Dr. Dan Thomson and Jerry McReynolds

(Dan) Folks welcome to AG am in Kansas, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson, here at the Kansas Farm Bureau and I am meeting with a friend, a colleague, one of our leaders in agriculture in the state of Kansas. Jerry McReynolds, from Woodston. (Jerry) Woodston. (Dan) Out in northwest central Kansas. (Jerry) South of Woodston. (Dan) Jerry, it’s been a tough few years with the drought and the situation, and so now we have regional efforts and some national efforts. And water is really becoming an issue more and more. It’s always been important, but it’s probably at a peak level of interest and
regulation, and just getting by on a day to day basis. (Jerry) That’s
absolutely correct. If it’s not of importance it will be shortly at your
place, so, water’s always something in our part of the country that has been scarce, but we have always been able to deal with it. And now because of the drought, and realizing this is a cumulative thing. We went through a very dry period from 2000 – 2006 and that was a long period to be under drought stress. Then we had some better years. And then now we’re going through three years of severe drought. It’s critical. And it affects surface water, it affects well water. (Dan) And you start to talk about…we talked before coming on the air. But when you’re not able to have water at your house. (Jerry) Yeah, that doesn’t make everybody pleased in the household. (Dan) I’m sure. (Jerry) I feel really badly about that,
but it’s just- what can we do about it? We’re in a situation where our home well that has been a good well for all my life, with the exception of one time that I recall that we hauled water to the home, but it’s gone down.
Many wells have gone down. There’s no surface water, which means no pond water, no running water, no surface water whatsoever in our neck of the woods. And the water table is probably decreasing. But in our situation we didn’t have a lot of water to begin with and we have less now. We have a cattle operation, and cattle need water and we try to run a consistent cattle operation, cow/calf, backgrounding, and eventually the feed lot and it takes water. But we also live there and so our houses need water. We are on a rural water district that was put in probably 30 some years ago, but
they’re having problems getting water. So, we have not had water at the house during the day for all winter, fall through winter, up until
recently. And so water is really important, we don’t waste intentionally waste a drop. We can wash our teeth with very little water. But it does affect us economically too. It’s going to have a big effect on the economy, and already is. Water is extremely important, as you well know. (Dan) Yes. (Jerry) And we need to take care of it. Which means there needs to be some guidelines of course, but we really do not need the EPA coming in and telling us what, over reaching and telling us some of the regulations, that
are going… we are fearful could take place, that are off the wall. (Dan) I am going to take a break there. And when we come back let’s jump in to a little bit more of those. But when people think about animal welfare and they think about sustainability, it’s efforts like yours and what you’re doing to tend to your livestock, putting them first, and taking care of an environment that’s vitally important. Folks, thanks for watching AG am, more with Jerry McReynolds, after the break.

(Dan) Hi there folks, welcome back to AG am in Kansas, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson from Kansa State University and I am joined by Mr. Jerry McReynolds, who is here in Manhattan at the Kansas Farm Bureau. (Jerry) Yes. (Dan) And you live out in Woodston, Kansas, out in the… (Jerry) Hard to identify isn’t it? (Dan)…north central, northwest. (Jerry) Northwest central. (Dan) Northwest central part of Kansas, and you know, we have been talking about water, the lack thereof and now as we were shifting before break into the
government over reach into regulation of… if we do, not if, but when we get water, the regulation of even ditch water. (Jerry) It’s very concerning. We view it as an overreach of EPA. Now, you can call it a lot of things, but I think it’s completely beyond their scope of authority and completely beyond what it was intended to be. It was intended to be a positive for agriculture and this is, if it continues, is going to be a negative for agriculture. It’s going to affect every one of us, no matter where we are. Whether we have water or whether we don’t, we are in an area where we haven’t had water, but as far as rainfall goes, but it will rain again someday. (Dan) Yep. (Jerry) And those draws will have some water in
them and if they are regulated and we have to have permits for almost everything we do, it will be devastating. (Dan) And I think that when you start to think about the socialization, we’ve regulated the banking industry, we’ve regulated health care, we’ve regulated the automobile industry and now the regulation of agriculture is starting to the words of that and some of those processes and if we aren’t attuned to it, thank goodness you are Farm Bureau are, we’ve got some issues coming. (Jerry) We’ve got to get out in front and we’ve got to try to protect our American farmers and American agriculture, which comes right back to our American food supply. (Dan) Absolutely. (Jerry) And it’s a consumer issue as well as
a producer’s issue. And agriculture has been the most efficient industry that I know of and we continue to become more efficient, but we’ve got to have some… and there has to be some guidelines, we don’t have a problem with that, but we have to know what those guidelines are and we can’t live in an environment where those outreaches of government agencies, just cause us more regulations that stifle our business growth. (Dan) Well, when it come down to it, we’ve got a little time here before the break, if you were
going to tell a neighbor or a another farmer or rancher what they need to know about what’s coming and what they need to do, what would you tell them? (Jerry) Well, I would tell them they better be paying attention and we definitely want to see how this is going, the direction it appears to be going now, it’s an overreaching of EPA. There’s been proper language in the past so that as it concerns to navigable waters. Of course we laugh at that in our part of the country. We don’t even have water. We’ve got a few
reservoirs that have a little bit of water, but that’s all. We don’t have pond water. But that will change and changing some of that regulation of terminology can really affect us. (Dan) You bet. (Jerry) And you better get involved, at whatever level, whatever level you feel…(Dan) Get a hold of your Congressman. (Jerry) And try to do something about it. Be out in front of this thing because it’s going to bite us. (Dan) Thanks for being here. (Jerry) Thank you. (Dan) Thank you folks for tuning in. to AG am and we’ll see you after the break.

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