Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who is... the Kansas Department of Agriculture?

The Kansas winter wheat harvest is starting to roll in and we here at the KGI thought it would be great to spotlight a government agency that has a deep rooted history to help keep the agriculture-based Kansas economy moving. The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KSDA) is a regulatory agency that serves all Kansans. It is charged by law to ensure: a safe food supply; responsible and judicious use of pesticides and nutrients; the protection of Kansas' natural and cultivated plants; integrity of weighing and measuring devices in commerce; and, that the state's waters are put to beneficial use. This department works with Federal and local agencies to ensure that the food grown in Kansas that is put on the world's plate is safe and wholesome and that the waters that flow through Kansas are appropriated carefully and will continue to flow for future generations.

Department Head: Secretary Adrian Polansky, read his biography at:

Department reports to: Governor


You can find Kansas laws and regulations that apply to agriculture, lodging and water resource management at:

Find the forms for reporting to the KSDA at:

KSDA is committed to educating students about the importance of farming. Learn more at:

Find the list of upcoming seminars or meetings with or by KSDA at:

KSDA recently launched a site to help Kansans support their local growers at:

Learn more about finding or selling locally grown produce at farmers markets all across Kansas:

KSDA provides access to help for Kansas farming families through various services:

Loans and grants available for agriculture:

Connections through its news service:

The Kansas Rural Family Helpline provides free confidential support to rural families struggling with unmet emotional, medical, financial or legal need.

Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services provides low-cost financial counseling and legal assistance.

WORKS -- Work Opportunities for Rural Kansans is a statewide program helping farmers, ranchers and their families find work off the farm or ranch. The program is through Kansas Legal Services.

Kansas AgrAbility is a part of a national network of programs that inform, educate and assist farmers and farm families who have disabilities.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area

Over 150 years ago western Missouri and eastern Kansas were precursory battlefields for the Civil War that would eventually sweep across the country in 1861. Today the two states are working with the federal government to establish the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage commemorating those difficult times and the struggles that shaped Kansas as a free state entering the Union on January 29, 1861.

"The Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area was authorized on October 12, 2006 with the passage of the National Heritage Areas Act of 2006. The management plan for the heritage area was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 10th, 2009 and will undergo official review by the National Park Service to ensure it complies with all components required within the enabling legislation." (from: Wikipedia article)

Below are resources from government, organizational and news sites with information on the background of the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, its continued development today and future plans for this cooperative project.


Enabling legislation introduced in Congress in January, 2005, to establish the Heritage Area

PUBLIC LAW 109–338—OCT. 12, 2006
Subtitle E—Freedom’s Frontier NationalHeritage Area (scroll down to page "120 STAT. 1807")
(The public law establishing the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area in Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area
(Website for the Heritage Area. Parts of this site are still under construction)

The Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area Management Plan
(Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company)

Information on National Heritage Areas in the U.S.
(U.S. National Parks Service)


Lawrence Journal World

Topeka Capital Journal

Kansas City Star


The Troubles in Kansas;idno=AFK4445.0001.001
(A report issued by US Congressional special committee in 1856 appointed to investigate the situation in Kansas. Includes the views of the minority of said committee)

Willing to Die for Freedom
(Information from the Kansas State Historical Society)

Territorial Kansas
(Documents, letters, photos, maps and many other resources documenting these turbulent times in Kansas. Provided through the Kansas State Historical Society)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Who is... The Kansas Insurance Department?

The Kansas Insurance Department is an executive office that regulates the insurance business in Kansas. This department regulates and reviews insurance companies, educates consumers, assists consumers, licenses insurance agents and requires continuing education. The department ensures that you, the insurance consumer, are treated fairly and promptly.

Department Head: Commissioner Sandy Praeger

Department may be contacted by calling toll-free 1-800-432-2484 (in Kansas only) or e-mail at

If you have concerns about an agency you've been working with and wish to file a complaint, you can do so at

If you feel that you may be the victim of insurance fraud, find out more about what can be done at

You can search for insurance agency or agent information at

Thinking about starting a small business and want to know the best ways to insure your family and employees? Learn more at

You can learn more about the insurance business and how you can find the best policies to fit your needs through the "Insure U" site at

The insurance department has several publications that help you learn even more about the insurance industry:

ABC's of insurance

Auto insurance shopping guide

Factors to weigh when buying health insurance

Homeowner and renter's insurance shopping guide

How to perform a personal inventory for insurance purposes

Life insurance, the basics

Find many more publications at

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Plan your Sunflower State Getaway

The kids are out of school, you’ve been slaving away all year. You need a break. But who can afford to fly to the ocean or the mountains this year? Why not stay close to home and enjoy a little of what Kansas has to offer?

Those from outside the state may snicker behind their hands at the idea of vacationing in Kansas, but those who have been here, or who live here know the real story. We have beautiful natural attractions like the Arikaree Breaks, Flint Hills, Monument Rocks, and much more. We have beautiful reservoirs for boating and fishing, and yes, even beaches for soaking up some sun.
Here are some links to sites to help you explore what Kansas has to offer, and plan your getaway.

The Kansas Department of Commerce's Travel and Tourism Division offers travelers trip planning tools and information about Kansas vacations.

Kansas Travel and Tourism Homepage

Kansas Tourism’s “Quirky Kansas Ready-Made Adventure”
(A planned four-day tour of Kansas, from Goodland to Wichita and back to Garden City.)

Kansas Tourism's Travel Planner
(Select where you want to start, what you want to see, and how far you want to go, and the site will create a travel plan and map for you.)

The Kansas State Historical Society provides information for tourists to explore Historic Kansas.

Kansas State Historical Society's Tourist Homepage
(Explore Kansas by Region, Historic Theme, Venture off the Highway, or find specific Kansas Historic Sites.)

National Historic Landmarks
(See Kansas’ five National Historic Landmarks.)

Kansas Historical Markers
(Ever zip by a roadside marker and wonder what is said? This site lists all of the markers in Kansas by county and by map, including an abbreviated version of the marker’s text.)

Information on outdoor recreation and activities can be found from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Kansas State Parks at Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
(Find information about Kansas’ State Parks, including information on cabins, camping, boating, trails and fishing.)

Kansas Recreation Finder
(An interactive map to find recreational opportunities around Kansas.)