WAKEENEY – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback continued his tour of areas of Kansas hardest hit by drought conditions today with stops in Trego, Graham and Sheridan counties. Along with Kansas Water Office Director Tracy Streeter and Kansas Department of Agriculture Chief Counsel Kim Christiansen, the governor met with local officials, farmers, ranchers and business owners to learn how the northwestern part of the state was dealing with the heat and dry weather.
“You can really see the effects of the drought here in northwest Kansas. Despite the brutal heat and dry conditions, I have been impressed at the level of cooperation among communities,” Governor Brownback said. “The tools that were passed this last legislative session to help Kansans deal with drought conditions like these couldn’t have been more timely. I want to thank the local leadership for what they have done to assist farmers and ranchers in this drought.”
The tour of western portions of the state began at Cedar Bluff Reservoir near WaKeeney where the group viewed the reduced water levels, followed by a visit to the farm of Larry Hixson to view the impact of the drought on agricultural production. Following a meeting with area farmers and agribusiness leaders at a Hill City restaurant, the Governor toured the Hoxie Feed Yard, Inc. to discuss how the drought is affecting the cattle feeding industry.
“This region of the state is certainly drier than it was last year. I appreciate the work USDA has done to make assistance available to the farmers and ranchers here,” Director Streeter. “I also want to acknowledge local leadership who sees the benefit of implementing available water management tools, such as the proposed Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) for Sheridan County to deal with limited water resources.”
“Kansas farmers and ranchers are resilient in their ability to overcome challenges and this drought is no different,” Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman said. “The Kansas Department of Agriculture continues working to assure our farmers and ranchers have information about all resources they need to adjust and recover from this drought.”
Governor Brownback began his tour of drought-effected areas of the state last week with two stops in Saline County in Central Kansas, followed by a trip to Allen and Neosho Counties in Southeast Kansas. He will take part in a video conference call tomorrow with U.S. Senator Pat Roberts to talk with agricultural stakeholders about how to best coordinate assistance for those coping with the drought.