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Blunt Agriculture Tour Gets Underway

The 9th annual Southwest Missouri Agriculture Tour began today (8/8) in Springfield and will continue tomorrow (8/9). House Majority Whip Roy Blunt organizes the tour every year as a way to expose business, education and government leaders to agriculture in the region. KSMU's Missy Shelton was with the tour on two of its stops today and files this report.

The tour began at the 300-acre Primatara Thoroughbred horse farm located just north of Springfield.

Here, the 64 tour participants strolled through a barn that's home to yearlings that will become race horses.

Congressman Roy Blunt says he hopes to expose those on the tour to the diverse farming operations that exist in Southwest Missouri.

Blunt says he hopes the tour will highlight the economic contributions the agriculture industry makes in Southwest Missouri.

The second stop on the tour was Flintrock Bison Ranch, located north of Halltown in Ash Grove.

At the ranch, the folks on the tour got a snack.

Robert Long owns Flintrock Bison Ranch. He raises grass-fed bison.

While the Agriculture Tour is a chance for House Majority Whip Roy Blunt to showcase farms like Flintrock, it's also a chance for farmers to bring attention to issues that concern them.

Robert Long says he'd like Congress to require meat products to carry country of origin labels.

He says he believes people are more willing to buy meat with a label that shows it comes from the U-S.

Robert Long and others who support mandatory country of origin labeling have failed to gain much ground with Congress.

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt says he opposes *mandating* the labeling.

Blunt's agriculture tour continues with stops at Associated Wholesale Grocers in Springfield, a horse ranch in Spokane, and a dairy farm in Marionville.