The Diversity and Reach of Agriculture in Kansas
The rich diversity of Kansas is not lost to any of us who call this great state home. We are the United States’ intersection of east and west, and north and south. The biodiversity of our climates, from the Ozarks in the southeast to the arid high plains in the northwest, has helped enable Kansas State University's College of Agriculture to become what it is: one of this country’s top-10 agriculture schools. We are a global leader in emerging food and agricultural innovations and discoveries.
This college’s expertise, and the reach of our research and extension organization, is a critical tenet of the university’s new and ambitious Economic Prosperity Plan, which is to add 3,000 new jobs and $3 billion in new investments into the state within the next 10 years. We believe we can achieve these goals, primarily because we still are steadfastly focused on educating the next generation's agricultural workforce and leaders, while counseling and supporting the efforts of entrepreneurs, farmers, ranchers and businesses that form the economic engine of agriculture in Kansas. Areas of impact include food systems, digital agriculture, biodefense and many more.
Agriculture contributes $67 billion to our state’s economy and approximately 238,000 jobs. Combining the Economic Prosperity Plan with our other wide range of research will only further stimulate innovation, investment and other public and private partnerships to help solve the challenges we face here at home and abroad, such as the looming global food crisis due to the war in Ukraine. By doing so, we will create more interesting and innovative professional opportunities for Kansans and better serve the world today and tomorrow.
This year’s issue of the AgReport includes a variety of stories of how we are working across many different industries, always with the dual focus on current and prospective positive agricultural impacts. I’m excited for what the future holds for our faculty, researchers, extension service professionals and students as we approach the next quarter of this century.