MANHATTAN, Kansas — More than 400 leaders representing a variety of agricultural interests across the state of Kansas came together on August 17 at the seventh annual Kansas Governor’s Summit on Agricultural Growth.
Governor Laura Kelly opened the Summit with a welcome and expressed her enthusiasm for the Kansas agriculture industry. “There’s no doubt: Kansas remains a worldwide powerhouse in agriculture,” said Governor Kelly. “But it’s also clear that to keep our ag industry modern and competitive, we have to solve two major challenges facing us: water and workforce shortages.”
This year’s Ag Growth Summit Attendees focused on these two overarching issues that have an impact on the entire Kansas agriculture industry: workforce and water. Chuck Conner, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, spoke about workforce and labor. Nathan Hendricks, a professor in agricultural economics at K-State, spoke about the economics of land and water. Following those presentations, attendees participated in an interactive work session to discuss those two critical issues.
“The Ag Growth Summit brings the Kansas agriculture community into one room to seek collaboration and develop initiatives that can help drive growth for the state’s ag industry,” said Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam. “This year’s discussions will help us make substantive progress toward growth that will benefit the entire state of Kansas.”
In the afternoon, Marshall Stewart, K-State senior vice president, announced the creation of the new Barry Flinchbaugh Center for Ag Policy. He was joined by K-State president Richard Linton along with members of Dr. Flinchbaugh’s family. This announcement was followed by an update on the Edge Collaboration District by representatives from the KSU Foundation. These projects are examples of K-State’s path forward as a next-generation land-grant university, and will play a role in agricultural growth in the state of Kansas.
As the day concluded, Secretary Beam recognized the 2023 Kansas Ag Heroes, and provided a summary of the morning’s work sessions. For more about the 2023 Kansas Ag Growth Summit and the full Ag Growth Project —including materials shared in the day’s sessions and a full list of the Kansas Ag Heroes — go to www.agriculture.ks.gov/GrowAg .