State of Kansas Agriculture by Secretary Rodman | KS Farmers Union

7 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
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KS Farmers Union

State of Kansas Agriculture by Secretary Rodman

Kansas was founded as an agricultural state. One hundred and fifty one years after statehood, agriculture continues as the largest and most dynamic growth industry in Kansas. Today, the agriculture sector has a window of opportunity to expand — creating jobs, investments and wealth for our state.

This was my key message while giving my annual address to the Kansas House and Senate agriculture committees. I told our legislators that the state of Kansas agriculture is strong, with plenty of room to grow.

Kansas is a key player in world markets, exporting more than $4.9 billion of agriculture products annually. Trends in world agricultural demand indicate significant opportunity for accelerated growth in international markets for Kansas agriculture.

In 2011, the global population passed the 7 billion mark. By 2050, this number will exceed 9 billion people.  It is projected that agriculture needs to produce as much food in the next 50 years as has been produced in the last 10,000 years, in order to feed a rapidly growing world.

In addition, GDP growth is increasing dramatically in some areas of the world, which will drive demand for higher quality protein. As incomes go up, people move up the protein scale, consuming more chicken, pork and beef. In fact, world meat consumption is predicted to double by 2050.

As a beef state, these trends will increase market opportunities for Kansas beef producers and provide incentive to grow the Kansas beef industry.  Kansas should also take advantage of the growth potential for both pork and poultry industries in order to help meet the meat demand of the world and the Asian market in particular.  By building the entire livestock industry, we can better serve our customers and grow the Kansas economy. At the same time, we want to continue to support our grain producers as well.

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I think Kansas is in a prime position to grow our agriculture sector. We are the right place, with a central location, reasonable humidity and the land available for large scale agriculture. We also have a supportive administration focused on growing agriculture. Finally, we have the right resources in Kansas with good people, quality infrastructure, a premier agriculture university and a focus on agriculture science and technology development.

I recognize there are also issues that must be addressed. I’ve spent time over the last year talking to Kansas producers about areas they see as restrictive to growing Kansas agriculture. Overburdensome regulations, restrictive corporate agriculture laws, animal welfare activists, the agricultural labor shortage and the future of the Ogallala aquifer are areas of concern our customers have identified.  We are actively working to address these concerns, and are making progress.

Kansas has a window of opportunity to double the value of agriculture in our state over the next 10 years. We will not simply sit and watch through the window as this opportunity passes us by. The Kansas Department of Agriculture will embrace this opportunity to grow the largest industry in our state. By acting now, Kansas can ensure that 151 years down the road, agriculture will remain the state’s largest economic driver.

Dale Rodman

Kansas Secretary of Agriculture

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