A panel of experts listen as MFA Inc. forage specialist David Moore, second from left, addresses the crowd at a Texas County township Advisory Board meeting concerning the matter of controlling noxious weeds Aug. 25 at the Justice Center in Houston. From left: MFA representative Darren Scheets, Moore, Texas County farmer Julius Fraley, University of Missouri Extension agronomist Sarah Kenyon, Missouri Department of Conservation private land conservationist Lesly Holt, advisory board chairman Jack Watson, advisory board secretary-treasurer Mary Ellen Higashi and Missouri Department of Transportation representative Chris Rutledge.

The Texas County Advisory Board conducted its quarterly meeting Aug. 25 at the justice center in Houston, and about 75 area citizens joined a panel of experts in discussion about the matter of controlling noxious weeds – primarily spotted knapweed and musk thistle.

The panel included University of Missouri Extension agronomist Sarah Kenyon, Missouri Department of Conservation private land conservationist Lesly Holt, Missouri Department of Transportation representative Chris Rutledge, MFA representatives David Moore, Darrell Scheets and Darren Scheets, local farmer Julius Fraley and advisory board chairman Jack Watson and secretary-treasurer Mary Ellen Higashi.

“I think the meeting went really well,” Watson said. “From the feedback I’ve received, people were excited because we did this, and they hadn’t been able to get any other organization to do it. It was a good panel with people who had a lot of knowledge.”

State Rep. Robert Ross and State Sen. Mike Cunningham also attended. Watson said the idea was brought up of setting up a noxious weeds task force in Texas County.

“We were told there may be grant funding out there that we can get for spraying or manpower to do it with,” he said. “And there’s always the possibility of getting prisoners from Licking to help.”

Watson said Ross offered to be on the task force if it is created, and that Cunningham pledged his support as well.

“Mike said he knows we have a problem, and he would do anything he could to help,” Watson said. “If we can get a task force set up, well, that’s something I hadn’t even thought of before.

“But I think there’s going to be something good that comes out of this. This was one of the better meetings we’ve ever had.”

Watson said that anyone wanting more information could call Kenyon at 417-967-4545, Holt at 417-967-2028 or Moore at 573-874-5111.

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