Kansas Agribusiness Update Winter 2018

Page 1

Winter 2018 Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association 816 SW Tyler Topeka, KS 66612 (785) 234-0463 ksagretailers.org ASSOCIATION STAFF Ron Seeber President & CEO Tom Tunnell CEO Emeritus Randy Stookey Senior Vice President General Counsel Staci Storey Vice President Chief Financial Officer Shahira Stafford Vice President Government Affairs Shari Bennett Vice President Event Planning Samantha Tenpenny Director of Member Services Lisa Anschutz Senior Director of Internal Operations Mitzi Dodds Executive Administrative Professional Trae Green Director of Communications and Marketing


3 4 6 8 10

President’s Letter Embracing the Challenges Legislative Action Day Members Lobby Legislators Industry News Stay Up-to-Date on Industry News Industry News Stay Up-to-Date on Industry News Education Outreach Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders

Jim Grilliot Rachel Hurley Roger Long Scott Morris O.J. Pearl Johnny Schaben Dave Spears Kevin Tomka Mark Wegner Dave Wilcox

No Better Person for the Job Dustin Kuntz’ Journey as Mayor Capitol Analysis What We’re Seeing at the Capitol Calendar Dates to Remember Membership Education CPU and NH3 Schools


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Clark Pearson Chairman Lance Nelson Vice Chairman Dustin Kuntz 2nd Vice Chairman Kevin Brady Immediate Past Chairman Gary Beachner Scott Boyd Brian Bucl Troy Coon Kevin Dieckmann Justin Foss Bryan French Bill Garner Tim Giesick Alan Goldsby

11 12 16 18 19

Welcome Back, Shahira Stafford Rejoins KARA Staff


No Better Person for the Job Dustin Kuntz’ Journey as Mayor

Capitol Analysis What We’re Seeing at the Capitol

The Kansas Agribusiness Update is published quarterly for the members, friends and affiliates of the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association. Mail contributions to KARA, Attention: Trae Green, 816 SW Tyler, Topeka, KS 66612. The KARA team welcomes your comments, contributions and suggestions. Annual subscriptions for members can be purchased for $25.00. © 2018 KARA. Read this newsletter online at www.ksagretailers.org/printnewsletters.


President’s Letter: Embracing the Challenges Dear KARA Members On November 15th of last year, I was blessed to become the President and CEO of Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA). It goes without saying that accepting this role is an incredible honor and responsibility. KARA’s mission is to provide Ron Seeber professional development and President & CEO business viability for the plant nutrient and crop protection retail industry. It is a mission that I see through the lens of a productive past and limitless potential. Since my start in this role, I have been told by countless individuals that I have “big shoes” to fill from my predecessor. That is certainly an understandable perception and, by many accounts, true. But the reality of the situation is that we are facing many sizeable challenges in this industry; and checking my shoe size is the least of my worries. The question should be, “Am I, and KARA, equipped with the proper tools to make sure the shoe fits?” The answer is simply, “Without a doubt.” Whether it be ridiculous legislation and regulation from our nation’s capital, to an agenda-driven leftist legislator going after our livelihood at the statehouse, to a county appraiser’s warped sense of fiscal reality, this is a challenging job. That is why I am blessed to receive a Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association from a leader in Tom Tunnell that is not only organizationally strong and forward-thinking, but also vivacious and employs the most talented team in the business. More importantly,

I inherit a membership that embodies all that is great in Kansas and our country. KARA consists of men and women I’ve had the pleasure to know well over the last decade. A class of people that work hard, play hard and only ask for a level playing field among competitors; and that government laws and regulation be reasonable and rational. Our industry is constantly evolving, with mergers, acquisitions, and government policies that can wipe out common sense instantaneously - without recourse. An industry where long-lasting, time-honored relationships can disappear in the blink of an eye when a business decision is implemented. These are the norm rather than an outlier. It is a volatile industry, but it is reality. Therefore, with your help, and the KARA team, I will continue to accept change not only as the standard but will embrace it as an opportunity. Moving forward, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association will continue to be agile, relevant and adapt accordingly. As the new President and CEO of the premier agribusiness trade association in the country, this is a challenge that I embrace and relish. While we won’t always have the immediate answer for a problem, I can guarantee that the KARA team and I will always be seeking a solution. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your concerns and suggestions. God Bless,

Ronald C. Seeber

Winter 2018



LEGISLATIVE ACTION DAY Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association, in conjunction with Kansas Grain and Feed Association and Kansas Cooperative Council, jointly hosted the annual Legislative Action Day on January 17. Members and legislators alike filled the Topeka Country Club’s ballroom to capacity during the Kansas Legislature’s second week. Participants began the day with a hamburger lunch and were addressed by House Majority Leader, the Honorable Don Hineman (R-Dighton), and Senate Vice President, the Honorable Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia). Hineman and Longbine spoke fairly freely on issues affecting Kansans. Both provided unique insights into the school funding debate, state tax climate and much more. After lunch, members were encouraged to play the part of lobbyist by taking a visit to the Kansas Capitol and seeking out their elected official in their office. While many legislators were in committee meetings and were unavailable to speak at the time, some members

found it rewarding to see their elected official in a professional setting. “Legislative Action Day is our industry’s megaphone to lawmakers,” KARA president and CEO Ron Seeber said. “This is an election year and, for some strange reason, politicians tend to listen better because of it. This year, our message was heard loud and clear - even by the legislators with political hearing impairments.” Both legislators and members then returned to the Topeka Country Club for an evening meal of prime rib and networking. The after-hours reception provided an optimal opportunity for members and their elected officials to speak once again. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to see government in action next year. Join us in 2019 for our next Legislative Action Day.

Rep. Steven Johnson, Sen. Caryn Tyson and Ron Seeber pose for a photo during the Legislative Action Day reception.

Kevin Brady chats with Rep. John Eplee during the Legislative Action Day reception.

Clark Pearson and Michael Spade visit with Rep. Ponka-We Victors during the Legislative Action Day reception.

Rep. Susan Concannon and Randy Stookey pose for a photo during the Legislative Action Day reception.


Agribusiness Update


ASSOCIATION HAPPENINGS KARA Participates in Kansas Agricultural Alliance Ag Tour Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association is a proud member of the Kansas Agricultural Alliance (KAA), a coalition of agriculture organizations in Kansas. KAA is composed of statewide farm, livestock, commodity, cooperative, agri-business and agri-service organizations. KAA’s mission is to promote the general welfare of agriculture and rural communities within Kansas and the U.S., with special emphasis upon legislative activities affecting agriculture, rural areas and cooperative services. To positively promote agriculture and provide a platform for organizations to speak with elected officials, KAA organized a bus tour with members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees in and around the Manhattan area. Stops included a diversified farming operation, feed yard, the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine and a cooperative grain elevator/ agronomy retailer. Association staff helped facilitate the tour and educated lawmakers on the importance of Kansas agriculture.

Randy Stookey listened to the importance of workplace safety at Mid Kansas Cooperative.

Mid Kansas Cooperative staff explained the chemical and fertilizer portion of their operation to lawmakers.

The first stop on the tour showcased a diversified farming operation at the Mertz Ranch near Wamego.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture hosted a BBQ lunch for the KAA Ag Tour.

The tour exposed lawmakers to many different rural industries in Kansas. Winter 2018



INDUSTRY NEWS Dicamba Applicator Training If you plan to use dicamba products this spring and you aren’t familiar with your state’s requirements, now would be a great time to take a look. It looks like states are going to require that training be completed in the state that the application will take place however, the State of Kansas may offer reciprocity between certain states. Make plans today to attend a dicamba training session in your area. Source: Asmark Institute

New Dicamba Product Training Requirements The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) asks applicators of dicamba products to be aware of the recent label changes and updates made to those products and to take the necessary steps to be in compliance with the label of the product you choose to use. Updated labels now exist for the following products: »» Engenia® »» Engenia Herbicide Application and Record Keeping & Training Requirements Form »» XtendiMax® with VaporGrip® Technology »» XtendiMax Recordkeeping Form »» FeXapan™ Herbicide Plus Vapor Grip® Technology »» FeXapan Application Record The following is a general list of the changes and updates made to the labels in preparation for the 2018 growing and application season. Read the label for specific information concerning your product of choice. »» Registered as a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) »» Recordkeeping requirements for


Agribusiness Update

every individual application. Please see label for specifics. »» Dicamba or auxin-specific training prior to use of the product. Must have proof of training. »» Applications may only be made between sunrise and sunset. »» Applications may only be made when wind speeds are between 3 and 10 mph. »» The recommended ground speed has been reduced to 5 mph when near the edges of treatment areas. »» Tank cleanout must occur before and after application. »» Do Not Apply if wind is blowing in the direction of sensitive crops which includes non-dicamba tolerant soybeans or cotton. »» Labels now have an expiration date of December 20, 2018. »» The updated labels supersede any previously issued labels including supplemental labels. »» Always follow the individual product label available at the manufacturers’ websites. KDA has approved dicamba training provided by BASF, Monsanto, DowDuPont and K-State Research

and Extension (KSRE). The training provided by BASF, Monsanto and DowDuPont is targeted toward retailers of their products and the associated custom applicators and farmer applicators. The KSRE training is available to the public and is currently scheduled to take place in numerous locations throughout the state in February and March. Dates and locations for the KSRE training can be found on the KSRE website. KDA will also accept training from other states so long as the host state’s department of agriculture has approved the training and documentation is provided. »» Monsanto: Training and stewardship: www. roundupreadyxtend.com/ stewardship/education/Pages/ default.aspx »» BASF: Training and stewardship dates: http://agproducts.basf.us.us/ campaigns/engenia/stewardship »» DuPont: Dicamba Applicator Training Sessions 2018 Training Sessions


Fall Protection Leads OSHA’s “Top 10” List of Most Frequently Cited Violations At a time when most would guess that regulatory action is slowed, on January 2nd, OSHA increased its monetary fines for violations of its standards and regulations. The increase of about two percent is the Agency’s annual adjustment for inflation.

2018 Fine Amounts

Source: Asmark Institute

Serious Violation $12,934 Other-Than-Serious $12,934 Willful $9,239-$129,339 Repeated $129,339 Posting Requirement $12,934 Failure to Abate $12,934

May - August 2017 Violations May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 Number of Inspections 2,761 2,956 2,434 4,309 Number of Violations Cited 4,369 4,304 4,125 5,213

EPA Finalizes WOTUS Repeal Rule; Ag Seeks Relief EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week signed off on and published their final rule delaying implementation of the “waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)” final rule for two years. New York is leading a group of 11 states and the District of Columbia seeking to challenge the Trump administration action in federal court. It’s expected the states will be joined by at least three environmental groups. The state action contends EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violated due process and ignored legal obligations to protect the nation’s waters when he began the process of WOTUS repeal and replace. The EPA action halts the Obama era final rule while the thorny issue of repealing the existing rule and

replacing it with a new rule goes on. In publishing the rule, the two federal agencies did not implement the conventional 30-day waiting period between publication and effective date. The action is designed to ensure the Obama rule does not go into effect while EPA rewrites it, a process the states contend is illegal. To that end, a coalition of farm and livestock producer groups strongly opposed to WOTUS filed for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas seeking a nationwide stay on the Obama rule. Their concern is that through legal maneuvering and given the history and future of court action on the WOTUS rule, the rule could go into effect in some states

and not others, creating “paralyzing uncertainty” and that national relief is needed. Some states and environmental groups are opposing the agriculture filing. “The risk that the WOTUS rule might come in and out of effect repeatedly over the coming years as new regulations are promulgated and new lawsuits are brought represents a manifest irreparable harm not only to the states, but also to private landowners and business owners,” the ag group said in its filing. The ag groups also worry about citizen enforcement suits that could be brought against agriculture, suits which, if successful, carry heavy civil and criminal penalties.

Winter 2018



ELD Exemption Requests Hit Federal Register Both the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) have had requests for Electronic Logging Device (ELD) exemptions that were recently published in the Federal Register. If granted, OOIDA’s request would allow small trucking businesses that do not have a carrier safety rating of “unsatisfactory,” and can document a proven history of safety performance with no attributable at-fault crashes,

to use paper logs. OOIDA states the exemption would provide owneroperators relief from burdensome device installation and maintenance costs as well as the unresolved enforcement, cyber-security and privacy concerns associated with the ELD mandate. ARA states that the ELD requirement imposes undue economic and other burdens on its member retailers. They state that ELDs fail to properly record the complex hours of

service data, are not properly certified by the FMCSA and do not provide appropriate cyber-security safeguards. ARA also points out that ELDs will not function properly in many locations in rural America because of poor internet and cellular connectivity. The public comment period for this request was open until January 29th.

Source: Asmark Institute

Agricultural Chemical Remediation Reimbursement Program: Update In 2000, the Kansas Legislature passed the Agricultural and Specialty Chemical Remediation Act which created the Remediation Reimbursement Program and the Kansas Agricultural Chemical Remediation Reimbursement Fund (Reimbursement Fund). The Remediation Reimbursement Program provides financial reimbursement of expenses incurred while performing remediation activities for agricultural chemical and fertilizer contamination. These remediation sites must be enrolled in the Voluntary Cleanup and Property Redevelopment Program or State Cooperative Program with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Under the Remediation Reimbursement Program, the commercial grain industry and ag-chemical and fertilizer industry pay fees into the Reimbursement Fund. The Kansas Agricultural Remediation Board (KARB) approves reimbursement of qualifying expenses submitted by applicants up to $200,000 per site. Since 2009, applications to the fund have exceeded the amount of money in the fund. Therefore, a priority based ranking system is utilized for all applications received by which each application is reviewed by KDHE and given a priority score. Remediation sites involving risk to human health and safety receive a higher

priority score, and applications are reimbursed based on their individual priority score. The board last met on December 15, 2017, and reimbursed thirteen (13) applicants a total of $330,000. In calendar year 2017, applicants received a total of $1.35 million from the fund. The next board meeting will be held on March 16, 2018. The current amount of outstanding reimbursement requests to the fund is approximately $2.78 million.

West, Texas, Accepts $10.4 Million Settlement in 2013 Fertilizer Plan Blast A Central Texas town devastated by a 2013 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people, many of them emergency personnel, has reached a settlement of its lawsuit for damages caused by the blast. The city council in West this week approved accepting $10.44 million to settle its claims against the defendants, including makers and suppliers of ammonium nitrate, the explosive fertilizer involved in the blast, and Adair Grain Inc., owner of the fertilizer plant itself. In a statement, Mayor Tommy Muska said he is pleased with the settlement. Attorney Steve Harrison, who represented the city, said manufacturer CF Industries will pay $6.4 million, supplier El Dorado Chemical will pay $3.9 million and Adair Grain will pay $143,000. 8

Agribusiness Update


Thank You, 2018 Sponsors Thank you for your sponsorship and continued support. Sponsorship is fundamental to the events, membership services and special projects those members enjoy. Because KARA values and appreciates partners and key stakeholders, the annual sponsorship program is designed to provide the best value for KARA supporters. Founder $7,500 Ag Division of DowDuPont Koch Fertilizer, LLC Koch Agronomic Services, LLC Benefactor $5,000 Syngenta Winfield United Patron $3,500 BASF Crop Protection CHS Inc. Coffeyville Resources Crop Production Services Heartland Ag Helena Chemical Company John Deere CAD Dealers MKC Monsanto Rosen’s Inc.

Builder $2,000 ADM Fertilizer Allied Environmental Consultants Inc. Beachner Grain Inc. CGB Fertilizer FMC Gavilon Fertilizer LLC Helena Chemical Company J.B. Pearl Sales & Service, Inc. Morrill Elevator, Inc. Offerle Coop



Donor $700 MFA/AGChoice Agrilead Inc. American Implement, Inc. Bartlett Coop Assn. Central Valley Ag EGE Products Fairbank Equipment, Inc. Frontier Ag, Inc. Simplot One Kansas Cooperative Council Kiser Ag Service LLC Midwest Laboratories, Inc. Miller Elevator Inc. Nemaha County Coop The Ottawa Cooperative Assn. Pinnacle Agriculture Pride Ag Resources Riggins Ag Rural Jobs Coalition

Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders Patron $700 Agrilead Inc. MFA/AGChoice Winfield United

Builder $500 BASF Crop Protection Central Prairie Co-op Fairbank Equipment, Inc. Gavilon Fertilizer LLC J.B. Pearl Sales & Service, Inc. KFSA Monsanto Nemaha County Coop Offerle Coop

To become a sponsor, contact Lisa by phone at (785) 234-0461 or by email at lisa@kansasag.org Winter 2018 9


EDUCATION OUTREACH Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders The 20th class of Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders (T.A.L.) wrapped up its first day of exposure to legislative affairs in the agriculture industry on Jan 16. Six members of Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and five members of Kansas Grain and Feed Association convened at the association office in Topeka for a full day of association and government 101. Shahira Stafford, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association’s T.A.L. administrator, kicked off the program with a get-to-know-you icebreaker activity at 10 a.m. Association staff followed with introductions to the class and explanations of their roles in the association’s operation. CEO emeritus, Tom Tunnell, provided an intricate history of the association’s past, and structure of the organization. Susan Metzger, Deputy Secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), joined the group for lunch and fielded questions about KDA’s involvement in the industry.

David Abel Valley Coop

Lucas Hamm Mid Kansas Coop

Next, Stafford and KARA president and CEO Ron Seeber broke down the Kansas Legislature by analyzing several videos and even putting the group through a mock legislative session in order to pass a bill. Later in the afternoon a panel of lobbying experts including: Greg Krissek, Kansas Corn Commission; Aaron Popelka, Kansas Livestock Association; Dan Murray, Devine, Donley & Murray Govt. Affairs; and Eric Stafford, Kansas Chamber answered questions and provided a deeper explanation on the role of a lobbyist. T.A.L. continued the following day in conjunction with KARA’s Legislative Action Day activities beginning at 7 a.m. with a breakfast with House Speaker Ron Ryckman, Jr. Participants were then treated to a tour of the Kansas Capitol and sat in on a Senate Agriculture Committee meeting before looking forward to the second T.A.L. session in Washington, D.C., in July.

Brandon Otto B.Z. Bee, Inc.

Jason Sutterby MFA Inc./Ag Choice



Compass Minerals

It’s a nice opportunity to get together with people in the industry to see what it takes to make Agribusiness Update Kansas agriculture work.

Rick Vrbas BASF


MEMBERSHIP NEWS Update Your Membership Profile Did you move or take a new job? Have a new phone number or email address? KARA wants to know, and we’ve made it easier than ever to update your membership profile! Visit www.ksagretailers.org and click on Member Directory. Login and make your changes directly online. Forgot your username or password? Email lisa@kansasag. org, and we’ll get it to you!

Tell Us How We Can Better Serve You Ron Seeber | Ron@Kansasag.org President & CEO Tom Tunnell | Tom@Kansasag.org CEO Emeritus Randy Stookey | Randy@Kansasag.org Senior Vice President and General Counsel Staci Storey | Staci@Kansasag.org Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Shahira Stafford | Shahira@kansasag.org Vice President of Government Affairs Shari D. Bennett | Shari@Kansasag.org Vice President of Event Planning Samantha Tenpenny | Samantha@Kansasag.org Director of Member Services Lisa A. Anschutz | Lisa@Kansasag.org Senior Director of Internal Operations Mitzi Dodds | Mitzi@Kansasag.org Executive Administrative Professional Trae Green | Trae@Kansasag.org Director of Communications and Marketing


Shahira Stafford Vice President of Government Affairs

“The opportunity to return to KARA and represent agribusiness in this new capacity is exciting,” Stafford said. “I’m honored to rejoin this top-notch association team and help serve the members I’ve grown to love.” Stafford will be an integral part of KARA’s presence at the Kansas Capitol as its vice president of government affairs. She will be responsible for the lobbying and monitoring of state and federal legislative and regulatory activities and will also administer the Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders program. “We are pleased to welcome Shahira Stafford back to the association team,” KARA president and CEO Ron Seeber said. “Her work ethic, intelligence and talents are exceptional and she will – without a doubt – excel in her new capacity.”

Winter 2018


No Better Person


For the

By Trae Green

The newly-paved streets of Harveyville, Kansas didn’t look much better than when they were cracked asphalt and gravel. Tree limbs, glass, the walls of the Methodist church, a child’s teddy bear lying face down, battered, but not destroyed, created the obstacle course the two men were navigating. ‘Nothing good can possibly come from this,’ the town’s 13-year mayor Dustin Kuntz thought at the time as he led United States Senator Jerry Moran through the solemn pathway on the road. There was also another thought streaming in his head, a reoccurring thought he’s embraced almost like a life motto,


as he stood next to the senator and they marveled at the next best friend.” destruction. So Kuntz set out to talk to nearly every person he could. ‘There’s a job to do … and I’m going to get started The infectious personality he carries draws people toward doing it.’ him and the ability he has to ask for, and remember, a There was no warning. No siren piercing through the piece of everyone’s story leaves little doubt why he is the howling night winds. There was only Harveyville before – elected leader in Harveyville. and Harveyville after - Feb. 28, 2012. Had someone asked him 25 years ago what his Harveyville before was a sleepy little town aspirations were for the remainder of his life, Kuntz approximately 40 minutes southwest of Topeka. One wouldn’t have thought becoming the mayor of his of those small Kansas towns where everyone knows hometown would be one of them. everyone. They grew up together, went to school and In August of 1999 Kuntz graduated from KARA’s church together, shared the same Friday night experiences. Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders Class (T.A.L.) and Now, they’d grieve and pick up the pieces together. realized he was moved to get involved in his community’s Once called the Brome Seed Capital of the World, public policy. As fate would have it, a spot on the city Harveyville is a place you’d never heard or hear of until an council opened up 19 years ago and Kuntz felt compelled E-F2 tornado unexpectedly descends out of the night sky to run. Then, a few short months into his tenure on the right on top of the town of 287. council, a set of unfortunate circumstances led to a Kuntz was in Nashville at the Commodity Classic on the vacancy in the mayor’s position. fateful night six years ago. The helpless feeling of receiving There was a job to do, and someone had to do it. the phone call in his hotel room that night was almost “I attribute the reason I had the confidence and the unbearable. courage to go ahead and run was a direct relation to “It might have been one of the most helpless feelings my being in the T.A.L. program in that moment,” Kuntz I’ve ever experienced,” Kuntz said slowly. “To have reflected. been mayor for 13 years and the one hour in which my Nobody would accuse Harveyville of becoming a tourist community needed my leadership the most – I’m a plane destination after Kuntz’ nearly two decades as the town’s flight away.” mayor, but you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who Chuck Kuntz, the owner of Harveyville Seed Company says Harveyville hasn’t grown and prospered under his and Dustin’s father, was the chairman of Kansas Fertilizer leadership. and Chemical Association (KFCA) in 1987, which would Kuntz has applied for and been awarded five later become Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to improve (KARA). the community. A water treatment project, a sewer For a period of time, KFCA didn’t have a full-time improvement project, a grant to repave the streets, an staff to support its needs. The only way for a task to be additional sewer project and a new storm shelter and accomplished was by committee. playground. Growing up so close to a group of people always willing For nearly 30-straight days in 2012, after many of the to drop everything and help projects he worked so hard accomplish a common goal to achieve were destroyed, is a large reason Kuntz there was always something developed his volunteerto do. Orchestrate volunteer driven mentality. Whatever efforts, drive a bulldozer, is best for someone else is talk to President Barack what needs to be done. Obama on the phone, move “I can’t tell you why, a tree limb, escort Governor but I’ve always enjoyed Sam Brownback around the sincerely investing into damage – Kuntz could barely The aftermath of the Harveyville tornado. other people,” Kuntz said. “I function he was so enthralled don’t go many places I meet in the aftermath. a stranger. You never know when you’re going to meet your “It was just a blur of decisions,” Kuntz remembered. Winter 2018



“The tornado really forced me to trust others and to younger kids go through for six weeks. delegate, manage and, most of all, lead other people.” “It made a nice pairing to bring a college student in, The storm, and Kuntz’ time walking Sen. Moran around give them garden camp as a main project and then I give the damage, also reinforced his desire to invest in others them an outline of some topics I would like to see,” Kuntz as well. explained. “Beyond that, I leave it to the intern. They have “I learned a lot from him and how to lead people that to develop the lesson plans and the curriculum.” day,” Kuntz said proudly. “I can’t describe it. He chose to Kuntz also requires the intern to write weekly blog invest into me and my community as a sincere person posts which are posted to Harveyville Seed’s website for and not for political gain. Not for anything except that he future employers to gauge the student’s work ethic and cared.” learning experiences. As the town picked up the pieces, slowly everything With Garden Camp up and running, Kuntz is always began to return to normal. New homes were built, a looking for the next challenge, whether it be in his role playground with a tornado shelter installed, the roads as co-owner of Harveyville Seed, his duties as mayor, cleared and spending time with cleaned back his wife and kids to their pristine or even the Friday appearance, even a nights he spends new tornado siren running the football was erected, but chain gang at the Kuntz wasn’t done local Mission Valley trying to positively High School. affect the people of “I fear going on his community. 19 years of service As an ‘agcould be unhealthy vocate’ who for my community,” advocates Kuntz said. “It on behalf of could be unhealthy agriculture, Kuntz for any community A Garden Camp intern explains the components of a plant. was desperately to have someone searching for a way at the helm for too to involve people in long because it can the process of his life’s work. He started what was planned breed complacency.” to be a community garden for the elderly and low-income Complacent. A word nobody would ever use to describe in Harveyville, but it slowly morphed into something much Kuntz. more. A complacent person wouldn’t have fought so hard to From late May into July, Kuntz invites elementary restore a town of 287, see all of that hard work be reduced school students for a weekly three-hour session in his, to rubble in an evening – and then rebuild it better than it “Dirt under the fingernails initiative,” he coined, “Garden was before. Camp.” “Garden Camp has really worked pretty close with another passion of mine which is mentoring young people,” Kuntz exclaimed. “If I had to choose a different career it would be figuring out a way to make a positive impact on young people on a regular basis.” Only Kuntz isn’t Garden Camp’s main administrator. Sure he sets it all up, plants it and does most of the monotonous work like weeding, but a college-aged intern he selects oversees the lesson plans and curriculum the 14

Agribusiness Update

REDUCE COSTS THROUGH STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING CHRIS CAREY AND RYAN WEISER are professional geologists with ppB EnviroSolutions LLC (PPB), a Kansas-based environmental consultancy, and members of the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association. Chris and Ryan have extensive experience related to environmental investigations and cleanups in Kansas. In this article, they share facts and insights regarding KDHE environmental programs affecting agribusiness facilities in Kansas. Additional information is available at ppbenv.com or by calling PPB at 785.256.0045.

Fact: There are more than 200 contaminated agribusiness facilities in Kansas that are subject to environmental regulatory cleanup programs such as the KDHE Voluntary Cleanup Program.

Fact: Nitrogen is the principal chemical of concern at these facilities, resulting from the storage and distribution of solid and liquid nitrogen-

based fertilizers. According to the EPA, nitrate in soils does not pose a health risk at levels below about 130,000 parts per million (or 13%), but contaminated soils can impact the underlying groundwater. The KDHE developed screening levels for nitrate in soil based on groundwater protection; these calculations incorporated very conservative assumptions that resulted in very low screening levels. However, site specific cleanup levels have varied from the most conservative level of 40 parts per million to as high as 600 parts per million.

Fact: Based on our experience, most agribusiness facilities have remained in KDHE programs for more than 10 years. In many cases, cleanup

and monitoring costs are projected for 30 years. As many readers will know, agribusinesses incur the following environmental costs each year a facility is enrolled in a state cleanup program.

Consulting Fees: Many project tasks must be overseen by a Professional Geologist or Engineer licensed to practice in the State of Kansas.

These consultants design and implement the investigation and cleanup strategy for the site, including preparing work plans, sampling, preparing reports, and negotiating with the regulators. It is important to select a consultant that has experience with KDHE’s programs, fully understands project demands and can effectively negotiate with the regulators.

Laboratory and Other Expenses: Typically soil and groundwater investigations are required up front, and groundwater monitoring is

required throughout the duration of a project (e.g., semi-annual, annual, etc.). Drilling services are generally subcontracted under the direction of the project geologist or engineer for the initial investigation and to install monitoring wells (if needed). Licensed land surveyors are also needed to provide accurate location and elevation data. In addition, a state-accredited contract laboratory must analyze samples collected at a site. Nitrate sample analysis typically costs between $10 and $30 per sample. A typical monitoring project at an agribusiness facility could necessitate the collection of hundreds of samples over the project lifecycle.

Government Oversight Fees: Businesses participating in a state cleanup program are billed quarterly for the time and expenses incurred

by KDHE working on a project. These fees vary based on the individual assigned to a project and can range from approximately $20 to $60 per hour plus expenses. KDHE’s direct costs are marked-up by up to 40% to account for administrative overhead in addition to prorated fees for nonproject specific clerical support. Quarterly oversight fees can easily reach $1,000 to $10,000 per quarter, depending on the level of effort a KDHE project manager spends on a project. These costs have previously included the time and expenses incurred by KDHE staff to learn about a newlyassigned site and to review site related and background documents as well as charges for travel and sampling. How to reduce these costs?

Prevention: Although firms like PPB can help reduce these costs with careful upfront planning, or by providing a second opinion, the best

approach is to prevent spills and releases by implementing good housekeeping and best management practices. This includes regularly inspecting containers for leaks, avoiding overfilling containers, and making sure that any facility spill prevention and spill response documents are up to date. Often, a simple walkthrough by an experienced environmental professional can help identify these issues.

Effective Initial Response: In addition, the initial response following a spill is critical to minimizing the long-term cleanup costs. If possible,

the majority of the spilled materials should be recovered during the initial response. Initial spill response efforts are typically overseen by KDHE’s Spill Response Program by KDHE district office personnel. If the discharger can demonstrate that the spill has been effectively cleaned up through the initial spill response, then participation in another regulatory program, such as the KDHE Voluntary Cleanup Program, is not warranted. If the spill cannot be fully contained during the initial response, the dischargers should carefully evaluate the regulatory options for long-term site cleanup with their consultants and/or attorneys before agreeing to enter any state or federal environmental regulatory programs. The principals at PPB apply their 25+ years of experience to strategically minimize long-term liabilities by working independently or alongside your existing technical consultants.


The Kansas Legislature completed the first half of the 2018 Legislative Session on Thursday, February 22. The next day, lawmakers got a sneak peek by state-hired consultants into a new study that will provide them direction on addressing the Kansas Supreme Court’s latest decision in the Gannon lawsuit. The complete school finance report is due by March 15. The Turnaround deadline means that all bills that were not introduced in or “blessed” to an exempt committee (House and Senate Tax, House and Senate Federal and State Affairs, House Appropriations, and Senate Ways and Means) are essentially frozen for the remainder of the session. Legislators returned to Topeka on Wednesday, February 28, to start round two and begin the real work on the issues that will actually allow for final adjournment this spring…or summer. Here’s some of what’s still alive that may be of interest:


l o t i Cap




By: S

a St hahir

*To stay current on the latest news from the Capitol be sure to subscribe to our legislative emails and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 16 Agribusiness Update

KANSAS RIGHT TO KNOW: House Bill 2577 passed the House 117-0. The bill creates a fee fund within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to administer the Kansas Right-to-Know program. Law requires that certain hazardous chemicals, when stored at reportable quantities, be reported annually to KDHE. While not a new fee, the fund within the agency ensures that industry-paid fees are used specifically for their intended purposes and not swept into the State General Fund. The new fee fund would also support training of emergency personnel on topics related to hazardous chemical response. KARA testified in support during the bill hearing. PESTICIDE APPLICATION RECORDS: House Bill 2619 passed the House 117-0. The bill recognizes electronic methods of communication as a valid form of record after a commercial pesticide application has occurred. Current law requires written notice be sent to the land owner within 30 days of an application. This bill allows for instant notification via email or text, if the customer agrees to receiving it electronically. KARA testified in support during the bill hearing. NOXIOUS WEEDS: House Bill 2583 passed the House 10116. The bill gives authority to the Secretary of Agriculture to designate a weed as noxious. This authority currently resides with the Legislature, which creates a slow and cumbersome process to add or remove weeds from the list. The bill also


creates a noxious weed stakeholder advisory committee, which would make science-based recommendations to the Secretary on the listing or delisting of a weed. KARA would be given one appointee on the advisory committee, drawing from the technical and professional knowledge base to determine when a plant has become invasive. KARA testified in support during the bill hearing.

updated reinstating old law. This is more of a clean-up bill, as small businesses only lost their ability to expense after the 2012 tax cuts went into effect, removing their state tax liability all together. The bill is retroactive to January 1, 2017 and has a fiscal note of $21 million. KARA did not weigh in during the hearing but has been monitoring the issue closely.

agribusiness in Kansas. It will also put Kansas in compliance with the federal Transportation Security Administration’s hazmat endorsement, which is also renewed every five years. KARA testified in support during the bill hearing.

REGULATION IMPACT (REINS): House Bill 2526 was “blessed” to an exempt committee before Turnaround. The bill HPIP EXTENSION: Senate Bill 430 was requires state agencies to include a introduced in an exempt committee and description of businesses that would KDA LICENSES LATE RENEWAL FEES: is a new version of Senate Bill 334 that be directly affected by any proposed House Bill 2478 passed the House didn’t get debated on the Senate floor rules and regulation, the benefits of 102-15. The bill allows the Kansas before Turnaround. The bill allows a the proposed rules and regulations and Department of Agriculture to assess a business to carry forward their unused measures taken to minimize the impact late fee on all late license renewals. The High-Performance Incentive Program on business and economic development original bill proposed a late fee of 40 (HPIP) income tax credits up to 25 in Kansas. An amendment was percent of the license introduced during the cost. KARA testified hearing by the Kansas as neutral during Chamber that would the hearing but was halt any proposed successful in amending rules and regulation the bill to cap the late with an economic fee at $100 maximum impact on the regulated per business. community of $3 Ron Seeber Randy Stookey Shahira Stafford million over two years. President & CEO Senior VP | General Counsel VP Gov. Affairs INDUSTRIAL HEMP The Legislature would RESEARCH: Senate Bill then be required 263 passed the Senate to proactively pass 36-3. The bill enacts a bill, should they the Alternative Crop want to promulgate Research Act, allowing that regulation. The the Kansas Department of Agriculture, years, instead of 16 years in current language mirrors the federal legislation alone or in coordination with a state law. Kansas offers HPIP tax incentives to known as the Regulations from the educational institution, to grow and employers who make certain qualified Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. cultivate industrial hemp and promote investments, pay above average wages, Committee response to the amendment its research and development as an and meet established training criteria. was positive, as there seems to be alternative crop in Kansas. KARA did not KARA did not weigh in during the hearing bipartisan support to pass this type of weigh in during the hearing but has been but has been monitoring the issue legislation this year. KARA will strongly monitoring the issue closely. closely. support such an amended bill.

Advocating for




SMALL BUSINESS EXPENSING: Senate Bill 303 passed the Senate 31-8. The bill restores a provision for small businesses to expense their capital investments in full rather than using a depreciation schedule. When last year’s tax bill passed – imposing income taxes back on small businesses – the statute was not

CDL RENEWAL: House Bill 2511 passed the House 118-0. The bill extends the renewal period for commercial driver’s licenses from four years to five years. Extending the renewal period by one year is an easy, small step toward lowering the regulatory burden, reducing cost, and expediting the process of conducting

Visit www.ksagretailers.org for a link to all of the bills being tracked on your behalf. You can read a brief summary of the bill, the actual text of the bill, the history of the bill and upcoming actions. If you have any problems using the Bill Tracker, please contact Shahira Stafford at shahira@kansasag.org.

Winter 2018



MARK YOUR CALENDARS KSU FIELD DAYS KSU Field Days, a cooperative event hosted by KARA and KSU Research and Extension, yields a successful, two day program that highlights the latest KSU research and industry happenings! Due to growing numbers, the historic success of this event and KARA and KSU’s commitment to keeping this an interactive program, two KSU Field Day sessions will once again be offered in 2018. The same program and speakers will be featured twice - once on July 10-11 and again on July 12-13. It is essential that attendees pre-register for their preferred days as registration will be capped at 100 attendees per session. Please keep an eye on our website, www.ksagretailers.org/events, for program and registration information – COMING SOON!

KANSAS APPLICATOR INSTITUTE KARA encourages you to mark your calendar for the 7th Annual Kansas Applicator Institute, featuring the ever-popular “Ride and Drive,” to be held in Hutchinson at the Kansas State Fairgrounds on August 8-9, 2018. Interested in exhibiting? Email samantha@ kansasag.org for more information!



BECOME A CCA Do you work with producers on their crop production decisions? Are you actively involved in agronomic agriculture? Certification programs from the American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America are the benchmark of professionalism. Farmers and employers prefer to work with Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) because CCAs have demonstrated they have the commitment, education, expertise and experience to make a difference. To learn more, please email Samantha Tenpenny at samantha@ kansasag.org.


For those interested in taking the next exam to be held August 3 in Salina, registration will open be open April 23-June 22 at www.certifiedcropadvisor.org/exams. As in the past, KARA will have 3-ring notebooks of information covering both local and international exam material available. If you have questions about the exam or interest in ordering a copy of the study material, please contact Samantha Tenpenny at samantha@kansasag.org today!

KARA Annual Meeting Enjoy great food, networking, speakers and golf at the 2018 Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association Annual Meeting Aug. 27-28 in Manhattan.


Agribusiness Update



MEMBERSHIP EDUCATION CPU Brings Agronomists to Junction City Nearly 100 agronomists and Certified Crop Advisers gathered in Junction City on January 10-11 to hear the latest research and technological advances in the crop production industry. Attendees of this comprehensive workshop gained more than just continuing education hours as the 2018 CPU, offered in cooperation with KSU Research and Extension, covered the latest in weed and insect control, fertilizer and chemical recommendations, soil fertility concerns and much more – including a KDA approved Dicamba applicator training course! A special thanks to Kansas State University and Romulo Lollato for coordinating the speakers and topics.

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES KSU FIELD DAYS July 10-11, Manhattan July 12-13, Manhattan

1A RECERTIFICATION November 15, Wichita Kansas Agri Business Expo


August 3, Salina Registration Available April 23 - June 22 certifiedcropadviser.org/exams

KS APPLICATOR INSTITUTE August 8-9, Hutchinson


KARA Trains Nearly 300 at NH3 Workshops KARA trained 271 individuals on the basics of NH3 properties and plant design, regulatory laws and safety essentials over the last two months. A special thanks to Gary Cless, Fairbank Equipment, for coming out of retirement to contribute to our workshops, as well as David Klahr and Lee Olsen of KFSA, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Corporation Commission for their added expertise, and a reminder to all members to stay safe this application season!

Winter 2018


Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association 816 SW Tyler, Suite 100 Topeka, Kansas 66612

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association | Winter 2018 Editors Ron Seeber Tom Tunnell Randy Stookey Staci Storey Shahira Stafford Shari Bennett Samantha Tenpenny Mitzi Dodds Trae Green

Photography & Illustrations Cover Photo iStock/andreaskrappweis

Remember -- Stay up-to-date at ksagretailers.org -- Consider becoming a sponsor -- Get recertified with our many courses -- Submit material for our next newsletter

Stay Connected

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.