By Jim Callier
I grew up in Missouri, and Missouri was always known as the “Show Me State”. You know, show me the money, show me the goods, etc. Well, times may be a changing. This time I see Missouri stepping out front and not waiting for the “show”.
You may be wondering; what’s up with this title about Missouri being hungry? No, it’s got nothing to do with sports teams, even though they did better this past year. It has to do with food. “How is that you say?” Let me tell you and I’ll keep it brief.
First, food manufacturing is the #1 economic sector in Missouri, employing nearly 40,000 workers, according to the 2012 “Missouri Economic Indicator Brief: Manufacturing Industries” (compiled by the Missouri Economic and Research and Information Center). Food also represents the #3 export from Missouri with sales more than $1.5 billion in 2012.
Now, let me tell you more about why I say “Missouri is hungry”. On February 19, 2014, I attended a meeting in Columbia, Missouri, hosted by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. At this meeting, representatives from at least 11 different federal, state, local, and non-governmental entities agreed to the “Food Production” would be the focus for Missouri’s E3 program. Here food production has the scope from “farm to table.”
You say, “What’s E3? And why is this important?” Just read below for a description of E3.
E3 (Economy, Energy and the Environment) is a national initiative that promoting sustainable manufacturing and economic growth throughout the United States. E3 brings together federal agencies, states and local communities for a broad discussion on how to connect respective programs to deliver responsive, coordinated manufacturing solutions The E3 Framework facilitates collaboration among groups with common interests and a common agenda. Because the E3 initiative brings together interests on people, planet and profits it is at the core a collaborative SUSTAINBILITY effort.
E3 is a federal technical assistance framework helping communities, manufacturers and manufacturing supply chains adapt and thrive in today’s economy. EPA, five other federal agencies and their state/local partners pooled their resources to support communities across the country reduce pollution and energy use while increasing profits and creating new job opportunities. See http://www2.epa.gov/e3 for more information on the national program.
I’m excited about this. The profit margin in food production is thin. With the support of E3, the food production sector should not only be economically sustainable, but also be able to grow. Both rural and metropolitan areas in Missouri should benefit.
Stay tuned and follow this blog for updates on E3 in Missouri. Thanks, and have a nice day.
Jim Callier is Chief of the Resource Conservation and Pollution Prevention Section at EPA in Kansas City and has thirty years of experience working at EPA, primarily in Region 7. Jim has both working and management experience in many of EPA’s programs including hazardous and solid waste, brownfields, and pollution prevention. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Rolla with a B.S. Degree in Geological Engineering and is a Registered Professional Geologist in the State of Missouri.