Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) welcomed nearly 100 of its members to Topeka over the lunch hour for its Legislative Action Day on Wednesday, Jan. 30. The annual event allows members of the agribusiness industry to see government in action and meet with elected officials.
“Our members’ voice and physical presence go a long way in enlightening our elected leaders on the challenges facing our industry and gives them a simple reminder that we are keeping an eye on them,” KARA president and CEO Ron Seeber said.
Those in attendance at the Topeka Country Club enjoyed hearing speeches from Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers and Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman Jr. Both Ryckman and Rogers promoted their agriculture backgrounds and assured the group that a proposed piece of legislation’s effect on agribusiness would be one of the first things to cross their mind this session.
“Fortunately, this year there is no need to arm our members with pitchforks or torches, but instead a smile and a firm handshake,” Seeber said. “We’re proud to give our members an introduction and a quick minute to share our legislative message.”
After Rogers and Ryckman closed their remarks, Kansas Cooperative Council’s CEO Brandi Miller and Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel Randy Stookey explained a few of the legislative issues KARA is monitoring this session.
The convenient timing of Legislative Action Day also allowed KARA’s 22nd Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders (TAL) class to learn about state-level government firsthand. This year’s class includes Sarah Dodge (CoMark Equity Alliance); Sam Hanni (The DeLong Company); Justin Jenkins (Team Marketing Alliance); Lance Studer (The Ottawa Cooperative Association); Amy Varner (ADM); Alexandra Erwin (BioKansas); Nicholas Krehbiel (Kanza Cooperative Association); Eric Preston (MFA Inc.); John Ricker Jr. (KFSA) and Ciera Thurman (KOCH Agronomic Services).
The TAL class completed its first of three sessions with the culmination of Legislative Action Day and will meet again in July to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with Kansas’ congressional delegation and national associations.
The Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders Program – a jointly sponsored initiative of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association and the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association – is an intensive leadership development program designed to teach members of the association, about the state and federal legislative and regulatory process and how to be a better leader within the industry.