The 20th class of Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders (T.A.L.) wrapped up its first day of exposure to legislative affairs in the agriculture industry on Tuesday. Six members of Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and five participants representing Kansas Grain and Feed Association convened at the association office in Topeka for a full day of association and government 101.
Shahira Stafford, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association’s T.A.L. administrator kicked off the program with a get-to-know-you icebreaker activity at 10 a.m. Association staff followed with introductions to the class and explanations of their roles in the association’s operation. CEO Emeritus, Tom Tunnell, provided an intricate history of the association’s past, the history and the history and structure of the organization.
Susan Metzger, Deputy Secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), joined the group for lunch and fielded questions about KDA’s involvement in the industry.
Next, Stafford and KARA president and CEO, Ron Seeber, broke down the Kansas Legislature by analyzing several videos and even putting the group through a mock legislative session in order to pass a bill. Later in the afternoon a panel of lobbying experts: Greg Krissek, Kansas Corn Commission; Aaron Popelka, Kansas Livestock Association; Dan Murray, Devine, Donley & Murray Govt. Affairs; and Eric Stafford, Kansas Chamber answered questions and provided a deeper explanation on the role of a lobbyist.
T.A.L. continues tomorrow in conjunction with KARA’s Legislative Action Day activities beginning at 7 a.m. with a breakfast with House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. Participants will then be treated to a tour of the Kansas Capitol and will sit in on a Senate Agriculture Committee meeting before looking forward to the second session in Washington, D.C. in July.
Participants in KARA’s 20th class of Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders are:
Mid Kansas Coop
B.Z. Bee, Inc.
MFA Inc./Ag Choice