Daily Archives: January 1, 2013

Kansas Graziers Association Winter Conference Set for January 19, 2013

The Kansas Graziers Association (KGA) Winter Conference will be held Saturday, January 19, 2013, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Salina, Ks. “Back to the Basics of Grazing Management” is the theme for this year’s conference.

“With so many new people interested in grazing management or wanting information on how to manage drought stressed pastures, we thought a full day of state experts on a number of critical topics was the best idea,” stated KGA secretary Mary Howell.

Speakers will include David Kraft, and Dwayne Rice, Kansas based USDA NRCSRangeland Management Specialists. Kraft will address drought management, and Rice will compare conventional grazing to MIG (management intensive grazing) and mob grazing.  Gary Kilgore, retired KSU grass and forages specialist, will discuss soil health and fertility in grazing systems, and Dale Strickler, rancher educator, will cover plant physiology, forage options, and extending the grazing season. Rancher Ted Alexander will also lead a rancher/farmer panel on drought planning and general questions on grazing.

Registration fees are $50 for the first person per ranch, and $35 for a second person. Student registration is $25. The Courtyard Marriott is located at 

3020 Riffel DriveSalina

, Ks., at the Schilling Road Exit from I-135.

Check the KRCwebsite at www.kansasruralcenter.org  for registration forms and information, or contact Mary Howell at [email protected]   or 785-562-8726 .

Co-sponsors include the Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, Kansas Rural CenterKansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, and Kansas Farmers Union.

The Kansas Graziers Association is sponsoring a social at the conference headquarters starting at 7 p.m. Friday night, January 18 for those coming to Salina the night before. Everyone is welcome.

Tourism Ad Campaign Touts Kansas

Study shows 80:1 return on investment from advertising campaign

Some people think Kansas is a well-kept secret, but the Division of Tourism of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) doesn’t keep quiet about trumpeting the virtues of our state. According to an independent study, the state’s “There’s No Place Like Kansas” marketing campaign generated 133,400 additional visitors to Kansas and contributed $73.5 million to the Kansas economy, yet cost only $915,400 – a return on investment (ROI) of $80 for every dollar spent. The KDWPT Division of Tourism directed the campaign, and an independent research company, H2R Market Research, conducted the study.

The campaign ran between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. It used television, print, online and digital advertisements and reached 1.84 million people in seven states: NebraskaMissouri (including St. Louis), ArkansasOklahomaColorado and Iowa. A sample of the television ads can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/travelks.

“This campaign focused on the unique and surprising experiences visitors can enjoy when they visit Kansas. The study shows that investing in tourism marketing pays big dividends and that tourism is an important part of the Kansas economy,” said KDWPT Secretary Robin Jennison.

The campaign did not spend state general taxes. Instead, it was funded with dollars from Economic Development Initiative Funds (EDIF) generated through the Kansas Lottery and eight community partners that contributed $20,000 each: Dodge City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB); Hutchinson CVB; Kansas City CVB; Lawrence CVB; Manhattan CVB; Visit Salina; Visit Topeka and Go Wichita.

“We believe it is essential to partner with statewide industry leaders to maximize the many and varied programs of the Kansas Tourism Division,” said Becky Blake, Kansas Tourism Director. “Our advertising partners help stretch our limited funds, enabling all of us to create excitement about Kansasfar beyond the state’s borders.”

“Based on advertising effectiveness studies we have conducted over the last three years for state tourism offices and destination marketing organizations, Kansas’ ROI of 80:1 is well above the industry average,” said Jerry Henry, president of H2R and widely-respected expert with nearly 30 years of travel and leisure research.

The Kansas tourism industry employs one of every nine Kansas citizens in jobs that stay in the state and can’t be sent to another state or oversees. Tourism is the third largest private sector employer in Kansas.

For more information or a summary of the report, visit www.TravelKS.com, or call 785-296-2009. Find Kansas on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/TravelKS and on Twitter at @TravelKS.

Woodlands-Related Funding Still Available through Environmental Quality Incentives Program

By Robert Atchison, Rural Forestry Program Coordinator

Kansas Forest Service, ManhattanKansas

Kansas landowners can apply for fiscal year (FY) 2013 funds for woodland and windbreak improvement projects through U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI).

The application deadline for FY 2013 funding will be February 15, 2013.

            Until then, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices housed in the Kansas’ statewide network of USDA Service Centers can help landowners start their application.  And, through its district foresters, the Kansas Forest Service (KFS) can help landowners complete the technical parts of the application process including project plans.

            (A linked map of Kansas’ Farm Service Centers is at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=KS.  Contact data for the KFS’s district foresters is athttp://www.kansasforests.org/staff/rural/index.shtml.)

            “Getting in on this year’s funding could be well worth the time and effort,” said Bob Atchison, rural forestry coordinator for the Kansas Forest Service.  Funds also are available for renovating and planting windbreaks and trees adjacent to streams.

            “No one knows what the U.S. Congress will do to next year’s budget.  But, fiscal year 2013 forestry funding is about twice the size it was just five years ago with the addition of CCPI,” Atchisonsaid.  “That’s a blessing for Kansas.  Statewide, our needs are becoming critical in terms of our having healthy, mature trees in place.

            “We need those trees to preserve our soil resources.  We need them to protect our surface water supplies from sedimentation and from the brew of pollutants that runoff can carry.  Mature trees are also the basis for Kansas agroforestry income, and they provide money-saving, natural protection for our homes, roads, crops, and livestock.”

            The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for forestland health and CCPI are the vehicles to distribute funds to help Kansans pay for conservation-forestry projects.

            The producer must be engaged in agricultural production or forestry management, or has an interest in the agricultural or forestry operation associated with the land being offered for enrollment in EQIP.  Tenants can apply for the forestry funds, too, if they secure their landowner’s written support.

            Atchison said that the forestland program is unique to the northern High Plains states.  Some years back, KansasNebraska, and the two Dakotas partnered in asking USDA NRCS to back their long-term vision for Great Plains forestry through the CCPI.

            “The Plains are one of the clearest examples of how everyone benefits from conservation efforts,”Atchison said.  “After all, if the farmer with riverside property cannot afford to install or maintain quality riparian plantings, tons of his land could end up downstream in the reservoir—shortening that lake’s life as a public water supply.

            “In Kansas, EQIP can provide financial assistance to remove poor quality trees,” the forester said. “Or, the program can provide financial assistance for heavy equipment to remove larger, expanding stands of Osage orange, honeylocust, Asian bush honeysuckle, and/or other invasive species.

            “If landowners then want to bring their forest stand up to proper stocking levels, the program can cover the cost of planting higher quality trees, including oaks and black walnuts,” Atchison said.  “Project plans can be ambitious enough to require more than one funding year to complete.”

            Forestry EQIP is also for owners whose land includes stream or river banks.  It can help them to prepare for, plant, and manage riparian trees that stabilize those banks and filter runoff.  As part of a riparian project, landowners can receive funding for planting seedlings, acorns, and/or walnuts.

            “Renovating or restarting windbreaks is one of the program’s more popular options,” Atchisonsaid.  “Eligible sites include the shelterbelts that protect livestock or field crops.  EQIP provides financial assistance to remove rows of old, ailing, and dead trees.  The program can cover the majority of costs to plant new tree rows, apply weed barrier fabric/mulch, or dedicate a micro-drip irrigation system.

            “This is a voluntary program, but it is also competitive,” he said.  “In general, the more the plan addresses resource concerns that sustain woodland health, water quality, and reduce soil erosion, the better the chances for funding.

            “Fortunately, inviting a district forester to your place and working with that forester to complete your plan will cost you nothing. 

            “Even if applicants happen to miss this year’s February deadline, their work will not be a waste of time,” Atchison said.  “Doing so will simply put their project proposal in line to apply for fiscal year 2014 funding.”

            EQIP offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Conservation practices must be implemented to NRCS standards and specifications. In Kansas, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for eligible conservation practices applied.

            Further information about CCPI’s forestry initiative is available by contacting Atchison at 785-532-3310 or [email protected] or at your local NRCS field office located in the 

USDA Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the internet atoffices.usda.gov.)  More information is available on the Kansas Web site at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov. Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas.  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.