TOPEKA – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, joined by Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman and Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baccus, heard from than 50 Kansas Farm Bureau members and local farmers, ranchers and agribusiness leaders in Southeast Kansas about challenges they are facing and about opportunities they have to expand and grow the industry during the 2012 Kansas Farm Bureau Governor’s Tour.
“Agriculture in our great state is extremely diverse, so as we continue moving forward with plans to expand the industry, it is imperative that we hear from producers in each region of the state. There is no better way to learn about the real challenges our producers are facing than to visit with them directly,” Gov. Brownback said. “From a three-generation family farm looking to innovate and diversify to an agribusiness working to improve genetics for our cattle herd, there is great potential for agriculture in Southeast Kansas to expand, generate economic growth and create jobs for Kansans.”
The first stop of the day was at the third-generation farm of Don and Linda Sale, which sits just outside of Cherryvale. The Sale family grows wheat and soybeans and raises cattle. They also run a soybean dealership, providing a critical service for area farmers. The youngest generation of the Sale family recently launched a venture selling custom hunting trips on the family’s land and will host their first hunters this fall.
Next, the group stopped at SEK Genetics in Galesburg. Jim Bates with Genetic Horizons told a crowd of approximately 50 people that Genetic Horizons, which is the top independent semen dealer in the nation, is focused on enhancing animal agriculture through improved genetics and producing a premium product. Specifically, Bates said they are working to improve the U.S. cattle industry through improved genetics. During the tour, Bates demonstrated an ultrasound on a beef cow.
“Agriculture is the state’s largest industry. Our farmers and ranchers are recognized as leaders nationwide and Governor Brownback and I are fully committed to doing what we can to help them succeed, expand and innovate,” Secretary Rodman said. “The future of agriculture in Southeast Kansas and our entire state is bright.
"Today we heard that the rules and regulations affecting agriculture must be workable and reliable and not over burdensome so that farmers and ranchers are able to do their jobs producing safe, wholesome food for consumers here in the state, across the United States and around the globe. We heard that individuals involved in agriculture are ready to grow and expand their businesses and improve agriculture for this generation and the next.”