TOPEKA – Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman announced today that the Kansas Department of Agriculture will move the majority of its offices to Manhattan, Kansas, in summer 2014.
A constitutional agency, KDA will maintain its main administrative office in Topeka but will move the majority of its programs to Manhattan, where Rodman said the agency can capitalize on synergies with Kansas State University (K-State) as well as with other agricultural and bio-science entities located in Manhattan. In addition, the department will maintain current field offices in Stafford, Stockton, Parsons and Garden City. The department’s current lease ends Sept. 30, 2013, but KDA is in the process of extending the lease at the current location through June 30, 2014.
The department’s new building, which will be built by the KSU Foundation, will complement the K-State 2025 master plan to enhance the research corridor. Secretary Rodman said the new facility will afford the department the opportunity to work closely with many nationally and even globally recognized and trusted subject matter experts on scientific and economic research.
“The decision to move KDA to Manhattan was made after months of close consultation to determine the best location to allow KDA to fulfill our statutory obligations and provide the best possible service to all of our customers today and in the future,” said Secretary Rodman. “Manhattan is the value-added center for agriculture. Locating the Kansas Department of Agriculture adjacent to the state’s land grand university, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and other agricultural, bio-science and natural resource entities will establish KDA as a pillar in the KSU Foundation Research Park and enhance the overall effectiveness of the department.”
In addition to being a fiscally responsible long-term decision, the move will also result in increased research and technical efficiencies. Rodman said it will allow resources to be shared and will reduce duplication while allowing for a consistent service and enhanced working relationship among KDA, farmers, ranchers, consumers, agribusinesses and K-State.
“Whether it is a cooperative effort on animal health research, collaboration on water conservation, joint educational outreach between the department and K-State Research and Extension or technical support provided by the university, this move will put the department in position to leverage the expertise at K-State, grow agriculture and serve all of our customers in a more efficient and effective manner,” said Rodman.
Rodman said this move will position the state of Kansas to work cooperatively with public, private and university partners to lead the nation and world forward in agriculture and biosecurity.
“Relocating KDA to Manhattan further solidifies the state’s commitment to being a leader in agriculture. Manhattan is home to NBAF and will continue to grow as the hub for the future of agriculture and bio-sciences,” said Rodman. “Moving KDA to Manhattan sends a clear message that Kansas is committed to working with all of our partners to be a leader in not only the production of food, fiber and energy but also in the security and defense of these critical components of our state, nation and world.”
The Kansas Department of Administration administers most State real property leases and product and service procurement. Interim Secretary of Administration Mark McGivern foresees the State of Kansas enjoying a continued longstanding partnership with the Topeka community.
“Under Governor Brownback’s leadership, the Department of Administration is dedicated to bringing efficiency and innovation to state government,” said McGivern. “We will continue to pursue opportunities that are in the best interests of our State employees, our communities and, most importantly, Kansas taxpayers.”