After more than a year-and-a-half of deliberation and hard work, the Kansas Farm Bill Coalition plans to release the results of its work over the past 18 months to members of the Kansas Congressional Delegation and the media Monday morning. The gathering will begin at 8:30 Dec. 11 at the Dillon House in Topeka, located west of the Capitol Building and north of the Docking State Office Building.
The results of that work are 34 unanimous recommendations that the Coalition would like to see included in the 2007 Farm Bill, which is expected to be a major topic of legislative discussion in Washington over the months ahead. The Coalition's Steering Committee of eight members will be presenting the proposals to the Congressional Delegation Monday.
The first time in the memory of most Kansas farmers when varied Kansas farm organizations have come together to identify issues upon which they agree, and want included in farm legislation. These Kansas farm organizations, through the Kansas Farm Bill Coalition, have identified 34 such issues they all agree upon, and will be presenting and discussing with the Congressional delegation Monday morning. Various agricultural leaders in the state have been trying for some time to develop a method for Kansas agriculture to speak with a single voice on major agricultural issues.
This watershed accomplishment has been done on behalf of the 60,000 food producers in the State of Kansas, who account for an output of $11.4 billion in economic activity, and that does not include any economic multipliers.
This attempt at one-voice began in May of 2005 when representatives of a number of farm organizations came together for an open and respectful dialogue about federal farm legislation and its impact on the Kansas agriculture industry.
The Coalition has gained unanimous agreement on 34 consensus policy statements, and those will be presented to the Congressional delegation. A by-product of this relationship is the reward of a greater understanding of the perspective of others in the Kansas agricultural industry.
The eight-person Steering Committee of the Kansas Farm Bill Coalition includes Kendall Grecian, of the Kansas Livestock Association; Dennis Hupe, representing the Kansas Soybean Association; Ray Kohman, of the National Farmers Organization; Jerry McReynolds, of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers; Keith Miller, of Kansas Farm Bureau; Greg Shelor, of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association; Don Teske of the Kansas Farmers Union; and Bob Timmons of the Kansas Corn Growers Association. Dana Peterson, Producer Policy Specialist for Kansas Wheat, has acted as a facilitator for the Coalition.
The Kansas Farm Bill Coalition is a coalition of Kansas agricultural organizations working together to achieve agricultural policy, which creates and sustains a long-term, competitive and profitable agricultural industry; while providing a safe and secure food, fiber and energy supply for consumers.