Springfield, MO

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Opinion: Rules rule, or do they?

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I’m sure we can all remember a rule or two from when we were growing up that seemed completely unnecessary. Is it really going to be the end of the world if I put my feet on the couch? Do I absolutely have to blow my nose only in the bathroom?

Chances are, these rules were put in place by well-meaning parents and teachers who were attempting to make us grow into contributing members of society. But the truth is some of these rules were excessive and unnecessarily put up roadblocks.

When Gov. Eric Greitens took office, he took aim at reducing the amount of burdensome and unnecessary rules via Executive Order 17-03. In this executive order, the governor halted the addition of any new rules between Jan. 10, 2017, and Feb. 28, 2017, and called for a thorough review of every state agency rule currently in existence. In accordance with the executive order, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, along with other state departments, will:

• ensure that all of its rules are essential to the health, safety or welfare of Missourians;

• determine that the costs of the regulation do not outweigh their benefits, based on a cost-benefit analysis;

• outline a process and schedule to measure the effectiveness of the regulation;

• determine if less-restrictive alternatives have been considered and found less desirable than the regulation;

• ensure the regulation is based on sound, reasonably available scientific, technical, economic and other relevant information; and

• ensure the regulation does not unduly and adversely affect Missouri citizens or customers of the state or the competitive environment in Missouri.

By eliminating rules that, even though well intentioned, may be overly burdensome, ineffective and restrictive, Missouri can become a more productive and thriving state.

As residents of Missouri, farmers and ranchers, young people in agriculture, landowners and rural community leaders, your voice is essential to this conversation. Through July 30, the department will be collecting comments on its rules, and we encourage you to let your voice be heard.

You can view the rules and provide your input by filling out the online form at Agriculture.Mo.Gov, mailing in your comments to P.O. Box 630, Jefferson City, MO 65109 or faxing your comments to (573) 751-1784. To learn more, go to Agriculture.Mo.Gov/rulereview.  

Chris Chinn is the Missouri director of agriculture. She can be reached at

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