Arden Andersen

Andersen is a Air Force Reserve Colonel and a family physician who grew up in Michigan.

“I was a vo-ag teacher,” he said. “And I understand agriculture inside and out, and for 30 years I have taught biological and sustainable agriculture around the world from 1998-2008 and practiced medicine.

“I am running because this year, was our 10th continued resolution for funding our reserves, because Congress can’t get along to actually have a budget until this week. It’s been 10 years like that and it’s the same thing I see in the Kansas Legislature, we have significant divisiveness.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Andersen said, “Kansas is an agricultural state and sets the tone as far as what really is important. And one of things we know that is problematic is label. And we have people leaving the country side and getting enough skilled labor to be able to operate the new technologies that are in agriculture.”

Andersen added that even driving a tractor, someone would need to know how to operate its GPS and various computer systems.

“So one of the important things is going to be the vocational training system that’s put in place particular for rural Kansas,” he said. “What have to have an education system that is going to train the next generation of farmer and farm worker.”

Jim Barnett

Barnett grew up in Reading, Kansas, and worked on his family farm. He has been practicing medicine for 36 years and now lives in Topeka.

“I love the state and have been concerned about what’s happened to it in the last seven years knowing we can do a lot better,” he said. “In August 2016 we saw a different kind of legislature. A legislature that was willing to work with whomever to solve problems.

“And I thought Kansas would be willing to look for a governor that would do the same, so we drove around for a year to ask people what they want their next governor to do.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Barnett said, “Most farmers and ranchers I know is the best way to respect them is stay out of their way. They really just want to be able to work and not have somebody telling them what to do.

“As governor, I think the most important thing I can do is try to help pull down property taxes. When you look at what commodity prices are and what property tax is in the state, it’s a killer.

“Kansas the last seven years has played with a tax experiment, they didn’t balance their budget and they pushed that back on local units of government.

“So I think property tax is huge and having a governor who will balance the budget at the state level.”

Carl Brewer

Brewer is the former mayor of Wichita who grew up in Kansas and served in the Kansas Army National Guard, becoming the first African American President of his Officer Candidate School Class.

“With my leadership I have a responsibility to take care families and communities,” he said. “Being an elected official and former mayor, I have seen where local gets their hands tied because state government has taken their authority away from them to not allow them assured success.

“That is what I did in the city of Wichita but I will work to represent all the citizens here in the state of Kansas.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Brewer said, “I recognize the importance, it’s one of the three legs on the economic stool for the state of Kansas.

“So we must do everything we possibly can to protect it, to enhance it, to improve it.

“Agriculture, is not the easiest thing to do but we have to sit down and talk to you, our ranchers, our farmers, individuals that are involved in agriculture and find out what it is that you need and provide you those resources.

“Including water, help you get your farm going strong, no one knows agriculture like that people that live it and breathe it and do it every single day.”

Jeff Caldwell

Caldwell resides in Leawood who represents the Libertarian Party as an executive officer in the 3rd Congressional District.

“I’m running to change Kansas government to allow for us to listen to you,” he said. “I am sick and tired of Topeka turning a deaf ear to its Kansas citizens. I grew up learning that hard work pays off and I understand that small business is the backbone of this country.

“It’s been brought to my attention that No. 1 thing besides the shortage of water, is regulations facing our farmers and ranchers.

“We need to cut the burden of government on our farmers and ranchers, our hardest working individuals that lead our state.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Caldwell said, “I would work and talk with ranchers and farmers and listen to ranchers and farmers to find out what is facing them. I would bring that to Topeka and we would have to work through the bureaucracy to do that.

“And I would work with you with what’s going on in Topeka because we have no idea what is going in Topeka, and we need a true transparent government in Topeka.

“I want to cut taxes and eliminate taxes on food and water, I want to cut regulations and allow farmers and ranchers to be able to purchase what ever they need necessary without having a permit.

“As long they aren’t hurting somebody else, you should be able to do whatever you want to do on your property as long as you are working to improve other peoples lives.”

Wink Hartman

Hartman is a businessman running with candidate Kris Kobach as his Lt. governor.

“It is important we share ideals with people like yourselves,” he said. “Kris Kobach is the only true conservative in this race. He is a man with a single mind, a conservative approach to everything he does.

“He is tough, he is effective and he is very efficient.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Hartman said, “The No. 1 thing on my mind being in the banking business is that the life blood of agribusiness today, protein, grain, is community banking.

“I’m on the loan committee, and we spend days and weeks reviewing lines of credit so the farm community can survive one more year.

“If they do not have the ability to get the money to survive on that farm until prices improve, that will slowly be the death of the family farm. The safety net that all farmers get from the federal government, even the Kris would be governor of the state, he is well aware of the safety net and how important it is to the farm community and will do everything he can to make that safety net continues.”

Josh Roe

Roe is the current deputy secretary of agriculture under Colyer.

“Gov. Colyer truly realizes the importance of agriculture to our states economy,” he said. “Over 45 percent of our states economy is either directly or indirectly contributed by the ag industry.

“And here in Ford County, they have the highest agriculture offload of any county in the state, over $5 billion.

“Colyer has a background in rural Kansas, growing up in Hays and I can say we are not two months into Colyer’s administration and it is just amazing what he’s done on behalf of the ag industry.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Roe said, “Colyer truly believes to be the best to make agriculture thrive is continued market development and what that means is either continue trade partners around the world or probably even more important on an economic sense is further processing our agricultural commodities before they leave the state.

“In southwest Kansas with the beef processing facilities and the dairy plant in Garden City, any time we can further process a commodity before it leaves the state, it allows those economic multipliers to go through the economy.”

Ken Selzer

Selzer is a certified public accountant and is the former Kansas Insurance Commissioner who grew up in McPherson.

“I have been an elected official long enough that I know it can work better,” he said. “We have proven, we have reduced cost, we have reduced the number of our employees in the insurance department by 20 percent and at the same time the number of inquiries we had to handle went up 30 percent. We got our people focused on serving the people of Kansas.

“We can do that in the broader state government, I’ve proven we can do it. We can take that same attitude of leaning in on cost, of being more productive and being more responsive to Kansas in the broader state government.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Selzer said, “We can talk all day long about ag and what’s happened in the last three or four years is that we have lagged in economic growth and we need to get Kansas growing again and it has to start with ag.

“We need to a governor that is going to wake up every morning thinking about how to make ag grow, to make Kansas grow to make investments we need to make.

“We need to talk about infrastructure, which includes highways so we can get our goods back and forth more economically and cheaply and safely and think about broadband in our rural areas.

“We need to retain our kids in the local rural areas. It’s a problem in southwest Kansas the out-migration is incredible. After we train them, after we invest in them, they are gone. We need to reverse some of these policies.”

Josh Svaty

Svaty is the former District 108 representative and Kansas Secretary of Agriculture. He grew up on a farm in Ellsworth which he now owns.

“When I tell people I was a senior advisor with (Environmental Protection Agency) they sit back and their eyes get really big so I tell them, you can either stand outside and complain and throw hand grenades, or you can get inside, figure out how it works and make it better,” he said, “and that’s been my philosophy as a individual engaged in government.

“I believe in this state and I love this state and my family has been here farming since he 1860s.”

Regarding the question, ‘If elected governor, how would you best represent the issues of agriculture,’ Svaty said, “I agree with Wink on the subject of credit, it’s been a hard couple of years and I think that’s important to understand and as we continue to push on agriculture and ask them to do more for the state, the next governor is going to have to understand what those margins look like and how hard the decision-making process has been.”


[via Dodge City Globe]