Kansas needs to invest hundreds of millions of dollars more in its dairy, beef and pork industries in order to give the state a larger share of U.S. animal agriculture production, Gov. Sam Brownback said. "I just want to see us put that on steroids and grow it," Brownback said during an economic development summit in Garden City.
Brownback, a Republican, also said that reforming the state's regulatory and legal framework for the agriculture industry would attract new investment to Kansas.
He said his administration would soon announce proposals for lowering the top rate of the state income tax, The Topeka Capital Journal reported (http://bit.ly/qtKm00).
Brownback said the recent expansion of dairy farms in western Kansas could be replicated by the redevelopment of poultry production in the state.
"We can grow the animal agriculture industry in this state," Brownback said. "We can compete against anybody in the world with what we do."
But he said the state had to take a firm position on preservation of the Ogallala Aquifer, a key underground source for water in western Kansas.
Dale Rodman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, said the state's livestock producers had to organize around marketing opportunities to supply more meat to countries with a rising standard of living.
"Government can't do it all," he said. PD
—AP newswire report; information from The Topeka Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com