Ford County has come a long way since it was organized in 1873, building a foundation for its future.

    “Building on a strong foundation for the future” was the theme of this year’s State of the County Address, which took place Wednesday at Magouirk Conference Center. The Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, which was sponsored by JAG Construction.

    Officials typically use the event to highlight the county’s accomplishments over the past year, and that review was part of Wednesday’s address.


Ford County has come a long way since it was organized in 1873, building a foundation for its future.
    “Building on a strong foundation for the future” was the theme of this year’s State of the County Address, which took place Wednesday at Magouirk Conference Center. The Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, which was sponsored by JAG Construction.
    Officials typically use the event to highlight the county’s accomplishments over the past year, and that review was part of Wednesday’s address.
    But Commissioner Jerry King also seized the opportunity to tell people that the county is thriving.
    “It’s hard to come up with a State of the County Address when things are good, but things are good,” he said. “The county’s in pretty good hands right now.”
    Scenes from the county’s past and present, including photos of farmers and cattle drives, flashed on a screen as King spoke.
    He said times may have changed, but the county still relies on agriculture.
    “The foundation of the county is ag, and I think anyone would be remiss to even argue against that,” he said.
    Part of the address was devoted to reviewing recent collaborations between Ford County and Dodge City, including United Wireless Arena, the Legends softball complex and the St. Mary Complex. Also on the list was HorseThief Reservoir, a decades-in-the-making project that was partially financed with proceeds from a multicounty sales tax.    County officials are currently working on plans for a small-scale arena for agriculture-related events east of Dodge City Raceway Park.
    King said the county acquired an unfinished building near Scott City for the arena and will expand it so it can host horse shows, farm shows and similar events. Officials are also thinking of moving the Extension and 4-H offices into the arena.
    “It’s going to be a nice little feather in the cap for the county when it gets done,” King said.
    The address ended with a review of the county’s daily operations, courtesy of Administrator Ed Elam and three of the department heads.