More than 200 Kansans from across the state joined Governor Sam Brownback in Garden City Wednesday for a discussion about the way in which animal agriculture can drive the state’s economy.


     More than 200 Kansans from across the state joined Governor Sam Brownback in Garden City Wednesday for a discussion about the way in which animal agriculture can drive the state’s economy.
      “Agriculture is our state’s largest industry,” Brownback said. “Kansas has long been a leader across the country and world in animal agriculture. We have a unique opportunity to look at this industry where we excel and figure out what we can do to spur economic growth in Kansas through encouraging and developing animal agriculture.”
      At the summit, farmers, ranchers and agribusiness leaders joined Brownback and others from his administration to discuss how Kansas can continue to be a global leader in animal agriculture. Three overarching questions guided the discussion:
      • How does Kansas retain current farms, ranches and agribusinesses?
      •  How does Kansas assist current farms, ranches and agribusinesses expand within Kansas?
      • How does Kansas recruit out-of-state/out-of-country farms, ranches and agribusinesses to expand into or relocate to Kansas?
      “Creating a supportive environment for farms, ranches and agribusinesses in Kansas is one of my top priorities,” Brownback said. “We want to evaluate any rules or regulations that prevent growth in this area, and are committed to doing our part to ensure Kansas remains a good place to do business for agriculture.”
      Summit attendees broke into small groups to discuss specific topics on growing animal agriculture. These topics, which were determined through a survey of agriculture leaders prior to the summit, included:
      • Global Market & Technology
      • Workforce
      • The Kansas Advantage
      • Food Safety
      • Animal Welfare/Animal Health, and
• Kansas Marketing and Innovations
      The small groups were followed by a large group discussion facilitated by Brownback. During this discussion, Brownback was joined on stage by panelists
      • Scott Fleetwood – Novus International, Executive Director, Global Industry & Government Policy Affairs
      • Tom McCarty Family – McCarty Dairy, Thomas County.
      • Clayton Huseman – Kansas Livestock Association, Executive Director Feedlot Division
      • Dr. Mandy Carr Johnson – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
      • Dr. Mike Siemens – Cargill Meat Solutions
      • Dr. Dan Thomson – Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and
      • Keith Miller – Kansas rancher and chairman of U.S. Meat Export Federation
      “I’m grateful to be serving with a governor who truly understands and appreciates agriculture,” Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman said. “I’d encourage all Kansans to take advantage of this opportunity by sharing your ideas on how we can better serve the animal agriculture industry.”
      Individuals with input or ideas about how Kansas can meet its economic goals with animal agriculture should email summit@kda.ks.gov. These comments will be shared with the governor, Rodman, the secretary’s leadership team, the State Board of Agriculture and the State Animal Health Board as they consider ways the state can better encourage the growth of animal agriculture in Kansas.
      The summit, which was held in St. Dominic Parish in Garden City, was the eighth in a series of economic summits focused on creating jobs and growing the Kansas economy.      Questions about the summit should be directed to Chelsea Good with the Kansas Department of Agriculture at chelsea.good@kda.gov, 785-296-2653 (office) or 913-735-9065 (mobile).