The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City is pleased to host a roundtable discussion on August 18. The session will be held at the American Royal, 1701 American Royal Court, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The roundtable, which will include Senators Pat Roberts and Claire McCaskill, as well as Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Elaine Duke, will discuss how we can better secure and protect our agricultural goods and livestock from terrorist and naturally occurring threats. It will include a discussion of Roberts' and McCaskill's legislation "Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act", which was recently signed into law by President Trump and mandates the Department of Homeland Security have preparedness policies to protect livestock, limit the spread of contagious diseases, and keep food from being contaminated if terrorist attacks and/or natural disasters occur.
Missouri is particularly at risk when it comes to agriculture threats. With almost 100,000 farms across the state spanning over 28 million acres, the agriculture industry generates $88.4 billion a year for the state's economy. The state has the second largest number of farms in the country and is one of the top producers for a number of crops including long grain rice, cotton, soybean, and corn. One in ten Missouri jobs are in the agriculture or forestry industries.
Prevention, preparedness, and research in bio-ag defense are also critical to Kansas. There are roughly 60,000 farms in Kansas, farming over 45 million acres. In 2016, Kansas was the number one state in sorghum production, number two in wheat production, third in cattle - with 6.4 million head, and 10th in hogs and pigs. Additionally, agriculture contributes $67.5 billion annually, which is roughly 44.5% of the state's total economy.
The roundtable will feature Secretary Duke and Senators Roberts and McCaskill along with other panelists. All Council members are welcome to attend as observers and members of the audience. There is no registration fee for this event, although pre-registration is required.