KANSAS STATE COUNCIL 

MIKE MCCLELLAN, VICE CHAIRMAN
KANSAS WHEAT COMMISSION

MARK NELSON, DIRECTOR OF COMMODITIES
KANSAS FARM BUREAU

AARON POPELKA, VP OF LEGAL AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
KANSAS LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATION

IVRY KARAMITROS, DIRECTOR
WORLD TRADE CENTER KANSAS CITY

DAVID SCHEMM, VICE PRESIDENT
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WHEAT GROWERS

BOB TIMMONS
KANSAS CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION

TERRY VINDUSKa
KANSAS CORN COMMISSION

Ken Wood, Vice President
Kansas Association of Wheat Growers

Chris Gutierrez, President
KC SmartPort

Jay Armstrong, Past Chairman
Kansas Wheat Commission

Pat Damman
Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association

Kevin Ekstrand, Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Scarbrough International

Lucas Heinen, Vice President
Kansas Soybean Association

Dennis Hupe, Director of Field Services
Kansas Soybean Commission

Brian Linin, Chairman
Kansas Wheat Commission

Mike Jordan, President
Kansas Association of Wheat Growers

Leslie Kaufman, President/CEO
Kansas Cooperative Council

DOUG KEESLING, CO-CHAIR
USACC STATE SUPPORT COMMITTEE


Kansas' STATE CHAMPIONS

The Hill: American Farmers Need the Cuban Market

BY REPS. RICK CRAWFORD (R-ARK.), TOM EMMER (R-MINN.) AND ROGER MARSHALL (R-KAN.)

American farmers are tough patriots, but they need strong export revenues to stay in business. Building new export outlets for American farmers and allied industries has become an imperative, and Cuba should be part of that mix.

National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service: Kansas Representative Exploring Ways to Trade with Cuba

Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas, spoke with Cuba’s President earlier this week. The two discussed trade opportunities between Cuba and the U.S., a priority over the last few years for U.S. agriculture and more-so given the current trade climate.

Marshall says the U.S. “can and should be Cuba’s number one supplier of commodities like sorghum, soy, wheat, and corn.” Currently, Cuba imports roughly 80 percent of its food from Europe, Latin America and Asia. Marshall says Cuba represent a “significant opportunity” that the U.S. is missing because of “outdated and unnecessary restrictions, at a time when farm country needs new markets the most.”

High Plains Journal: US Agriculture coalition sponsors conference in Cuba

The Cuba-U.S. Agriculture Business Conference comes at a time when U.S. agriculture needs to expand into new markets, Cuba continues to depend on imports for 80 percent of its food supply, and Congress is poised in the farm bill to allow USDA export promotion programs to be used in Cuba. The conference will be Nov. 8 to 10 in Havana, Cuba, and allows participants a chance to meet ministers, leaders of agriculture industry, farmers, cooperatives and decision makers in Cuba’s newly formed government.

High Plains Journal: Kansas Soybean Association joins over 60 groups to support farm bill Cuba provision

Kansas soybean producers joined a bipartisan group of over 60 agriculture associations, businesses, and elected officials across 17 states in urging House and Senate Agriculture Committees to include a provision in the 2018 farm bill that the Congressional Budget Office determined would save $690 million over 10 years. The suggested amendment, adapted from the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 525), would expand agricultural trade with Cuba by removing restrictions on private financing for U.S. food exports. The letter also urges lawmakers to preserve a Senate provision that allows farmers to use federal market promotion funds in Cuba. Former Kansas Wheat Commission Chair Brian Linin also signed the letter.

According to Cuba Trade Magazine, Kansas exports to Cuba could reach $38 million per year if trade restrictions were lifted. Many of Kansas’ top agricultural products, such as wheat, soybeans, corn, and dairy, are staple imports for Cuba. Kansas exports over $800 million annually in wheat, but there is virtually no wheat trade between Kansas and Cuba. Cuba also imports $141 million annually in soybeans, Kansas’ third-largest farm export.

WallacesFarmer: Trade, tariffs top Kansas farmers' 2018 Farm Bill concerns

Marshall said he does believe the U.S. should seek to normalize relations with Cuba and that opening that market would be good for American agriculture. 

Salina Post: Moran visits with local constituents

During the gathering, a woman in the audience asked Moran why the U.S. doesn’t trade with Cuba. Moran said that while he doesn’t believe that the U.S. should subsidize sales to Cuba, he does believe that if Cuba has the money to buy goods from the U.S., the U.S. should be able to sell those goods to Cuba.

He noted the Constitution provided the legislative arm of government with the ability to deal with trade with other countries, but that over the years, that ability was transferred to the executive branch. Moran said Congress has made a less-than-adequate attempt to take back that authority.

The Wichita Eagle: Op-Ed: Opening trade helps Cuba, Kansas

With current decade-low commodity prices and pressures on the U.S. agriculture economy, we need to be strengthening trade relationships, not prohibiting them.

Butler County Times-Gazette: Cuban Millers Meet Kansas Farmers

An informational exchange with a group of Cuban flour mill professionals will be hosted by Kansas Wheat this week. The millers represent two of the six flour mills in Cuba and the even will allow these Cuban millers to experience Kansas farming and its wheat industry first hand.

The Washington Times: Kansas ag groups push for lifting of trade embargo with Cuba

The Wichita Eagle reports that Engage Cuba's State Council includes representatives of the Kansas Wheat Commission, Soybean Association, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association, and the Kansas Corn Growers Association.

Kansas Wheat: Wheat farmer, ag leaders share desire to open up trade with Cuba

Agriculture leaders representing America’s grain farmers and ag equipment manufacturers expressed their passion for overcoming obstacles to restore agricultural trade with Cuba during a U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) event at Commodity Classic. 

Wichita Business Journal: From Kansas to Cuba

As a fifth-generation farmer, Doug Keesling’s livelihood depends on his ability to sell crops in as many markets as possible, even if that includes exporting to a foreign country.

The Topeka Capital-Journal: Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas agriculture secretary call for Cuba trade expansion

In U.S. Senate testimony Tuesday, a former chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission joined Sen. Pat Roberts in calling on Congress to expand agricultural trade with Cuba. 

NBC Local: Trade with Cuba, opportunity for Kansas Wheat

Wheat is Cuba’s second largest import. “Right now they’re getting that all from Europe and Canada,” said Gary Millershaski, President of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers.

Kansas Agland: Working to Break Down Barriers in Cuba

With each trip, Rice County farmer Doug Keesling is seeing a different Cuba. The fifth-generation farmer sat at his kitchen table one spring afternoon, wheat fields surrounding his farmstead. 

Fox News Latino: Kansas hoping relations with Cuba opens up opportunities to export wheat

President Barack Obama's announcement this week to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease some economic restrictions has been closely followed in Kansas, as the move could open up a major market for winter wheat producers.

The Washington Times: Kansas farmer working to break down barriers in Cuba

With each trip, Rice County farmer Doug Keesling is seeing a different Cuba. The fifth-generation farmer sat at his kitchen table one spring afternoon, wheat fields surrounding his farmstead. 

The Kansas City Star: Missouri, Kansas groups to urge business with Cuba

The Engage Cuba Coalition, a national group, on Monday will announce formation of the Engage Cuba Kansas State Council and the Engage Cuba Missouri State Council. 

The High Plains Journal: Engage Cuba and Kansas farmers launch state council

Kansas farm leaders and Engage Cuba gathered in Olathe, Kansas, Sept. 19 to form the Engage Cuba Kansas State Council.