JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Lt. Governor Mike Parson will be traveling the Show-Me state next week to promote buying locally made products. Tyler Habiger, the spokesperson for the Lt. Governor’s Office, said that his campaign will be the “first of many” phases to promote Missouri produced goods.
“We’re trying to roll it out in a couple of different phases. The first phase is going to more towards food products and what a typical family would go in and buy,” Habiger said. “Once we roll the program out for the first phase, the second phase we’ll go back and focus on the manufacturing side of things.”
“It is our goal, by the time the Lt. Governor is no longer in office, to have an assembled list of products and goods that are made in Missouri for all consumers to access,” he continued.
Starting on Tuesday, Parson will be flying to 10 cities in 2 days to promote the various companies that make goods in Missouri. He believes that if Missourians are more aware of products made in the state, local consumers would be more willing to buy local products that could spur the local economy and keep the money in the state.
The campaign will be a partnership of public and private groups among which include the Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau, Diamond Pet foods, Fitz’s Premium Root Beer, and CMMG. On the trip, Parson will be joined by the president of the Associated Industries of Missouri, Ray McCarty. He anticipated that Missourians will welcome the tour and especially appreciate learning how to support local businesses.
“There’s nothing better than encouraging people from Missouri businesses and the impact that it has when we’re talking about ourselves, our neighbors, and our friends, and everyone that benefits from buying from companies that are located here,” McCarty said. “It’s a great thing for all Missouri businesses as well as the employees who work there.”
Habiger says that the Lt. Governor originally came up with the idea when he was traveling the state, campaigning for Lt. Governor. In July, he announced that plans for the project to take place in August but failed to get it off the ground until October.
“It has been a much larger task than any of us anticipated in this office,” Habiger said. “This kind of project has never been done on this scale in our state’s history. There has been little projects done by different departments here in the state, but never a statewide initiative like this one.”
McCarty feels that the project will be a positive one for the state because he feels that supporting Missouri businesses will ultimately help Missouri citizens. “When you buy Missouri products, you’re helping support those business owners that operate those businesses in your hometown or some other hometown in Missouri, McCarty said. “That’s going to help our overall economy. There’s nothing better for economic development than growing our own. We’re making sure that we take care of our businesses here in Missouri.”
Habiger agrees and mentions that Parson is looking forward to the campaign, not just to help out Missouri businesses, but also because he likes to travel. “He’s excited. There’s not a statewide elected official that does more traveling than the Lt. Governor does. He puts hundreds of miles on his vehicle and he loves it because he gets to see the state that he loves. This is where he wants to be and has no desire to be anywhere else.”
Michael Layer is a reporter for the Missouri Times and the Missouri Times Magazine. He joined the Missouri Times in August 2017 after graduating from Goucher College the previous May. To contact Michael, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @_MichaelLayer