Chris Chinn’s first year on the job has not been boring.

Her tenure as director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture began with flooding in the spring that’s now causing delays in crop harvests. Along the way, Chinn’s office had to deal with contamination in southeastern Missouri that triggered a temporary ban of the herbicide Dicamba. It's an issue that caught the attention of the Missouri General Assembly and farmers across the state.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin caught up with Chinn to talk about those challenges and her department’s major priorities.

Candice Davis/Missouri Department of Conservation

Crisp weather has arrived, which means deer season is upon us. The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri are encouraging “Share the Harvest”. It’s a program which allows hunters to feed hungry Missourians with deer meat. Lindsey Grojean spoke with Russell Duckworth, the Protection Regional Supervisor at MDC about how people can hunt to help.

So tell me about the "Share the Harvest" program.

Lindsey Grojean/KRCU

Dicamba, an active ingredient in several herbicides produced by Monsanto, has some farmers frustrated by its volatility after the 2017 crop season. While many farmers' fields have benefited from the use of dicamba, it comes at a cost to neighboring fields that have been damaged by it drifting onto planted crops that aren’t equipped to handle it. Missouri Department of Agriculture director Chris Chinn explains the actions they’ve taken to benefit both sides of the issue.

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center hosted a kickoff event for the Great Missouri Birding Trail. Missouri is the 40th state to have a trail like this, which was created by Mike Doyen, president of the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation. It’s not a physical walking trail, but an online guide for the best places to go birding in the state. We captured the sounds of the Birding Trail kickoff, and tagged along for a short birding expedition for this audio postcard.


Lindsey Grojean/KRCU

The Broadway entrance to the Cape Girardeau river wall’s floodgate has been reopened to the public after weeks of rising waters from the Mississippi River. There are still some parts that are blocked off to the public due to water and debris. Brock Davis, the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department manager said cleanup is underway.

“There’s still some water over the trail down there, and the debris and mud that washes up from the floods,” said Davis. “We’ll go down and clean up as we can, and move the barricades back until we’ve got it all done."