COLUMBIA, Mo. – Representatives of the Food Resource Bank will attend the first Combine Blessing and Safety Expo, Aug. 2 at the Central Missouri Events Center, formerly known as the Boone County Fairgrounds, in Columbia. The University of Missouri and Boone County Farm Bureau sponsor this free event.

The Food Resource Bank supplies small farmers in developing nations with education, tools, seed, loans and good breeding stock. U.S. farmers, in partnership with rural and urban churches, donate funds, labor, machinery, chemicals and supplies.

Fran Schnarre, a Boone County farmer and pastor of the Granville Christian Church in Monroe County, helped organize the combine blessing, the only one in the state.

She said the blessing marks the beginning of harvest season, one of the most dangerous times of year for farmers. It also reminds the public that agriculture is the foundation to end world poverty and hunger.

MU Extension specialists and Columbia- and Centralia-area businesses and groups will provide educational presentations beginning at 4 p.m. The blessing begins at 8 p.m. Topics include machinery transportation, ATV safety, hearing protection, grain bin safety, liquid propane fuel and fire safety, livestock and horse safety, and demonstrations of a new mobile app to prevent equipment rollovers.

MU Extension specialist Kent Shannon said the expo has activities for adults and children. A free dinner of locally produced food will be served. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 200 children to attend the event. Pre-registration is suggested at [email protected] by July 25, but is not required.

For more information on the Food Resource Bank, go to

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