In a state where cattle outnumber people, issues regarding the industry of the family farm deserve a champion in the Kansas Senate. Currently, the family farm is being directly challenged by the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When someone mentions "Kansas" what automatically comes to mind? After the jokes about Dorothy and the tornados, where do your thoughts rest?
For many across the nation, Kansas epitomizes the heartland of America, the breadbasket of the world. Agriculture and Energy are what we do here. Bottom line, 98% of the population of Kansas relies directly or indirectly on agriculture. The agricultural industry is an integral part of not only our economy, but also our culture. Agriculture provides thousands of jobs to our district and provides our country and the world with sustenance.
As the population shift of Kansas continues its march to the eastern part of the state, representation for rural Kansas, for Western Kansas, diminishes. Rural interests lose to the interests of population centers. Legislators who know very little about life in rural America make far-reaching decisions based on the comforts of city life. They have no tie to the land that provides sustenance and opportunity for the bulk of Kansans. For them farm life is idyllic, at best, and far beneath them, at its worst. How can we expect them to represent us well? How can we trust them to understand our problems and concerns when they have had little or no experience living in a rural area? They don't understand why we hang on relentlessly to our second amendment rights, they don't understand why wind and solar energy won't supply the necessary fuel to work the land, they have difficulty wrapping their minds around water conservation and crop irrigation at the same time, and they don't understand "dust pollution" or the absence of child labor laws on the family farm.
Growing up on the family farm I learned about the challenges faced by Kansas farmers. As owner of the family farm, I am faced with these challenges firsthand. As your representative, I will be a champion of agricultural interests in the Kansas Senate.