Lyndon farm serves as headquarters for statewide celebration of farmers – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Lyndon farm serves as headquarters for statewide celebration of farmers

Sandy, Darrell and Clint Sturdy explain to Gov. Laura Kelly and Sen. Rick Kloos some of the history of their family farm near Lyndon.

LYNDON, Kan. – Last Tuesday, when Gov. Laura Kelly’s SUV rolled out of a Kansas rainstorm and into a machine shed near Lyndon, she wasn’t there just for a barn party – it was a nationwide celebration.

Like the spring rains, the governor and other dignitaries were welcomed to family-operated Sturdy Farms to celebrate the agriculture heritage of Kansas, and the hard work and determination that produces the world’s food. In recognition of Kansas Agriculture Month, Kelly had come for a tour of the family’s farm operation, and to sign a proclamation in the Sturdys’ equipment barn recognizing all farmers and ranchers across the state for their labors invested in feeding the world.

Soggy roads and fields curtailed the farm tour to viewing the family’s historical farm through the barn door and pouring rain, with Clint Sturdy pointing out the family’s present and former homesteads across cropland and hayfields south and west of Lyndon. Sturdy said the family’s farm was started in 1898 and has continued as a family cattle and grain operation throughout the years. Sturdy Farms is operated by Clint, Rod, and Darrell Sturdy and family members.

The governor said the small celebration turned out to be more than she expected, noting the attendance of members of the Lyndon High School FFA chapter, state Sen. Rick Kloos, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kelsey Olson, and local citizens, but said Kansas farmers deserved special recognition this year after maintaining the nation’s food supply during pandemic conditions.

“During the pandemic, that was so evident – by the hard work of our farmers and ranchers we were able to keep our supply chain here in Kansas pretty much intact,” Kelly said. “We were the only state that did not have to shut down our meat production throughout the entire pandemic – all due to the very hard work of our farmers and ranchers, and some help from our federal partners helping us figure out how we could do that safely.”

Introducing the governor, Deputy Secretary Olson pointed out Kelly had a role in helping to keep the state’s food supply uninterrupted. “I’m very proud to say she is first governor to procure vaccines for our meat processing industry,” Olson said.

Olson said the state also utilized government COVID-19 funds for maintaining food production in the state. “One of the most exciting things I got to work on this past year was to be able to provide $11.6 million of coronavirus relief funds to the Kansas economy,” Olson said. “These dollars went directly to support food capacity in Kansas.”

The celebration also included the governor’s announcement that Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses exported more than $4 billion in goods in 2020 – up more than $214 million from the previous year.

“This is the first time exports have surpassed $4 billion in our state since 2014,” Kelly said. “That’s a huge accomplishment – our agriculture workers should be proud.”

Sen. Kloos told the barn gathering that as a newly elected state senator and originally “from the city” he had a lot to learn, but he knew the importance of agriculture to Kansas.

“It’s a good day in Kansas when we talk about our farmers. I’ve come just to appreciate the farmers,” Kloos said. “I really believe in the farming community and all that you guys do.”

Before signing the proclamation, Gov. Kelly said the celebration should be about gratitude to the state’s food producers.

“We do owe our farmers and ranchers gratitude, not only today but really every day,” the governor said. “Every time we take a bite, remember why you have that food on your table.”

The governor’s proclamation declares the month of March as Kansas Agriculture Month, and March 23, 2021, as Kansas Agriculture Day. The statewide observation coincides with the celebration of National Agriculture Day, which has a theme this year of “Food Brings Everyone to the Table” – a reminder that the food everyone enjoys exists because of the dedication and hard work of farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses.

“Farmers and ranchers are the true foundation of both the state of Kansas and our nation,” Kelly said. “It’s through their hard work that we are able to eat and have food on our tables. We owe them great gratitude for all their hard work and long hours to produce our food and take care of us in the future.”

Kelly presented the ceremonial pen to Clint Sturdy after signing the official document. See the proclamation here.

Sturdy family with Gov. Laura Kelly, from left, Darrell and Sandy Sturdy, Gov. Kelly, Rod, Clint and Candi Sturdy; back, John Deere.

The governor’s announcement about Kansas’ recent agriculture successes noted the state’s main exports include meat products, cereal grains, and oilseeds, with products shipped to 89 countries, including top trade partners such as Mexico, Japan, and South Korea.

Other Kansas agriculture facts:

Agriculture directly contributes more than $49 billion to the Kansas economy each year.

Agriculture supports more than 136,000 jobs in Kansas, or 13 percent of the workforce.

The average size of a Kansas farm is 781 acres, and there are 58,569 farms in the state.

Kansas agriculture includes traditional economic contributions from beef cattle ranching, wheat, corn, sorghum, soybeans, and dairy, but also includes landscape and horticultural services, pet food, farm machinery manufacturing, food processing, and more.

Increasingly, agricultural resources provide raw materials for a broad range of nonfood products, such as chemicals, fibers, construction materials, lubricants and fuels.

Kansas is a national leader in agriculture production, ranking first in sorghum production with 204 million bushels; first in wheat production with 338 million bushels; second in cropland with over 29 million acres; second in sorghum for silage with 1.045 million tons; and third in cattle and calves inventory with 6.455 million head.

See Gov. Kelly’s Kansas Agriculture Month proclamation here.
See related story: Soil Conservation Award: Sturdy Farms honored as stewards of the land

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