Biodiesel plant nears completion in Randolph County  Construction of the  $17 million Choice Soy Energy LLC biodiesel plant in Moberly is nearing completion and is expected to be online and producing fuel within the next two months.  Once fully operational the facility will produce five million gallons of fuel per year, and provide a market for soybean growers.  The plant will purchase about three million bushels of soybeans per year, mostly from northern Missouri farmers.   The plant is unique in it’s business model, and just reeks of Missouri common sense.   When the PCSE Board discussed a model for success, they agreed to three major components.  First, they wanted to crush local soybeans and generate revenue from selling about 65,000 tons of bean meal. Then they agreed to use technology which blends in animal fats with the soy oil to create their quality biodiesel.  Finally, they started with a small plant that was designed and built with an eye to expansion.  

CAFOs are cleaning up  Not their own mess, of course.  Don’t be silly!  But they are sucking up tax dollars at a phenomenal rate.  The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment examined five years worth of payments through the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program, known as EQIP, and found that 37% of the funds dispersed went to industrialized factory farms – even though such operations only comprise 11% of hog producing operations.

A law we didn’t need, to fight a problem we didn’t have, none the less goes into effect today  Starting today, private businesses that have government contracts worth more than $5000, receive state loans and/or tax breaks, or have been caught hiring undocumented workers in the past will now have to verify employment eligibility of new hires via the fraught-with-problems DHS database known as e-verify.  

My New Years Resolution:  Sign no petitions!!!  I am not just sick to death of outsiders thinking our state constitution is as dandy proving ground for them to push their nut job agendass, I am doing something about it.  I am not signing any petitions in 2009 – and if I am approached to sign one that I know to be misleading and spun with an Orwellian name, I will be pushing back, something of a one-woman truth squad.  Anyone who thinks I won’t stand three feet away and interject “You shouldn’t sign that petition, it is misleading and this is why…” every time a person stops to pick up the pen has never met me.

Missouri political quotes of the year  The Springfiled News-Leader has accumulated the  collected brain droppings and selected the choicest morsels, starting with Matty B’s surreal reasons for not seeking reelection – that he had managed in the first three years of his four year term to accomplish everything that he set out to do.  The second quote of the year came the following day when State Rep. Bob Dixon mused that with Blunt bowing out, “We may actually get more done this year.”