Greg Krissek, CEO of Kansas Corn Commission

(Greg Krissek): I’m Greg Krissek, CEO of Kansas Corn. That’s the Kansas Corn Commission and the Kansas Corn Growers Association. 2017 is going to be a busy year for Kansas Corn, Commission activities especially. We continue to expand our work supporting the education system K through 12 and working with a variety of teachers to give them tools to implement in the classroom about agriculture and specifically corn. Seed to STEM is our flagship program and it will continue this summer 2017. We target high school science and math teachers, STEM teachers, both in the Kansas City area and the Wichita area this year. There’ll be an event hosted at one of the large high schools, and an event hosted at Maize South High School in Wichita, both two days, where 25 to 30 teachers learn about 10 lesson plans that meet educational standards in the state. Half of them are related to ethanol, half of them are related to biotechnology, and we then work with them to implement them during the school year with approximately 110 students that each of them interacts with during a school year. We’ve also got good support recently in partnership on this. The ethanol plants in the state have allocated a significant amount to us to help administer extra supplies for the teachers, in addition to what we give to them by going through the course. That’s exciting. Agriculture boot camps continue for teachers in mostly elementary, some middle schools, on K-State’s campus. Soybean, the Kansas Soybean Commission, had created a program a number of years ago, with Brian McCornack of the Kansas State Entomology Department. We’ve now added a corn component working with him, and we’re now in additional third phase, where those teachers will be looking to go out and educate other teachers in their school districts about, again, lesson plans that could be implemented on an inquiry based learning approach for these elementary folks. And then, finally in education, the CASE program is a curriculum in certification for AG ED instructors at the high school level, and we’re working closely with them similar to our Seed to STEM teachers with lesson plans, especially in the ethanol component, that they would have the lesson plans and the equipment to implement these with their students. We continue to work with the Kansas Farm Food Connection, coalition of AG groups that look to sponsor activities throughout the state to introduce consumers where their food comes from. We are doing quite a bit of work in social media of basically interviewing our producers, our Kansas corn producers, at different times of their growing season, what their jobs are, what they’re doing, and posting it in a way that we hope appeals to the general public to see this is what a farmer does, and make those individual connections with farmers through that venue. We continue to work with Common Ground in conjunction with Kansas Soybean Commission. This year there’s even little bit more focus, because there’s some changes in the Common Ground program from the national level where Kansas Corn and Kansas Soybean will be very involved with a number of activities around the state as farm wives and females on the farm find opportunities either in the grocery store and in other consumer oriented venues to connect especially with urban ladies, urban women as they are making their food decisions, and I’m looking forward to being part of that. And additionally, we continue to have a schedule of being out and around the state to meet with producers on a regular basis. There are nine crop reporting districts in the state, and we will have several events in each crop reporting district, whether they be K-State sponsored corn schools, or our socials, or our shed tours at different times of the year this year, where we’ll talk about the programs we’re working on, and most importantly, get feedback from producers on what they feel is important, especially as we work on market development projects and potentially some of the other issues that are affecting our corn industry.

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