Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

April 28, 2006

Legislator profile: Sen. Frank Barnitz


Rep. Page

Sen. Frank Barnitz (D-Lake Spring) is the manager of Barnitz Farms, Inc., a ranch in Lake Spring, Mo., where he and his family live on the same land farmed by his great-great-grandfather. In addition to farming, and his responsibilities in the Senate, Barnitz serves on the University of Missouri Wurdack Farm Advisory Committee and previously served as a 4-H leader. Barnitz views the mission of the University of Missouri as providing a “quality education for developing professionals and advancing technology for all who desire.”

Barnitz graduated from Rolla High School and attended Southwest Missouri State University. Prior to his service in the Senate, he was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2000.

In 2005, Barnitz was elected to the Senate to represent District 16, which includes the counties of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Montgomery, Osage, Phelps and Pulaski. He serves as a member of the Transportation and Agriculture, Conservation, Parks and Natural Resources committees.

The University of Missouri-Rolla also is located in his district, and Barnitz said the campus has a significant impact on his constituents.

Barnitz would like to see “more emphasis in helping promote graduates to work or develop business in Missouri.” He also hopes to see more partnerships and working relationships developed between the different campuses.

“Higher education needs to show itself as an economic stimulus program as well as an advanced achievement and education program,” he said. “It should provide all who want to attend the opportunity.”

Affordability is the greatest challenge facing higher education institutions in Missouri today, he said.

“Structuring curriculum around market-driven and socially-acceptable technology, while not losing sight of heritage and tradition, continues to be a challenge,” he said.

Barnitz is a member of the Farm Bureau and the Dent County Cattleman’s Association. Among other honors, he was a recipient of the 2004 Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award and the 2003 Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Spirit of Enterprise Award.

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