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Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association co-signed a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focusing on the importance of agricultural herbicide uses, while highlighting the concerns of the agency's proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Herbicide Strategy. On July 26, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft Herbicide Strategy aimed at protecting federally endangered and threatened (listed) species from conventional agricultural herbicides for public comment. The letter also commented on the strategy's lack of compliance options for producers/applicators; the financial cost of proposed conservation practices; the anticipated harm the proposal...

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) participated in a public comment session on Kansas Dept. of Agriculture's (KDA) proposed amendments to seed regulations. KDA's proposed amendments to its regulations under the Kansas seed law, K.S.A. 2-1415, et seq. include changes to: Labeling prohibitions; definitions of noxious weed seed; official analysis; restricted weed seed; prohibited weed seed and seed offered for sale. KARA's senior vice president of government affairs and general counsel Randy Stookey represented the association by testifying to KARA's position on restricted weed seed and seed offered for sale. KARA's full comment...

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) sent a letter to the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture (KDA) requesting, in lieu of KDA's Division of Water Resources issuing administration orders at this time for 2024, the state formulate a working group to develop a solution involving the federal government, groundwater management districts and other stakeholders to develop options to begin implementation in January 2025. Kansas United States Senator Jerry Moran and Governor Laura Kelly have been in frequent communication with USFWS on the negative impacts executing a...

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA), in cooperation with the Agricultural Retailers Association and American Soybean Association, has signed a petition urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its draft herbicide strategy no later than 11:59 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. Due to the technicalities of the petition, KARA CEO Ron Seeber signed on behalf of the association. The organizations are encouraging others to SIGN THE PETITION. The EPA previously issued a Draft Herbicide Strategy proposal July 24, 2023. This is part of the EPA’s overall effort to address longstanding litigation related...

On August 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule amending the 2023 definition of “waters of the United States” to conform with the recent Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA. The agencies claim this action provides clarity, while moving forward with infrastructure projects, economic opportunities, and agricultural activities. “While I am disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Sackett case, EPA and Army have an obligation to apply this decision alongside our state co-regulators, Tribes, and...

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association’s 20-plus member board of directors selected Kevin Dieckmann of BRANDT to serve a two-year term as chairman through August of 2025 during the association’s annual meeting held on August 22, 2023 in Manhattan, Kan. “I am honored our membership has selected me to serve as the leader of our association,” Dieckmann said. “It’s humbling to have the opportunity to help our staff guide the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association toward continued success of experiencing agribusiness thrive in the state of Kansas.” Dieckmann is the 56th industry leader since 1960...

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is hosting Local Consult events across Kansas throughout the month of October. KDOT has announced the opportunity to discuss issues/needs related to freight and rail. Local Consult is KDOT’s public engagement process for the IKE program. It takes place every two years to get Kansans’ input on a list of transportation projects for each region. It’s also an opportunity to strengthen local partnerships, to better understand which KDOT programs matter most to communities, and to get feedback on how the agency can improve program and...

Stephan M. Hoesli, 70, Delphos, died Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at his home. Hoesli was an active member of the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and previously served on its board of directors. Memorial services will be at 1:00 P.M., Saturday, August 5 at the Delphos Auditorium with burial following in the Delphos Cemetery. If you have a vintage car to drive in the procession, please do so. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Ottawa County Fair and may be left in care of Wilson Family Funeral Home,...

On July 26, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft Herbicide Strategy aimed at protecting federally endangered and threatened (listed) species from conventional agricultural herbicides for public comment. The Strategy describes proposed early mitigations for more than 900 listed species and designated critical habitats to reduce potential impacts from the agricultural use of these herbicides. “Ensuring safe use of herbicides is an important part of EPA’s mission to protect the environment,” said Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pesticide Programs for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Jake Li....

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has been awarded a $6.46 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service’s Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program. The purpose of the RFSI program is to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain and strengthen local and regional food systems by creating new revenue streams for Kansas producers. Funds will support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture,...

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