(Jamie) Thanks for staying with us as Kyle and Rich discuss the many ways the staff works hard for Kansas Farm Bureau members.
(Kyle) Hi this is Kyle Bauer with Kansas Farm Bureau today. I’m visiting with Rich Felts. He’s the President of Kansas Farm Bureau. Rich as we look at an overview of Kansas Farm Bureau, truly not everyone realizes just how you put that staff to work by the vote of farmers. (Rich) Well that’s true. And the reason we have an organization is we need to have somebody to speak up for us. Somebody that can address all of our issues in a professional manner. But also somebody that has the time and expertise to do it when we’re doing what we do best. (Kyle) Truly that staff is gathering information, but they’re passing that out to members for members to use it. (Rich) That’s true. We can have staff do a lot of things, but when it really comes down to it, we need to know that our membership’s involved and have them in our back pocket to address issues, not just have staff representing them at that point. (Kyle) And keep track of what’s going on in Washington or Topeka so at opportune times then the membership who are busy farming and ranching then can be there when the time is really important. (Rich) Well, that’s true Kyle and so many issues that are very notable. Our work on Waters of the U.S. for example I think any Farm Bureau understood that. But also we have so many minor issues, that are not really minor, that as an individual producer, we kind of take for granted and don’t respond, but yet as an organization we’re able to address those issues with the staff we have. (Kyle) A lot of times a farmer will say, just give me higher prices and I can deal with anything else. Farm Bureau really can’t set the price. (Rich) No, that’s exactly right. We all think we can manipulate price a little bit, but we have no control over that. But we need to think about issues that we can have an impact with when it comes to policy and regulations. (Kyle) It’s really frustrating a lot of times as an individual farmer with so many different issues that come up and really almost every issue appears to affect agriculture. (Rich) Well, there’s no question about that. As I addressed our group here at one time, how the impact of Waters of the U.S. on each and every one of us, we don’t really know. But the implications are not very good. We’ve had the issue of the Lesser Prairie Chicken in southwestern Kansas. The impact that they can have. But just even our Farm Bill and some of the implications it has for us. (Kyle) Farm Bureau is a statewide organization. You’re from more or less southeast Kansas, but you have different issues with different parts of the state. Farm Bureau is equipped though to deal with those different issues in different parts of the state. (Rich) Well, that’s true Kyle and as you said, I think one of those issues right now is water. Both as we talked about Waters of the U.S. but also the issues we have in the western part of the state with the demise of the Ogallala. And then also the water issues we have in the central and the eastern parts of the state that are a real concern as well. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Rich Felts. He’s the President of Kansas Farm Bureau. This is Kyle Bauer, reporting from Manhattan. Back to you Jamie.
(Jamie) Thanks, Kyle! Folks, come back after the break for the weekly Kansas Farm Bureau Legislative Update