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Nixon touts ag education, takes swipe at Kansas, at last State Fair as Missouri governor

Gov. Jay Nixon addresses the crowd at the annual Ham Breakfast at the Missouri State Fair on Aug. 18.
Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Jay Nixon made the most of his final appearance as governor at the Missouri State Fair.

During his annual Governor's Ham Breakfast Thursday, he bragged on Missouri's corn production, telling the 1,000-plus crowd that it led the nation in 2014.

"Take that, Iowa, OK?" Nixon said as the audience cheered.  "Nebraska, Kansas?"

He then jokingly tore into the Sunshine State's corn output:  "We're not in a competition with Kansas, we already won that!  That's not relevant. … I don’t want any of you to think that the low bar you have to meet in the future is only beating Kansas at anything … That's a very early bracket game, OK?"

Nixon also touted his administration's trade missions to China, Brazil, Cuba, Europe and elsewhere, saying those areas are all hungry for food grown in Missouri.

As for the Missouri State Fair, he told reporters later that he has no regrets about the direction the annual event has taken during his time in office. He said unlike state fairs in other states, Missouri's focuses more on agricultural education than on "rock concerts."

"We're going to have shows, but going back to that root of agriculture, when you have record numbers of FFA folks (Future Farmers of America), record numbers of kids here, that shows you (it’s working)," Nixon said.  "Quite frankly, the gate on Monday was the largest gate ever in the history of the State Fair, so I think our bet on that was important."

The Missouri State Fair runs through Sunday in Sedalia.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.