Tag Archives: Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed Feb. 3-7, 2020, as Wildfire Awareness Week in partnership with the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council and multiple state agencies.

 “Each year, wildfires endanger our firefighters, neighbors, and landscapes,” said Mick McGuire, the current chair of the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council and lead meteorologist of the National Weather Service in Wichita. “Wildfire Awareness Week reminds us that we all have a part to play in preventing wildfires and protecting our communities.”

 Preliminary data from the Office of the State Fire Marshall indicates that reported vegetation fires were down to 2,502 fires burning 27,907 acres in 2019 as compared to 6,316 fires that burned 185,610 acres in 2018.

 While reported wildfires were lower in 2019 due to above normal precipitation amounts, cooperating agencies within KIWC caution Kansans to not become complacent when it comes to doing their part to reduce the risk of and prepare for wildfires. Nearly 95% of all wildfires result from the activity of people, indicating there is still room for improvement.

 “While some wildland fires can’t be prevented because they spring from lightning strikes or other natural causes, many are avoidable by carefully observing basic precautions when using fires outdoors,” Gov. Kelly said.

 McGuire said that every Kansan can implement the tips and best practices highlighted during Wildfire Awareness Week to prevent dangerous wildfires.

 “I urge everyone to take simple, precautionary steps like pruning trees and shrubs around homes and removing old debris from yards. Kansas experiences it’s heaviest wildfire activity during the early spring months, but fires occur during all seasons of the year, including winter,” he said.

 The Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council and partner agencies suggest the following to mitigate the risk of wildfire and reduce potential impacts if a wildfire does occur:

 Create defensible space around homes by removing leaves and other plant debris and flammable material that could catch embers. Replace or repair loose or missing shingles. Provide adequate space between the home and trees or other landscaping.

  • Establish a community or neighborhood group to participate in or be a part of creating a wildfire mitigation and response plan.
  • Prevent wildfires from starting by avoiding activities that can spark fires near buildings and potential fuel sources.
  • Write and follow your burn plan for prescribed fire including checking the weather forecast, and continue to monitor the burn area to make sure it hasn’t reignited.
  • Consider volunteering with your local fire department. Quick responses by local fire departments prevent what could become a devastating wildfire.

Throughout the 2020 Wildfire Awareness Week, the Kansas Interagency Wildfire Council and partner agencies including the National Weather Service Office, Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Kansas Forest Service, and others will remind Kansans of the dangers posed by wildfires and easy to implement practices to prevent and mitigate the risk of wildfires.

 Follow the hashtag #WildfireKS on social media during Wildfire Awareness Week to engage in the conservation. Be sure to like and follow @WildfireKS on Twitter and @KSKIWC on Facebook to see the latest information on wildfires in Kansas year-round.

Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill to restrict how producers of meat alternatives could market their products in the state. The bill lists 22 meat-related terms that producers of alternative foods won’t be able to use, such as jerky or burger, unless they label their products as “imitation” or add a phrase that the product does not contain meat. The bill is being pushed by the Kansas livestock industry, which argues it would eliminate consumer confusion about which products contain meat. Opponents say the proposal violates free speech rights by restricting how plant-based and other alternative products can be marketed. Lawmakers had a hearing on the bill Thursday.

Kansas health officials say a voluntary recall of several pork products produced in Clay Center will be issued on Monday because of possible listeria contamination.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said in a news release Saturday that Clay Center Locker Plant will issue the recall for any ready-to-eat product including smoked pork loins, ham hocks and smoked ham from the plant produced on Nov. 21.

The department is urging the public not to consume any of the products, including those bought at the retail counter in the plant and hams that were delivered to the FFA Clay Center and Chapman chapters.

The Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA) is seeking qualified candidates for several employment opportunities at county office locations across Kansas. Kansas FSA is an exciting and rewarding place to start, build and/or continue your professional career. Be a part of our team and support the well-being of Kansas agriculture by applying for a position today.

Applicants are currently being sought for full-time, permanent County Program Technicians in several offices. County Program Technicians are responsible for carrying out office activities and functions pertaining to the technical assistance and program support related to FSA farm and farm loan programs. Basic requirements include general office clerical work, record keeping, computer skills, organizational skills and good public relations skills.

The County Program Technician position offers benefits such as health insurance, 401(k) plan, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave and flexible work schedules.

The position vacancy announcements are posted on the USAJOBS website at www.usajobs.gov, through which most federal employment applications must be submitted.  Current Kansas County FSA vacancies open and ready to accept applications include the following (click on the link to submit your application):

(Farm Program) Edwards County (Kinsley, Kansas) – Closes Monday, January 6, 2020

(Farm Program) Ellsworth County (Ellsworth, Kansas) – Closes Monday, January 6, 2020

Applicants interested in learning more about these positions should establish a user profile through www.usajobs.gov.  Profiles offer the opportunity for interested individuals to search for positions by location and/or job titles, upload searchable resumes, and receive automated vacancy announcement updates.

Questions? Please contact the Kansas State FSA Office at (785) 539-3531.

Personal income growth in Kansas is below the national average largely because of troubles in agriculture. Kansas Public Radio reports that the state’s personal income has grown by 1.6% since late 2007, when the Great Recession started.

The national rate is 2.1%. All states have seen their economies grow since the Great Recession but Kansas had the eighth-worst personal income growth in the nation over the last year. Kansas farmers face an expanding drought and low commodity prices.

Agriculture makes up about 40% of the state’s economy and industries related to agriculture and food production are worth about $65 billion annually.

All Kansas farmers are invited to the Kansas Commodity Classic on Friday, January 24, 2020.

 

The Kansas Commodity Classic is the annual convention of Kansas’ top crops – corn, wheat, grain sorghum and soybeans, and will take place at the K-State Alumni Center, Manhattan, Kan., with registration and breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. Thanks to the generous support of the Kansas corn, wheat, grain sorghum and soybean associations and our sponsors, registration is free for farmers and friends.

 

The Kansas Commodity Classic will be emceed by Greg Akagi, farm director for WIBW. The morning session will open at 8:30 a.m. with welcome remarks.

 

Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers will kick off the event with an update from the Kansas Governor’s office.

 

John Feldt, Founder and President of Blue Water Outlook, will provide a weather outlook. Blue Water Outlook provides a wide variety of information to help provide informed decisions for farm management. Blue Water Outlook is focused along two primary areas of emphasis: Water Resources Insight and Intelligence and Decision Support Services.

 

Elected officials have been invited to give updates from Washington, including the Senate Ag Committee, a trade outlook, Farm Bill update and other pertinent issues affecting Kansas farmers.

 

Dr. Allan Gray, Director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University, will end the day with a presentation on “Capitalizing on the Greatest Sustainability Story in History.” He currently holds the position of Land O’Lakes Chair in Food and Agribusiness. Gray works with food and agribusiness managers in the center’s professional development seminars and workshops, while also continuing to teach. Gray’s research interests are agribusiness management, strategic planning, decision making in uncertain environments and simulation. He also works on the Large Commercial Producer Survey, conducted every five years by the center, which explores the attitudes and buying behaviors of large commercial producers.

 

The Kansas Commodity Classic is hosted by the Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association and Kansas Soybean Association. Signature sponsors are Kansas Corn Commission, Kansas Soybean Commission and Kansas Wheat Commission. Industry sponsors at the platinum level are Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and Kansas Department of Agriculture. Sponsors at the gold level are Ag Risk Solutions, Corteva and Syngenta. Sponsors at the silver level are AgriGold, Fairbanks Scales & Perten Instruments, Hannebaum Grain, KCoe Isom, KFB Health Plans and Midland Genetics & Polansky Seed.

 

Thanks to these generous sponsors, the January 24 event is free to attend and includes a complimentary breakfast and lunch; however pre-registration is requested for food count purposes.

 

Visit www.kansascommodityclassic.com to register.

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus and member of Senate Appropriations Committee – today released the following statement applauding the funding levels of the FY2020 Appropriations package for international food aid:

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I work to prioritize funding for our international food aid programs and I was pleased to see that both the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program and the Food for Peace Title II Grants received increases in funding to further their missions and assist in reducing global food security.

“This is an issue in which the morally correct thing to do is also what’s in the best interest of our country. By continuing to invest in Food for Peace, McGovern-Dole and other international food aid programs, food grown by U.S. and Kansas farmers will save lives around the world and reduce conflict by promoting greater social and economic stability.”

Items to Note:

The clash over water rights between the operators of a federal wildlife refuge in south central Kansas and farmers could potentially wind up in court if the two sides don’t reach an agreement on water usage.

The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge has been complaining that it’s not getting its fair share of the water coming from the Rattlesnake Creek into its marsh. Meanwhile, a farmer says her livelihood depends on the water coming from the creek.

Kansas News Service reports that a proposed solution would cut water usage for newer water users that the refuge’s establishment predates.