I believe that we must gain a better understanding of what actions we can take to create a brighter future for rural life in the Show-Me State.
One approach we are considering is finding a way to prioritize the study of rural Missouri’s challenges and needs and strengthening advocacy efforts within the executive levels of our state government. It seems as though that while many of our state agencies have research or programs targeted towards rural Missouri, they seem to go in different directions at different times or fail to communicate successes and failures so we can better target our efforts. We need greater coordination that can ensure we are all moving in the same direction and that we are effectively advocating for workable solutions to our problems. Finding a way to improve this coordination of effort and advocacy will be one of my top priorities in the upcoming session and beyond.
I am confident we can find more efficient and effective ways to meet our citizens’ needs and stimulate greater economic growth in rural Missouri. My hope is that by doing so, we will build stronger communities that offer our young people real opportunities for success and encourage them to make their lives in rural Missouri.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is [email protected] and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.