Michael Jordan – Commodity Breakfast

(Michael) I’m Michael Jordan, I’m President of the Kansas Association of the Wheat Growers. We are here in Topeka to serve breakfast to the state legislators. This is the 20th year that this event has been going on and we’re happy to have a chance to meet with these folks and get to know them better. It’s also good for farmers to be able to interact with the legislators, let them actually see somebody from back home. We have members here from the boards of the wheat, soybeans, sorghum and corn. And we hope we can outnumber them and have a lot of one-on-one time with our legislators. This year with the budget constraints that everybody is very aware of with the Kansas legislature, it’s been important to the farm organizations of the state to make sure that the burden of cuts is fairly shared among all the taxpayer groups in Kansas. Of course, our job is to look after the agriculture and farming communities. And it’s really important for us to spend some time visiting with them and making sure that they don’t do anything that’s really damaging to our interests. It’s been important for us this year to help preserve exemptions for agriculture in terms of the machinery sales tax and also a very important issue would have been the…protecting the use value formula, keeping it in the same form that it has been in past years, not altered in some way that would damage the state’s agriculture. It’s important for us as a commodity organization and the other organizations to communicate not just with our own legislators but those in urban areas as this is becoming an increasingly urban state. And to help them to realize that even if they don’t have very many farmers in their district or maybe none at all, that still agriculture is an important industry to the state. And in many cases much of the urban industry in the state or urban economics are dependent on agriculture in terms of employment in factories, grain companies, merchandising companies. I mean it’s important for us to keep in mind that everybody eats. From that standpoint agriculture is important to all of us, as well as its impact on jobs and the rest of the Kansas economy.

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