Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

July 4th… while most simply refer to it as the Fourth of July, the people of this great nation cannot and should not forget its true designation as Independence Day. This special day is far more than just another on the calendar, or a reason to take time off from work. It is recognition of the battles fought; the lives given; and the peace that was forged in order to form a more perfect union. It is a celebration of all that makes America great and a reminder that the freedoms that define this nation were hard-earned, and require the continued commitment of the American people to maintain.

Interestingly, while the nation will celebrate its independence on July 4, it is the date of July 2, 1776 that marks when a closed session of Congress first approved a resolution of independence. In fact, it was John Adams who wrote, “The second day of July, 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival.” Adams missed the mark by two days, as the nation now celebrates the date shown on the Declaration of Independence, but his point remains valid about the annual celebration that occurs in recognition of this nation’s greatness.

As we gather this year for Independence Day to enjoy time with family and friends, eat some barbecue, watch some fireworks, or however we choose to celebrate, it’s important to remember the date itself is not what defines this holiday. Yes, many will always refer to the holiday as the Fourth of July, but the true meaning of this annual celebration is to remind all Americans about the struggle this nation underwent to achieve independence, and to give us an appreciation for how abundantly blessed we are to live in a nation where we are truly free. America is the greatest nation on earth, and we have reason to be truly thankful for all we have not only on Independence Day, but on each and every day the United States continues to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!

Don’t lose your independence this Fourth of July:

MoDOT would like to remind everyone that local law enforcement will be out in full force June 29- July 4 on the lookout for impaired drivers. There are no warnings issued; impaired driving equals immediate arrest. Don’t risk losing your independence by choosing to drink and drive. Last year over the July 4th holiday, there were 26 people killed and 72 seriously injured in traffic crashes in Missouri. Of the 26 people killed, 16 were involved in a crash where there was at least one substance-impaired driver.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety recommends always wearing your seatbelt; planning a safe way home before the fun begins; designating a sober driver ahead of time; and if you see an impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call law enforcement.

MO Department of Agriculture Dicamba cut-off dates:

The Missouri Department of Agriculture reminds all farmers and pesticide applicators across Missouri that, according to Missouri’s 24c label, all applications of engenia, faxapan and xtendimax for the 2018 growing season must come to a halt when any of the following apply:

Soybeans reach the first reproductive growth stage (R1 – first flower).

Wind is blowing in the direction of neighboring sensitive crops (ex. non-dicamba tolerant soybeans, vegetable and fruit crops, etc.).

Spraying cut-off dates have passed.

The Missouri 24c labels for engenia, faxapan and xtendimax prohibit the use of these three products after June 10, 2018, in Southeast Missouri and after July 15, 2018, in all remaining Missouri counties.

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