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Area agricultural agencies and organizations

Published 5/2/2012

Area agricultural agencies and organizations

Finney County 4-H

Finney County 4-H is a community of young people engaged in learning, citizenship and life skills.

Finney County has eight 4-H community clubs and three project clubs, including horse, rabbit and dog clubs. Club members strive to serve the community, Addison says, adding that projects vary but involve community service.

The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, oversees 4-H as a national organization. 4-H started around the start of the 20th century — the seed of the 4-H idea of practical, hands-on learning came from a desire to increase the connection between public school education and country life.

4-H traditionally serves rural youth but it also is involved in city and metropolitan areas where youth either live in town already or moved from the country.

The four H's on the clover representing 4-H symbolize head for critical thinking and problem solving, heart for self-discipline, integrity and communication, hands for serving others, and health for choosing a healthy lifestyle.

For more information or to join 4-H, call 272-3670.

Finney County Extension

The Finney County Extension office offers information and events related to, among other topics, agriculture, home economics, youth development, family life, business and economics and healthy living.

The office is at 501 S. Ninth St., but the agents extend themselves beyond the location by taking programs to schools, gardens, community centers and elsewhere. From the Extension Lunch and Learn program — typically the first Thursday of each month September through May at the Finney County Public Library — to the Finney County Fair, the office's services run the gamut.

According to the Extension office, the philosophy "is to help people help themselves by taking university knowledge to where people live, work, play, develop and lead."

Extension agents try to be responsive to people's needs through focusing their resources on providing quality information, education and problem-solving programs for "real concerns."

The office can be reached at 272-3670, or by visiting

Kansas State University Southwest Research-Extension Center

The Southwest Research-Extension Center is one of the centers, along with the Hays, Tribune and Colby research and extension centers, making up the Western Kansas Agricultural Research Centers.

In 2007, the Southwest Research-Extension Center celebrated its centennial, with the first building at the site northeast of Garden City constructed in 1907.

It first started as the Garden City Branch Experiment Station, established in 1907 after the Finney County Commission leased an initial 320 acres of land to the Kansas State Board of Regents. The station has since grown to be nearly 1,100 acres with modern offices, shops, laboratories, computer technology and up-to-date machinery. It became known as the Southwest Research-Extension Center in 1986.

SWREC is part of the bigger network of the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, or K-State Research and Extension for short. As a whole, K-State Research and Extension employs about 300 research scientists, 180 faculty specialists and program leaders, 270 county and area specialists and 400 support staff.

SWREC is located at 4500 E. Mary St. Call 276-8286 or 275-9164 for more information. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Farm Service Agency

Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Farm Service Agency administers and manages farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs laid out by Congress through a network of federal, state and county offices.

The programs are directly administered through the state and county offices. The offices certify farmers for farm programs and pay farm subsidies and disaster payments.

According to FSA, there are about 2,300 FSA county offices in the U.S. FSA programs aim to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry and help farmers adjust production to meet demand. The desired economic result of the programs is a steady price range for agricultural commodities for producers and consumers.

FSA also has more than 8,000 farmer county committee members in offices nationwide.

The Finney County FSA office is at 2106 E. Spruce St. in Garden City. The director is Patty Stude. The farm loan manager is Robert M. Dean. They can be reached at 275-0211.

Farmer Cooperatives

* Garden City Co-Op Inc.

Address: 106 N. Sixth St., Garden City

Phone: 275-6161

* Dighton Co-op

Phone: (620) 397-5343 or (800) 254-6983

* Ulysses Co-op

(620) 356-1219 or (800) 242-9754

Because of the volatility in all the grain markets, Garden City Co-Op buys grain only when the markets are open and trading, 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Contracting new crop grains require 5,000 bushel increments. All prices quoted are per bushel. Prices are updated on a 10-minute delay with the futures.

Garden City Co-op, Inc. was founded in 1919. Its member/owners number 2,052.

The Grain Division counts 18 elevators covering an area from Ulysses in the south to Shields in the north. It is capable of storing 20,434,000 bushels. The Crop Production Division, with locations at Lowe and Dighton, serves farmers in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and handles distribution of both fertilizer and chemical through state-of-the-art application equipment. The Petroleum Division is the largest distributor of Cenex refined fuels and is one of the largest distributors of Cenex lubricants in the United States. These divisions are served through Western Transport, Garden City Co-Op's Transportation Division.

Garden City Co-Op has about 120 employees.

Its board is comprised of board chair Boyd Lear, Plymell; vice chair Thomas Mulville, Dighton; secretary-treasurer, Randy Richmeier, Deerfield; assistant secretary-treasurer, Kendall Clark, Dighton; director Michael Deaver, Plymell; director Tim Miller, Holcob; director Steven Krehbiel, Friend; associate director Gerald Fay, Dighton; associate director Marissa Kleysteuber, Plymell; associate director Tyler Hands, Plymell; and associate director Kyle Maddux, Deerfield.

* Scott Co-Op

Address: P.O. Box 350

410 E 1st St., Scott City

Phone: (620) 872-5823

Scott Co-Op's state purpose is to be a profitable agricultural community leader focused on providing value to meet our customers and owners needs. Manager Gary Friesen says the co-op was established in 1957 and has 1,480 members. They also have facilities in Marienthal, Shallow Water, Grigston, Manning and Modoc.

* Sublette Cooperative Inc.

Address: P.O. Box 340, Sublette, KS 67877-0340

Phone: (620) 675-2297

The Sublette Cooperative, Inc, was founded in 1929 by 86 charter members of Haskell county. The cooperative was formed to aid the members in their agricultural endeavors. Through the years, the cooperative has grown to more than a $10 million dollar asset providing the members grain storage and marketing; crop production services and products; Cenex petroleum products and auto services.

* United Prairie Ag, LLC

Address: 1125 West Oklahoma, Ulysses

Phone: (620) 356-4421

United Prairie Ag, LLC (UPA), head-quartered in Ulysses is a joint venture between Cropland Co-op Inc. and ADM Grain Division. UPA was formed in January 2006 and employs more than 75 full-time employees. The general manager is Bob Ward.

UPA operates elevator facilities in nine communities with a total of 18 million bushels of storage capacity. In addition, UPA is the managing partner for Santa Fe Trail Grain Terminal, a joint venture with UPA, Skyland Grain and ADM. UPA's Agronomy Division offers sales and service of dry, liquid and NH3 fertilizers, chemicals and seed. Delivery and custom application of chemicals and fertilizers is available from four full-service Agronomy Centers, which are strategically located throughout a trade territory that encompasses more than 4,000 square miles and is comprised of irrigated and dry-land crops including wheat, corn, milo, alfalfa, soybeans and sunflowers. UPA's Petroleum Division operates several pay-at-the-pump fueling locations. Sales and delivery of lubricant products and bulk fuel products including unleaded, E-10 ethanol, farm fuel and road diesel are also available.

Source: Area Co-Ops and Finney County Extension

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