Economy

The Missouri quarterThe Missouri quarter features images that highlight the state’s role in the exploration of the American West. The canoe represents Lewis and Clark’s 1806 return to St. Louis from their journey through the Louisiana Territory. The Gateway Arch, built during the 1960’s, commemorates the role of St. Louis in the nation’s westward expansion.

Missouri's economy is diversified, with manufacturing, farming, construction, and mining among the chief industries. The state's central location has promoted wholesale trade and commerce and made transportation a key activity. Retail trade, banking, finance, insurance, service industries, and government are also large employers and major sources of income in the state. Attractions in St. Louis and Kansas City and in the Ozarks make tourism increasingly valuable. Tourism brings in $8 billion a year. Missouri is also known for its scenic waterways, rich soil, and valuable minerals.

Manufacturing

Missouri's principal manufacturing centers are St. Louis and Kansas City. Most of the state's more than 7,000 factories are in this area. Chemical production, including fertilizer, insecticide, paint, pharmaceuticals and soap, is the state's leading manufacturing activity. About a fifth of the nonfarm labor force is engaged in manufacturing. Motor vehicles, aircraft, and other transportation equipment are other leading products. Missouri ranks as a leading state in the production of trucks.

The making or processing of foods and beverages, chemicals, computer and electronic equipment, machinery, and primary metals are major economic activities, as are printing and publishing. Missouri also has numerous wood-based manufacturing industries, largely because of a relative abundance of timber in the Ozarks.

The St. Louis and Kansas City areas are the principal manufacturing centers. The nation's top beer brewer, Anheuser-Busch, is in St. Louis; Kansas City has large flour mills and it is home to the leading greeting card maker in the United States, Hallmark Cards, and one of the nation's largest dairy-processing plants is located in Springfield.

Agriculture

Missouri is one of the leading farm states, with livestock and livestock products bringing in about 55 per cent of the state's farm income. Missouri is also a leading state in the production of beef cattle, hogs, and turkeys, and dairy products. Chickens and sheep are also raised.

Soybeans are Missouri's leading crop in total cash sales; corn, wheat, grain sorghum, and hay are also of major significance. Much of the corn and most of the hay is used on farms as feed for livestock. Cotton is a principal crop. A variety of fruits and vegetables are produced from truck farms near St. Louis. Peaches, grapes, apples, and watermelons are the important crops.

Mining

Lead is by far the leading mineral produced in Missouri. The state's mines lead the nation's output. The lead mines also contain valuable quantities of zinc, copper, and silver. Also, coal, clays, dolomite, gemstones, granite, oil, and sand, and gravel are produced in substantial amounts.

Annual events in Missouri
January-March
Autofest in Springfield (February); Taste of Soulard in St. Louis (February); Men's Trout Tournament in Salem (March); Wurstfest in Hermann (March); IMAX Festival in Branson (March-April).
April-June
Big Muddy Folk Festival in Boonville (April); Dogwood Festival in Camdenton (April); MAIFEST in Hermann (May); Storytelling Festival in St. Louis (May); Hamlet of Mid-Missouri Renaissance Festival in Sedalia (June).
July-September
Fair St. Louis (July); National Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal (July); Jour de Fete (Festival Day) in Ste. Genevieve (August); Missouri State Fair in Sedalia (August); Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield (August); Cotton Carnival in Sikeston (September); The Great Forest Park Balloon Race in St. Louis (September).
October-December
Octoberfest in Hermann (October); American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo in Kansas City (November); Festival of Lights in Columbia (November); Ozark Mountain Christmas in and around Branson (November-December).