September 09, 2010

Over $2 Million in Agriculture Property Recovered in One Year

Over $2 million in stolen livestock and farm equipment have been recovered by law enforcement officials over the past year, Gov. Jay Nixon announced recently. Standing among members of the Livestock and Farm Protection Task Force at the Missouri State Fair including Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler, Missouri Highway Patrol Colonel Ron Replogle and Polk County Sheriff Steve Bruce, Gov. Nixon shared the accomplishments of the Task Force reactivated in August 2009 to address the growing concerns of rural theft.

"In just one year's time, this Task Force, in conjunction with the Highway Patrol's Rural Crimes Task Force, has successfully put a plan in place to more efficiently fight rural livestock and property theft. This unique partnership has demonstrated what is possible when folks work together toward a common goal," said Gov. Nixon. "This group is continuing to work together to educate law enforcement and farmers on what to look for. With tougher laws and the cooperation with the Task Force, I am certain that we will continue to show great progress in helping Missouri's farmers and ranchers."

Since 2009, the Livestock and Farm Protection Task Force have met monthly to collaborate on the best ways to tackle agriculture theft issues. During that same time, there have been 634 rural crime incidents investigated, 114 arrests made and over $2 million in property recovered.

"Farmers and ranchers face many challenges without adding the burden of losing livestock and equipment to theft," said Dr. Jon Hagler. "Through Gov. Nixon's leadership, the Livestock and Farm Protection Task Force was re-energized and now able to help address the issues facing Missouri farmers."

The Livestock and Farm Protection Task Force members include the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Sheriff's Association, Missouri Office of Prosecution Services, Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Livestock Market Association, Missouri Bankers' Association, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri State Water Patrol and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information on the Task Force, contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture at (573) 751-3377.