Agriculture's Economic Impact Highlighted by Ag Retail Forum Keynote

By Brian Reuwee posted 7 days ago


The Midwest Ag Retail Forum, hosted by the Kansas and Oklahoma Agribusiness Retail Associations and the Agricultural Retailers Association, attracted more than 30 attendees July 27 at the Doubletree Hotel in Wichita.

Kansas Department of Agriculture economist Kellen Liebsch keynoted the event. Her presentation centered around the economic impact of agriculture on Kansas, but also touch on similar figures for Oklahoma during the meeting. View her presentation here: Agriculture's Contribution to Kansas' Economy.

Kansas agriculture accounts for 44.5% of Kansas GDP – in dollar terms, it contributes nearly $20.5 billion to the Kansas economy. Most of that (31.6%) is production of the raw product, but other indirect (inputs, processing, transportation, etc) and induced effects (other business supported by this sector) makes up the remaining 12.9%.

Ag Retail is a component of the Wholesale Trade segment which employs more than 11,700 people in Kansas and contributes $2.8 billion to the Kansas economy. Unfortunately, there are other pieces of "Wholesale Trade" besides ag retail so it's difficult to decipher how much of that is only the retail segment. Certainly the “fertilizer mixing” on page 4 is part of that, but there will be other contributions that are reported under different titles that could be considered ag retail.

Other speakers included OARA Executive Director Joe Neal Hampton and KARA Executive Director Tom Tunnel, as well as ARA Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel Richard Gupton, each of whom addressed relevant state and federal regulatory and legislative issues facing agricultural retailers.