(Jamie) Welcome to Farm Factor! First Kyle and Governor Sam Brownback talk about the worldwide importance of Kansas agriculture.
(Kyle Bauer) Hi. This is Kyle Bauer. I have the opportunity to visit with the Governor of the State of Kansas, Sam Brownback. Sam has been a strong advocate for agriculture his entire career. Governor, why is that? (Gov. Sam Brownback) Part of it is just being raised on a farm. A lot of it is recognizing just the beauty of this industry and its importance globally. You can go back in history and see that we’ve been supplying wheat and cattle and food products to people around the world for, basically, as long as we’ve been in the industry. What a great calling to be a part of that. It’s hard to imagine a better industry to be a centerpiece of than Kansas is to the global needs of food. (Kyle) Certainly that industry continues to grow. (Sam) It does. Even in these down market time periods, you’re seeing the industry grow and you’re seeing the industry trying to figure out how do we reinvent ourselves? And each time you’ve got more and more pressure, whether it’s from the environmentalists saying you can’t use this, you’ve got to do that; from the consumers saying I want this, I don’t want that; and the industry each time is just saying how do we respond, how do we move it forward and continuing to grow. We’ve got great growth taking place for instance in dairy. We’ve got the largest single build dairy processing plant in the country going up in Garden City. We’ve got chances to have things like the American Royal in Kansas, and then build an agricultural genetics complex around it, and the NBAF facility being built here. That’s a billion two of the most unusual facility in the world. There won’t be another one like it where you can research on the zoonotic diseases that go from animals to people, and we think we can build further the animal health corridor around that. There’s just a dynamic industry full of really good people that work well together, and this thing is going to continue to grow. (Kyle) Kansas is known as an ag-friendly state all the way from clean water and clean air, down to transportation issues. Why do we stand out in that direction? Do we just understand it? (Sam) I think we love it and we know that if you’re going to grow the space, there are other people that can grow it too, so you’ve got to take care of it. You’ve got to tend to it. You’ve got to make sure that those pieces are in place for it to be able to grow and prosper, even when you have down times. Prices are terrible, but you don’t give up on the industry. That’s just when you say what else can we do to see this business grow? Things too, like ethanol that had a lot of controversy for quite a period of time. Our price of corn now might be half of what it is if we didn’t have ethanol, right now taking up a third of the corn crop. (Kyle) Truly, as we look off into the future, Kansas continues to grow and a lot of that is because we’re in the central part of the nation, a good place to ship products out from. (Sam) You’ve got to be competitive on that, in the commodity business. You’ve got to be competitive on your shipping prices of it and that’s one of the key features for us. One of the things we’ve got to look at increasingly down the road is water. We just had a great, I think, agreement come together on the Republican River base, so that we can have accessible water in that agreement and the litigation we’ve been through in Nebraska and Colorado, but we’ve got to do that in the Ogallala, we got to do that in these reservoirs that supply so much of our water. To me, long term, that’s been one of the key pieces that we’ve really got to get right. (Kyle) We’re visiting with the Governor of the state of Kansas. This is Kyle Bauer reporting. Back to you, Jamie.
(Jamie) Folks, come back after these messages for this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.