The Butler Bears were defeated tonight by the Skyline Tigers with a score of 67 – 44. Join us on FM 92 as we broadcast The Bears taking on the Sherwood Marksmen tip off time 7PM February 1, Tuesday.

Discover nature with MDC through Agents of Discovery free mobile app

Looking for a new way to explore and learn about Missouri’s outdoors in the Ozarks and beyond? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages kids and adults to check out the free mobile gaming app, Agents of Discovery, while exploring natural areas around the state.

“Using technology to make people more comfortable in nature is a cool way to reach out to different Missourians,” said MDC Exhibits Coordinator Susie Wachowski. “Users log in to Agents of Discovery and solve challenges using their nature detective skills.”

Discover nature through completing “Missions,” all while learning about Missouri’s forest, fish, and wildlife. Some of the active missions include:

  • Discovery Center Backyard Birds: Begin your mission at the birdfeeder located near the rear exit of the building. Identify, learn, and explore all the native birds you can find in our backyard and yours!
  • Eagle Days: Why are there so many bald eagles in Missouri in the winter? Where do they live and what do they eat? Complete the challenges and find out! This mission can be played either at home or during an Eagle Days event. Hurry, this mission goes away Feb. 28!
  • Twin Pines Ecosystem Adventure: Who lives at Mule Camp Pond? What creature is making that sound? Play all five challenges at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center and uncover the mystery for yourself.

What type of pollinators are found in in the state? How do bald eagles hunt their food? Find out the answers to these questions and more as you navigate Agents of Discovery.

“Complete nature-based challenges at home, while visiting an MDC nature or visitor center, or while attending MDC events, such as Eagle Days or the Missouri State Fair,” Wachowski said. “You can even fire up the app and play mini games to complete a mission.”

Once finished, users can claim rewards, and challenges can be posted on social media using an MDC Instagram Sticker or grab small prizes at a nearby MDC nature center. The more missions you play, the more rewards you can earn!

“If you want to show off all your hard work, complete missions and share your accomplishments with MDC staff to receive prizes. You can earn Agent Oscar stickers, a custom button, or a lapel pin for completing 1, 4, and 10 missions,” she said. “For this though, you must create a profile on the Agents of Discovery app to show your progress and save completed missions.”

The missions are updated frequently, “so there is always a new way to play and learn more about Missouri’s great outdoors,” she added.

To play Agents of Discovery without Wi-Fi or a data connection, be sure to download the free app and create an Agent profile, pick a mission in your area, and download the mission before heading out. Then it’s up to you and your secret agent tools to find and unlock challenges!

Look for other MDC missions at:

  • Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center
  • Springfield Nature Center
  • Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

While exploring in nature, MDC recommends staying aware of your surroundings and always remaining on the trail.

Agents of Discovery is available for download through the App Store for Apple products or Google Play for Android devices.

Boy Scouts Returning to Butler

The Boy Scouts of America, in coordination with the Butler American Legion, is hosting a membership and leadership drive to form a new Cub Scout Pack in Butler.

The meeting will be held at Boy Scouts Hall at 404 W Fort Scott St, Butler, on Saturday, February 12th at 2 pm. Interested parents with boys and girls between kindergarten and the 5th grade (5-10 years old) are invited to attend along with their children.

Scouting has been conspicuously absent from Butler since 2019 and has suffered greatly since the beginning of the pandemic. The BSA is also looking for both new and seasoned volunteers interested in scouting.


House Approves Bill to Support and Promote Missouri Agriculture

Dear Citizens:  The members of the Missouri House have approved legislation that will renew key programs designed to support and promote agriculture in the state. With bipartisan support, the House approved HB 1720 to continue several agriculture programs that are priorities for the agriculture community in Missouri.

In explaining the importance of the bill, the sponsor of HB 1720 noted the programs created and extended by the legislation would be responsible for creating hundreds of jobs. He pointed out that, “Agriculture is the number one revenue-producing industry in the state, generating just under $94 billion in economic contributions. One in ten jobs in the state of Missouri are directly related to the agriculture industry.”

The bill would extend existing credits available under the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority. The sponsor noted these credits have supported projects in 103 counties and have generated direct and indirect benefits of more than $260 million since 2000.

The chair of the House Agriculture Policy Committee told his colleagues, “I can assure you, you will not find one bad ag tax credit. If you invest in Missouri agriculture, you’re going to get a return on investment.”

Under the bill, the New Generation Cooperative Tax Incentive, which expired December 31, 2021, would be extended until December 31, 2028. The incentive exists to induce producer member investment into new generation processing entities that will process Missouri agricultural commodities and agricultural products into value-added goods, provide substantial benefits to Missouri’s agricultural producers, and create jobs for Missourians. The sponsor noted the program produces a return on investment of $5.66 per dollar invested.

The Meat Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit would also be extended to December 31, 2028 under the bill. The program was originally created to stimulate investment in the meat processing industry in Missouri and to enable the livestock industry to capture more value in the form of further processed meat products. The program has produced a return on investment of $5.77 per dollar invested.

Additionally, the bill extends the Agricultural Product Utilization Contributor Tax Credit until December 31, 2028. The program provides tax credits to induce contributions for financial or technical assistance to rural agricultural business concepts.

HB 1720 also expands the Family Farm Livestock Loan Program so that more Missouri farmers will qualify. The program is currently limited to farmers with less than $250,000 in gross sales per year. The bill would double that amount to allow farmers with less than $500,000 in gross sales to qualify. The bill would also double the maximum amount of the loan for each type of livestock. The loan program has a return on investment of $7.85 per dollar invested.

The bill creates the Ethanol Retailers Incentive to provide a tax credit to retail dealers selling higher ethanol blend at the dealer’s service station, as well as a biodiesel tax credit for retail dealers selling a biodiesel blend and a credit for Missouri biodiesel producers. The bill’s sponsor noted Missouri ranks in the top third of states for biodiesel consumption. The credits would go into effect January 1, 2023.

HB 1720 also expands the Wood Energy Tax Credit until June 30, 2028 and consolidates all regulations dealing with anhydrous ammonia into the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which will reduce regulations on retailers of the substance that is the foundation for all nitrogen fertilizers.

Finally, the bill would ensure the soybean producers’ assessment, also known as the soybean checkoff, continues at the state level even if the program is discontinued at the state level. Soybean producers participate in the checkoff by contributing at a rate of 0.5 percent of the market price per bushel. The dollars are then invested in a multitude of projects designed to strengthen the soybean industry.

As one supporter of the bill said, “The question was brought up on who exactly would benefit from this bill and I have narrowed it down, and it will only benefit the people who drive or eat.”

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Bipartisan Citizens Commission Files Final House Redistricting Plan

The House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission recently approved a final state redistricting plan. The final plan, which was approved unanimously by all 20 commission members, is the first plan approved by a House Commission since 1991.

The final redistricting plan has an overall difference in population of 5.8 percent between its largest and smallest districts. The commission has posted the final plan for public viewing and can be accessed from the Redistricting Office’s website at https://oa.mo.gov/budget-planning/redistricting-office. The page will include an interactive map as well as the official filing documents submitted to the Secretary of State, and other supplemental maps and tables.   

The commission was formed for the purpose of redistricting the 163 districts in the Missouri House of Representatives. It held public hearings throughout Missouri last fall. The commission had until January 23, 2022 to finalize their plans.

The Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission failed to submit a tentative plan to the Secretary of State’s office by the December 23, 2021 deadline. Per the Missouri Constitution, the Missouri Senate will now be redistricted by a new commission of six members appointed from among the judges of the appellate courts by the Missouri Supreme Court.

For more information, contact Representative Patricia Pike at patricia.pike@house.mo.gov or call 573-751-5388.