Farm Talk


May 30, 2012

Kansas wheat research gets funding

Parsons, Kansas — The Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation announced recently that the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank have pledged $300,000 in matching funds to support wheat research at Kansas State University.

The donated funds will be used to match contributions from Kansas wheat farmers and farmer cooperatives. Proceeds will fund the public wheat breeding program at KSU, one of the world's leading institutions in the area of wheat research.

"I encourage wheat farmers to invest in their future by donating a gift of wheat or cash during the upcoming harvest," said Richard Randall, Kansas Wheat Commission chairman from Scott City.  "This generous matching offer by the Farm Credit System is something we must take full advantage of."

"The mission of the Farm Credit System is to support American agriculture and the U.S. rural economy," said Bob Engel, president and chief executive officer of CoBank. "On behalf of all the Farm Credit organizations that serve Kansas, we're delighted to be making this strategic investment in KSU research, which is helping American wheat farmers maintain their leadership position in the global marketplace."

"Farm Credit working with Kansas farmers and the Kansas Wheat Commission is as natural as us all praying for rain for good crops," said Eldon Pfannenstiel, Vice President and Crop Insurance Manager at Farm Credit of Ness City, who helped to organize the Farm Credit contribution after being approached by Kansas Wheat representatives. "The relationship between the Foundation and KSU is a great example of the benefits of public-private partnership. This donation is really an investment in the future of the Great Plains wheat industry."

The Kansas Wheat Commission funds wheat research by collecting a 1.5-cent-per-bushel wheat assessment. The Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation was created in 2011 in order to raise funds above and beyond the assessment in order to make up for a general decline in government funding for wheat research in recent years. The Foundation allows private individuals and members of industry to contribute tax-deductible gifts for the sole purpose of funding wheat research at Kansas State. K-State's public wheat breeding program encompasses a variety of specialized research, including variety development, genetics and genomics, agronomic practices, and insect and disease resistance research.

Much of the future research funded by the Foundation will take place at the new Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan. The $8.3 million center will include both laboratory and greenhouse space and is scheduled for completion in December 2012. Those who make a contribution to the Foundation will have the opportunity for naming rights at the Center (

"Kansas wheat farmers regularly express their support for increased research to improve wheat," said KWC Research Foundation chairman Ron Suppes, Dighton.  "The construction of the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center and formation of the KWC Research Foundation are important initiatives to improve the wheat varieties available to Kansas farmers. We are truly thankful to the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and CoBank for their investment in the future of wheat research."

Farmers and farmer cooperatives interested in making a contribution to the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation should contact Aaron Harries at 1-866-75WHEAT.£

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