The Kansas Department of Agriculture, along with the state’s agriculture stakeholder and educational groups, conducted a week of events to recognize Kansas Agriculture Week earlier this month. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback proclaimed March 4-10, 2012 as Kansas Agriculture Week to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by Kansas agriculture.
"Kansas has a strong agricultural tradition that predates its statehood, and it continues today as a cornerstone of our state's economy," Gov. Brownback said. "As we look towards the future, growing agriculture in Kansas is one of my top priorities."
A variety of activities took place around the state to commemorate agriculture during the week. These activities included a pancake feed for legislators, social media campaign, agriculture-related announcements in schools, radio ads and an awards ceremony for winners of a Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom postcard contest.
The Kansas Legislature competed in a food drive at the Statehouse during Kansas Agriculture Week. The House of Representatives won the friendly food drive competition with the Senate, collecting 281 pounds of food and raising $902 in cash and check donations. This is the equivalent of 4,726 meals. The Kansas Senate provided the equivalent of 2,778 meals, raising $550 in cash and check donations and collecting 36 pounds of food.
In addition to the legislative competition, employees at the Kansas Department of Agriculture collected another 158 pounds of food, the equivalent of 122 meals. Collectively, 7,626 meals will be provided to individuals from the food and fund drive.
2012 International Marketing Update
The Kansas Department of Agriculture continues to work with Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses as they reach international customers. In February, Kansas ranchers Ron Hinrichsen and Brad Rayl, as well as Agtech, Inc. President John Curtis, represented Kansas at AgroFarm Russia – the largest livestock show in Russia. Representatives from Agtech, Inc. displayed their embryo transfer and artificial insemination products and trainings. They also presented a seminar for Russian producers on the use of breeding technologies in the modern beef and dairy herd. Kansas ranchers were on hand to promote Kansas beef cattle genetics — live cattle, semen and embryos.
Ron Hinrichsen of Westmoreland discusses Angus genetics with a Russian producer with the help of a translator.
With 96 percent of the world’s population living outside the United States, our international work is becoming critical to serving customers in other countries in all areas. This month, Kansas companies Original Juan’s Specialty Foods; Kansas City, Pantry Shelf; Hutchinson and Rabbit Creek Products; Louisburg conducted a Kansas Department of Agriculture/Food Export focused trade mission to India. While in India, company representatives displayed and sampled their products in New Delhi at the AAHAR Food Show and then proceeded on to Mumbai for tours and meetings with food retailers.
Kansas Department of Agriculture staff and companies will leave this week for a U.S. Department of Agriculture-led trade mission to Chengdu and Shanghai, China to market Kansas finished foods and ingredients.
Additionally, recruitment is currently underway for a focused trade mission for Kansas food companies to Germany and Switzerland June 24-July 1, 2012. Finally, initial plans are forming for a livestock genetics-focused trade mission to Russia in later summer 2012 and a Governor-led agricultural trade mission to South Korea and China in September 2012.
To learn more about agricultural export opportunities contact KDA staff members J.J. Jones (email@example.com) or Becky Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may also call 785-296-3737.
Water Bills Signed in Garden City
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed two bills into law March 5 designed to conserve the state’s water supply and extend the life of the Ogallala Aquifer.
House Bill 2451 removes the state’s “use it or lose it” water policy. It is one of many tools that will help the state move toward encouraging a culture of conservation and away from a culture of consumption. It will remove the perception that water right holders must use their maximum amount of water when it is unnecessary, just so they don’t lose water rights.
Senate Bill 272 amends multi-year flex accounts to expand irrigators’ capabilities and options so they can manage their crop water without increasing long-term water use under their water right.
Gov. Brownback signs HB 2451 and SB 272 into law. Surrounding him are FFA members from Garden City High School; state officials and members of the Kansas Legislature.
“We must save our water and conserve so we may extend the useful life of the Ogallala Aquifer,” Brownback said.
"Agriculture is key to the economic vitality of Kansas, and water is essential to agriculture production," Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman said. "These bills are an important step towards creating water policy that benefits agriculture today and sustains the valuable water resources for future generations."
Intensive work on reforming the state’s water laws began a year ago when the Brownback administration started planning the Ogallala Aquifer Water Summit. Hundreds of Kansans concerned about the future of the state’s water supply attended the summit.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture continues to work with stakeholders and legislators on its 2012 legislative agenda. Bills affecting many of our programs are working their way through the legislative process as the Legislature nears the end of the regular session, which will conclude later this month. These bills include:
- Updates to the food safety and lodging, meat and poultry, and animal health statutes;
Bills that repeal outdated and unnecessary statutes, and update the membership of certain advisory boards;
Bills that will improve operations of agribusinesses, including large-scale hog farms and farm wineries; and
A slate of bills that update the state’s water use statutes.