5021H.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk



To amend chapter 261, RSMo, by adding thereto two new sections relating to the Missouri dairy and agriculture education act.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 261, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto two new sections, to be known as sections 261.270 and 261.275, to read as follows:

            261.270. 1. The provisions of sections 261.270 and 261.275 shall be known and may be cited as the “Missouri Dairy and Agriculture Education Act”.

            2. The department of agriculture shall establish and administer, through the Missouri agricultural and small business development authority, a dairy producer margin insurance program for the purpose of protecting dairy producer income by paying participating dairy producers margin insurance payments when actual dairy producer margins are less than the threshold levels for the payments.

            3. All dairy producers in the state shall be eligible to participate in the margin insurance program.

            4. All participating dairy producers, at the time of registration in the margin insurance program and annually thereafter during the duration of the margin insurance program, may purchase margin insurance.

            5. The department shall work with interested stakeholders and legislators to develop the program.

            261.275. 1. There is hereby established the “Missouri Agriculture Education Scholarship Program”, which shall be administered by the department of agriculture. The program shall, upon appropriation, provide scholarships, subject to the eligibility criteria enumerated in this section, for eligible students who enter an agricultural education program and make a commitment to work in the agriculture industry in Missouri as a condition of receiving such scholarship.

            2. Subject to appropriation, each year the department of agriculture shall make available to eligible students up to one hundred two-year or four-year Missouri agriculture education scholarships in an amount determined by the department of agriculture to assist with the cost of eligible students’ tuition and fees at a two-year or four-year college or university located in Missouri. Such amount shall be paid by funds appropriated to the department out of revenue generated from state taxes paid by the dairy industry.

            3. As used in this section, the term “eligible student” shall mean an individual who:

            (1) Is a United States citizen and a Missouri resident who attended a Missouri high school;

            (2) Enters and makes a commitment to pursue an agriculture-related degree program approved by the department of agriculture and offered by a two-year or four-year college or university in Missouri;

            (3) Signs an agreement with the department of agriculture in which the recipient agrees to work in the agriculture industry in Missouri for at least two years for every one year the recipient received the Missouri agriculture education scholarship;

            (4) Has graduated from high school with a cumulative grade point average of at least two and one-half on a four-point scale or equivalent;

            (5) Maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least two and one-half on a four-point scale or equivalent while enrolled in the college or university program; and

            (6) Works in the agriculture industry either during the school year or during the summer.

            4. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of scholarships or revenue available, the department of agriculture may consider the financial needs of the applicant.

            5. There is hereby established in the state treasury a fund to be known as the “Missouri Agriculture Education Scholarship Program Fund”, which shall consist of all moneys that may be appropriated to it by the general assembly, and in addition may include any gifts, contributions, grants, or bequests received from federal, state, private, or other sources. The fund shall be administered by the department of agriculture. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 33.080 to the contrary, moneys in the fund shall not be transferred to the credit of the general revenue fund at the end of the biennium. Interest and moneys earned on the fund shall be credited to the fund. Moneys in the fund shall be used solely for the purpose of awarding scholarships under the provisions of this section.