Link to KansasPrairie.net

6/24/2013

PRAIRIE FESTIVAL 2013 CALENDAR OF SPEAKERS….

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty, Land Institute — Peg Britton @ 11:16 am

Three months until Prairie Festival 2013
We hope you’ve marked September 27-29 on your calendar and plan to join us for our 35th Prairie Festival. Registration and event information will be posted to the website on July 1, and a mailer sent shortly thereafter. In  the meantime, here’s a list of speakers:
•    Lisi Krall - State Univ. of NY, Cortland
•    Peter Brown - McGill University
•    John Fullerton - Capital Institute founder
•    Sandra Lubarsky - Appalachian State University
•    Bill Vitek - Clarkson University
•    Wes Jackson, Tim Crews, Stan Cox and more!

6/18/2013

LAND MISSION By TIM UNRUH Salina Journal | Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:03 AM

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 12:43 pm

As interest swells in the Land Institute near Salina, Wes Jackson, founder and president, has snared a spokesman with a myriad of experiences to help take the mission to another level.

Josh Svaty, a farmer from Ellsworth County, former state lawmaker and state and federal bureaucrat, joined the Land Institute’s staff Monday as a vice president.

He will work with public policy issues, promote the institute’s pursuit of natural systems agriculture and raise money.

“I’ve been following Josh’s career for several years. He’s been active and successful as a politician, as (Kansas) secretary of agriculture and working with the Environmental Protection Agency,” Jackson said. “Perhaps more important, he comes from a farm background. He owns a farm and knows the rural culture of Kansas.”

Elected to the Kansas House in 2002 to his first of four two-year terms as a representative of the 108th District — covering Ellsworth and rural Saline County, parts of south Salina and Lincoln Township in Dickinson County — Svaty, 33, has been successful on several levels of public service, Jackson said.

This “right at home boy” is well suited for spreading the word, he said.

In short, Jackson said Svaty “knows the language in the sale barn (statehouse) and even Washington.”

Most of the Land Institute’s scientists are from somewhere else, Jackson said, and Svaty is someone who can pull from a wide area of expertise.

“Josh has a good eye for problems and proposed solutions,” Jackson said.

A native of Ellsworth County, Svaty said he didn’t know that the Land Institute existed until he was elected to state office.

Svaty served three full terms in the Kansas House; he resigned during his fourth term to take the job as Kansas Secretary of Agriculture.

Over the years, Svaty said he has developed an understanding, appreciation and fascination as Jackson and his staff, now numbering 33 with seven doctorate level scientists, push to return to raising food the way nature intended.

“I get an opportunity to work with Wes Jackson. That’s an opportunity you don’t turn down,” Svaty said. “You want to do something positive with your life.”

The Land Institute, 2440 E. Water Well, is the right place to pursue that, he said.

“You spend your whole life fighting natural and unnatural forces. The Land Institute’s and Wes Jackson’s mindset is to find answers through nature rather than fighting against it,” Svaty said.

The Land Institute’s mission is to create a new sustainable agriculture that minimizes damage to soil, rivers, oceans and the atmosphere.

Scientists are developing perennial grains that are grown in a way that mimics the prairie and requires less fossil fuel, conserves soil and water and weather extremes in growing conditions brought on by climate change, according to a press release. Its budget for fiscal 2014 is $2.8 million, and total assets are $11.1 million.

The Land Institute has a hand in a number of interests, and its reputation is expanding.

* There are plans to plant 90 acres of the perennial wheat grass Kernza on a University of Minnesota research farm this fall.

* Staff scientist Shuwen Wang has sent perennial wheat hybrids to other researchers in 20 different locations in eight countries.

* The Land is supporting the development of perennial upland rice in China.

* Associations include scientists at Texas A&M; University of Illinois; Kansas University; Kansas State University; the universities of Georgia, Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada; and the Konza Prairie.

* The Land has gotten a “thumbs-up affirmation of perennials” from such institutions as the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Royal Society.

The Land Institute has a need for someone to carry the message and coordinate it, Jackson said, along with raising more money.

There also is a need for someone who can deal with the politics of this expansion.

“We find that Josh is well suited for all of this,” Jackson said.

There is some travel involved, both domestic and international, he said.

While Svaty, a Democrat, admits the challenge is daunting, he said, “I had no government experience when I became a state legislator, and would like to think I was fairly successful.”

Same goes for 2009 through 2011, when he was state agriculture secretary.

“I didn’t burn the place down,” Svaty quipped.

Since then, he has served as senior adviser to the administrator of the Region 7 office of the EPA, covering Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and nine tribal nations. Svaty said he learned a lot.

“There are natural systems in crisis,” he said. “There have to be methods to do this better, that the Land Institute has been exploring since its inception.”

The organization has an “extraordinary” following, both nationally and internationally, he said.

Started in 1976, the Land Institute is “pretty solid,” Jackson said, with 650 acres paid for, and its books are “in the black and have been every year.”

“It really is time to push this to the next level,” he said.

While the institute is still years away from having some of the perennial hybrids “farmer ready,” Jackson said the Land’s mission “is no longer considered a crazy idea.”

Programs at the Land Institute are moving toward practical application in eight to 10 years, “but the methodologies will have to be worked out with agronomists,” he said.

Svaty represents another step forward.

“We’re very excited about this appointment, this willingness by Josh to come and be a part of this,” Jackson said. “We don’t think we could have done better.”

– Reporter Tim Unruh can be reached at 822-1419 or by email at tunruh@salina.com.

6/15/2013

JOSH SVATY…ON THE MOVE …

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty, Kimberly Svaty — Peg Britton @ 11:50 am

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I’ll soon have more to talk about…

Josh Svaty has been the subject of my blogs since he first ran for office in 2002 for State Rep from the 108th.  He left that post  in 2009 when he was appointed Kansas Secretary of Agriculture by Mark Parkinson.  As the  secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Svaty managed a $27 million budget, an 380 employee workforce and statutory duties for 17 programs.

In Jan 2011) Josh was selected to be senior adviser to EPA Region 7 administrator Karl Brooks.  This region encompassed Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine Tribal Nations. Josh  has held this post until his resignation this week to join Wes Jackson and the Land Institute.  The Land Institute is a non-profit research, education, and policy organization dedicated to sustainable agriculture based in Salina.

Josh, a 5th generation farmer from Ellsworth,  lives in Topeka with his wife Kimberly and two sons, Jackson and Mariner. Kimberly is owner of Gencur Svaty Public Affairs.

More to come soon on this subject.

Thanks for tuning in…

9/10/2012

A VERY SPECIAL MOMENT…

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 7:37 pm

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This wedding picture says far more than could be said with 1,000 words…

1/13/2011

JOSH SVATY NAMED SENIOR ADVISOR…

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 3:39 pm

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Josh has a new job…

1/13/2011

Svaty named EPA adviser
The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Josh Svaty, former Kansas secretary of agriculture, has been named to a position with the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office in Kansas City, Kan.

The EPA said in a release Thursday that Svaty will serve as a senior adviser to EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks.

As secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Svaty managed a $27 million budget and statutory duties for 17 programs.

He was also a state representative for the 108th District in Kansas for seven years. His committee assignments included Energy and Utilities, Agriculture and Natural Resources and the joint committee on Energy and Environmental Policy.

The EPA’s region 7 encompasses Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and nine Tribal Nations.

12/8/2010

EUREKA AGRIBUSINESS CONSULTANT, DALE RODMAN, NAMED SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE BY BROWNBACK…

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty, Sam Brownback — Peg Britton @ 8:37 pm

In a change of administration, the new Republican governor-elect, Sam Brownback, has appointed Dale Rodman as his Secretary of Agriculture. Rodman spent 37 years with Cargill Inc. in a variety of management capacities. He replaces Democratic Secretary of Agriculture, Josh Svaty of Ellsworth.

Yesterday Brownback announced his appointments to the state’s top cabinet positions and budget director. The announcement was preceded by House leaders selecting their new leadership team.  All but one of the current state secretaries will be replaced by Brownback appointments. Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller is the only hold-over from the Parkinson administration.
Other cabinet appointments include:
•State Sen. Karin Brownless- Secretary of Labor
•State Rep. Pat George- Secretary of Commerce
•Former State Sen. Nick Jordan- Secretary of Revenue
•Steve Anderson- Governor’s Budget Director
Brownback touted his team as “heavy on experience” and promised the new faces will bring “together eastern and western Kansas; private and public sector backgrounds; and all ranges of political spectrum.”

9/28/2010

AG SEC. JOSH SVATY ANNOUNCES $1.1 MILLION FEED SAFETY GRANT

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 12:18 pm

TOPEKA — Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty announced today that his department has been awarded a $1.1 million grant by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make sure that livestock feed and pet foods are safe for the animals that eat them and humans who have contact with them.

“It’s a tremendous honor that Kansas is one of 12 states selected to receive this grant,” Svaty said.  “It speaks very highly of our department and the quality of our grant proposal.”

For the rest of the story, click here.

From examiner.com topeka by Alison Reber

8/17/2010

JOSH SVATY TO BE SPEAKER AT ULAR ANNUAL MEETING

Filed under: political musings, print news, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 2:12 pm

Taken from the McPherson Sentinel
Little River, Kan. —

Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Josh Svaty will be the guest speaker for the Upper Little Arkansas River Watershed Joint District No. 95 (ULAR) annual meeting Tuesday, August 24, in Little River.

Svaty was appointed agriculture secretary in July 2009 by Governor Mark Parkinson. Prior to his appointment, he served as the State Representative for the 108th district. During that time, he served on the committee for Energy and Utility and was the ranking member on agriculture and natural resources. Svaty is the fifth-generation on his Ellsworth family farm and has advocated for the agriculture community and worked to find ways for young people to return to the farm and make a living in the agriculture sector.

The 36th annual meeting will begin with a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Congregational Church building, 410 Clinton Street in Little River. Following dinner, a brief business meeting will be conducted. During the meeting, four directors will be elected and the state of the ULAR Watershed district will be presented along with a five-year construction plan.

The public is invited to attend.

For questions or more information, contact the ULAR office at (620)897-5595               (620)897-5595      E-mail ular@lrmutual.com.

1/21/2010

TODAY JOSH SVATY WAS CONFIRMED KANSAS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 4:47 pm

Now he’s the real thing.

12/4/2009

SVATYS OF ELLSWORTH COUNTY EAGER FOR PUBLIC SERVICE

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty, Don Svaty, 108th — Peg Britton @ 8:29 am

Svatys of Ellsworth County Eager for Public Service
By Marty Keenan
Opinion | December 3, 2009

Click here for the rest of the story…Kansas Free Press

Rookie State Representative Don Svaty (D-108th) is a man of many accomplishments. However, he is usually introduced to people as “Josh Svaty’s father.” Svaty, speaking to Rice County Democrats on Wednesday night, seems smitten with the situation, and is justifiably proud of his son, Joshua Svaty, the new Agriculture Secretary for the State of Kansas.

A fundraiser for Representative Don Svaty is scheduled for Tuesday December 15th  from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Smoky Hill Vineyard and Winery in Salina.  Please reply by Dec. 11th to donsvaty@hotmail.com to make reservations.  Sponsorship levels are $100, $250 and $500.  Special guests will be Governor Mark Parkinson and Sec. of Agriculture Joshua Svaty.

11/14/2009

TRAVELING ORIENTAL RESTAURANT LANDS IN ELLSWORTH

Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 11:07 am

I never thought I’d see the day when Ellsworth residents had available to them a traveling Oriental restaurant. That shouldn’t come as any surprise as Garden City is full of traveling Mexican food restaurants operated out of the back of cars and vans.

The Dragon House Concessions featuring Chinese Cuisine is a splendid example of ingenious entrepreneurship in these difficult economic times and is located in the parking lot of the American Legion Hall by ALCO on Highway 40 on Sunday and Monday. Those are good days of operation since some of our local restaurants are closed.

The folks who operate this concession, I understand, are very friendly and helpful and want to provide another source of food that is currently not present. When Ally was running the deli she said she had constant requests for her homemade Oriental food. The Dragon House home base is Concordia. They feature low fat, low cholesterol Szechuan, Mandarin and Hunan cuisine.

They offer six different types of soup including hot and sour seafood soup or house specialty soup for two for $6.50. Other soups are $2.00.

The ever favorite Moo Goo Gai Pan is $9.75 as are other chicken, pork and beef selections. Some dishes are less. Seafood and house specialty dinners run slightly more.

They are inspected by Josh’s arm of the Department of Agriculture. I’m sure they would appreciate you giving them a try. They are also spending two days each in Lindsborg and Abilene.

10/10/2009

JOSH AND JOSH…SVATY AND GROBAN

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 12:00 pm

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Two singers…Svaty and Groban…one slightly better known world-wide than the other.  Rich Bircher put the two pictures at the right together.  The one on the left I took when Josh was campaigning in Carneiro his first year on the circuit.

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This is a good fit as well….taken before Josh’s hair lost its curl.

I’ve long wished the two Josh’s were friends and would sing together.  They really looked a lot alike five years ago.

Thanks for tuning in…

JOSH SVATY TO SPEAK AT ECONOMIC CONFERENCE

Filed under: political musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 7:45 am

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Those of you living in the Lawrence area might want to attend the Kansas Economic Policy Conference on Oct. 22rd at the University of Kansas.  It will showcase some excellent speakers and Josh Svaty, acting Secretary of Agriculture, will be among them.  He will talk about the management of agriculture and its impact on the state’s economy.

Robert Litan, vice president for research and policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, will give the keynote address.

The event will be held at the Kansas Union. A video feed of the conference will be at Pioneer Communications in Ulysses.

For a listing of other speakers and details, click here.

9/29/2009

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JOSHUA SVATY

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 9:38 am

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Secretary of Agriculture, Joshua Svaty, spoke to a group of 50 Lion’s Club members, and assorted friends, at the United Methodist Church in Marquette last night.

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Ryon Carey, Granddaughter Mackenzie Vahalik, Svaty and I conferred following the meeting.

Svaty served as state representative of the 108th district for seven years before being appointed recently to the Secretary of State position.

In his speech, he described the responsibilities of his department as two-fold:  regulatory and promotional that serve all Kansans. 

There are 17 program regulators who have diverse responsibilities for food safety, dairy production, natural resources, water management, poultry, grain and grain storage all weights and measures, etc.

The department is in charge of licensing and inspecting restaurants.  Josh signs the order to close a restaurant and has closed two since taking office.  He said it is difficult to stay on top of unlicensed restaurants that spring up over night in southwest Kansas, some selling tacos out of the back of a bus.

The Ag Department develops extensive groundwater use control area regulations, for the people.

For more about the Dept. of Agriculture and the job Josh loves, click here.

8/3/2009

DON SVATY ELECTED STATE REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE 108TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty, 108th — Peg Britton @ 1:49 pm

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Don Svaty of Ellsworth was elected representative for the 108th Legislative District during a Democratic convention held Sunday August 2nd at the Ellsworth County Courthouse chaired by Shirley Jacques, Democratic chairwoman of  Saline County.  Don will complete the term of his son, Josh Svaty, that ends in January of 2011 and has announced he will seek re-election in November 2010.  There were no other nominations for the position.

Don is a 65-year-old farmer and former Ellsworth High School teacher and school board member.  He is a active in the Presbyterian Church.  He and his wife Niki have three other children in addition to Josh:  Seth, Eli and Paula.

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Former State Representative Josh Svaty addressed the Convention.  Josh is acting Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Kansas until such time he is confirmed.  Josh and Kimberly have moved to a home in Topeka but will maintain their rural Ellsworth residence as well.

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House minority leader, Paul Davis of Lawrence, spoke to the crowd of delegates and observers from the 108th.

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Don is holding grandson Jackson Cole Svaty, son of Josh and Kimberly, after the meeting concluded. Jack Svaty was signed in at the meeting…his first Democratic convention.

7/30/2009

JOSH SVATY, WICHITA EAGLE: “ROAD TO RENEWABLES LEADS TO STATE’S FARMS”…

Filed under: political musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 2:50 pm

July 27, 2009

From the Wichita Eagle, by Acting Secretary of Agriculture for KS, Josh Svaty:

Farming is the foundation for feeding the world, and farming will be the foundation of the renewable energy economy.

Changes in farming over the past 150 years have made agriculture more productive than ever in its history. At its core, however, agriculture is still a sustainable enterprise.

When appropriate, we save seeds for next year’s crop; we farm the contours and use no-till methods to preserve the soil; we pump water under a regulated system so as to preserve the potential of an aquifer for future generations.

Click here for the rest of the story.

7/27/2009

DEMOCRATS INSIST BENCH IS STRONG…

Filed under: political musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 5:02 pm

Larry Gates emphatically refutes the suggestion that the Kansas Democratic Party lacks star power on its bench.

“It’s just boldly inaccurate and defies the facts,” said Gates, party chairman. “If you look at some of the young people we have holding office with tremendous potential going forward, our bench is superior.

Rep. Paul Davis, former Rep. Josh Svaty, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson, Rep. Raj Goyle, and Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor are all in potential Democratic candidates for Kansas governor.

Read the rest of the story by Austin Meek here.

7/15/2009

STATE REP. JOSH SVATY, D-ELLSWORTH, AT NEWS CONFERENCE.

Filed under: political musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 3:20 pm

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Photo by Scott Rothchild of the Lawrence Journal World

State Rep. Josh Svaty, D-Ellsworth, at a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 15, 2009, during which he was named by Gov. Mark Parkinson as acting secretary of agriculture to replace Adrian Polansky, who is taking a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the background is Svaty’s wife, Kimberly Gencur-Svaty.

Ag groups praise selection of Svaty as Ag Secretary. 

Josh may be the youngest ever Secretary of Agriculture, even younger than Sam Brownback when he was named to the same office at a young age.  Governor Mark Parkingson said Svaty’s age was not a concern and that he will bring energy and know-how to the position. Josh is a brilliant intellect…

7/14/2009

REP. JOSH SVATY NAMED KANSAS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

Filed under: political musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 3:07 pm

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For immediate release                                Beth Martino, Press Secretary

July 14, 2009                                                      785.368.8500

Gov. Parkinson names Rep. Josh Svaty Acting Secretary of Agriculture

Governor Mark Parkinson has named Representative Josh Svaty as the Acting Secretary of Agriculture as outgoing Secretary Adrian Polansky takes a new post heading the Kansas Farm Service Agency with the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Farming is in Josh’s blood – he’s the fifth generation to farm in Ellsworth County,” Parkinson said. “He’s demonstrated tremendous leadership in the Kansas House of Representatives and he’s going to do a great job leading the Department of Agriculture. I know that Josh has loved serving the people of the 108th, and is excited about now serving the entire state as a Cabinet Secretary.”

The Svaty Farm is a diversified operation in the heart of the Smoky Hills that includes wheat, milo, soybeans, corn, sunflowers, a cow/calf heard and sheep.

Josh has served as the State Representative of the 108th District in Kansas since 2003 where he served most recently on the committees for Energy and Utilities; was the ranking member on Agriculture and Natural Resources; and is on the joint committee on Energy and Environmental Policy. Josh has spoken nationally and has testified before the United States Congress on matters of energy, agriculture and water policy. Josh also serves on the national advisory council for his alma mater, Sterling College.

Currently, Josh, his wife Kimberly and their baby son, Jackson, live in rural Ellsworth County.
This nomination is subject to authorization by the Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee to exercise the powers, duties and functions of office during the interim period until the full Senate can consider the nomination. Acting Secretary Svaty will assume all secretarial duties following Secretary Polansky’s last day on July 17th.

“I’m glad that we’ll be able to continue working with Adrian Polansky over at the Kansas Farm Service Agency,” Parkinson said. “In today’s troubling economy, we rely on our bedrock industries like agriculture more than ever. Adrian will bring a lifetime’s worth of experience back to this post, and I know that he will serve Secretary Vilsack, the President and all of Kansas well.”

Adrian Polansky was appointed secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture by Governor Kathleen Sebelius in February 2003.

Polansky is a lifelong Kansan and owns Polansky Farms and Polansky Seed, both in Belleville. He has received many honors and awards which recognized his efforts to build a more efficient and cost-effective government and for outstanding leadership and management contributions made to the Farm Service Agency. In 1986, he was named wheat man of the year by the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers; and received the outstanding service to agriculture award by the Kansas Crops and Soils Industry Council.

Along with his duties as secretary, Polansky served on the Governor’s Council on Homeland Security; the Kansas Task Force on Methamphetamine and Illegal Drugs; and as chair of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s biotechnology task force.

The Farm Service Agency administers and manages farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs as laid out by Congress through a network of federal, state and county offices. For more information, please visit www.fsa.usda.gov

Remarks as prepared for delivery by Kansas’ Acting Secretary of Agriculture, Josh Svaty.

“I would like to start by thanking the Governor for giving me the chance at this opportunity. This is both a difficult time for the Kansas economy and a challenging period for agriculture, and although the time frame may be compressed the responsibility is no less critical.

“I also want to thank the residents of the 108th District for giving me the opportunity to represent them here in Topeka for the past seven years.  I first ran for office the year I graduated from college, and so I deeply appreciate their willingness to take a chance on the young man from an Ellsworth County farm that wanted to make a difference for the community and area in which he lived.  In taking a chance on me, you opened entire new realms that had never before existed in my worldview, and I will forever be grateful.

“Most of all, my time in the Kansas legislature led me to my wife, Kimberly, who is here with me today, and our four month old son Jackson.  My parents are also here with me today, Don and Niki Svaty, and for their guidance and support, as well as countless parades and rallies, I gladly owe a lifetime of IOUs.

“During my time in the Kansas Legislature, I worked closely on many issues as the Ranking member on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.  I was involved in the Renewable Fuel Standard, efforts to increase research on wheat varieties through the Wheat Commission, and numerous variations of water policy.  I was also very involved in energy policy, and the future holds little distinction between agriculture and energy.  I feel I am uniquely suited to bring the knowledge of agriculture and energy policy to the department.

“I want to share a bit about our farming operation.  My family first came to Ellsworth County in the 1860s and began farming and ranching in the Northeast corner of the county.  The Svatys arrived in the 1870s, and settled on the western side along with most of the other Bohemians.  We have been farming in the county for around 140 years, and because of our continued existence I suppose we have been successful.

“However, it has not been easy.  We are very diversified in an effort to survive the fluctuations of a volatile market.  When I was younger, we had an extensive farrowing operation for pigs.  We were driven out by market forces just like most other farmers that had pigs on the side for steady income. We grow most of the major crops for Kansas – wheat, corn, milo, soybeans, and sunflowers – but we also were raised working a truck garden to sell vegetables at a farmer’s market for supplemental income.

“Agriculture is not an easy economy.  It fluctuates, is hard to predict, and is highly dependent on the Kansas weather, which is famous for its unpredictability.  Nevertheless, I believe the stellar reputation of Kansas’ farmers and ranchers is one of our most marketable assets.  Now more than ever the consumer wants to know the source of their food, and their desired source is an idealistic image that is not far from many of the farms and ranches we have in this state: the farmer as steward, shepherd, and provider for people all around the world.

“The Kansas Department of Agriculture encompasses many more things than simply providing support and guidance for the farmers and ranchers of Kansas.  To this end, I want to commend outgoing Secretary Polansky for doing a tremendous job serving Kansas in this capacity – Mr. Secretary – you have made the department more efficient and have successfully incorporated new services, all in a period of difficult budget shortfalls.  I am honored to serve after you, but unfortunately because of competing against you in so many grape stomp competitions I know exactly how large the shoes are I am meant to fill.

“I intend to learn from outgoing Secretary Polansky and incorporate many of his administrative characteristics into my own tenure at the department.  In the meantime, I am excited about the opportunities I will have as Secretary of Agriculture.  It is a great time to be a Kansan involved in agriculture – whether it is the research potential of the new NBAF, the growing demand for specialty crops and locally grown produce, or the enormous marriage of agriculture and energy that could forever change the economic landscape of the farm, I am honored that the Governor would ask me to serve in such a time.

“Finally, as a young farmer myself, I hope to bring attention to perhaps one of the biggest challenges in agriculture today – we can have a bright future in agriculture, but we cannot do it if young people cannot return to the farm and make a living.  We must find ways for young people interested in agriculture to be able to follow their dream.

“Again, I want to thank Governor Parkinson for giving me this opportunity, and I want to thank my family for being here today as Kimberly, Jackson and I begin this new chapter in our lives.  It is my hope that under my tenure the department will continue serving all Kansans well, just as it did under Secretary Polansky.  Ad Astra per Aspera.”

3/9/2009

JACKSON COLE SVATY

Filed under: prairie musings, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 5:30 pm

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