FARM BILL UPDATE: Base Reallocation and Payment Yield update deadline extended to March 31st

If you haven’t heard:  Base Reallocation and Payment Yield update deadline that was originally today is now extended to March 31st!   The deadline to make the program election remains as March 31st.

The link for the news release from USDA: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/02/0051.xml&contentidonly=true

We also would like to highlight some new resources on AgManager, under Decision Tools:  http://www.agmanager.info/policy/commodity/2012/default.asp

First off, there is now a map to show announced 2014 Kansas NASS County Yields: http://www.agmanager.info/policy/commodity/2012/Yields.asp

Taking that a step further, there is also a map to show Kansas projected ARC-CO payments for wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans: http://www.agmanager.info/policy/commodity/2012/Payment.asp   Note that Jan. prices will be released at 3 pm today, so by Monday your estimate may change slightly to reflect the new price projections.

For complete information, we have have created a spreadsheet for all covered commodities in all U.S. counties that shows NASS yields, corresponding ARC-CO payments at different MYA price levels, AND  tradeoff spreadsheets for 2015.  Again, price estimates will be updated on Monday, but go ahead and take a look at this tool: http://www.agmanager.info/policy/commodity/2012/ARC-2014_Tradeoff-PLC-ARC-2015.xlsx


For more Farm Bill information, visit http://www.agmanager.info/policy/commodity/2012/.

 

Christine Wilson honored at APLU Annual Meeting

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities honored Christine Wilson, professor in agricultural economics, for completing the Food Systems Leadership Institute’s (FSLI) Executive Leadership Development Program along with the 21 other fellows in her institute cohort.

Christine WilsonThe FSLI is a 2-year program of the APLU designed for experienced leaders in academia, government, and industry. Through a dynamic curriculum that includes three executive style residential sessions, individual coaching, mentoring, and personal projects, the FSLI seeks to enhance personal leadership ability, develop skills and knowledge for organizational change, and broaden perspectives on integrated food systems.

“The FSLI was a tremendous professional development and growth opportunity for me.  It has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career,” Wilson said.

FSLI is in partnership with North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo. Financial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation helped establish FSLI in 2006.

Learn more about FSLI at www.fsli.org.

For a full list of the fellows recognized at the meeting visit http://www.fsli.org/fellows.html#cohort-8.

2014 Farm Bill: A Final Update Webinar

K-State Research and Extension’s Farm Bill meetings have concluded, but that does not mean questions regarding the policy have ceased. A new webinar, “The Agricultural Act of 2014: A Final Update”, will be broadcast March 11, 2015, at 11 a.m. CDT to discuss the latest updates.

Dr. Art Barnaby and Dr. Mykel Taylor are set to lead the webinar, which is anticipated to last about an hour for the presentation with additional time for questions. The webinar will cover the decision between selecting the Price Loss Coverage or Agricultural Risk Coverage and highlight some new resources and the Marketing Year Average price estimates released for January.

All are invited to register at https://commerce.cashnet.com/cashnetc/selfserve/BrowseCatalog.aspx. Instructions to view the webinar are sent following registration.

The fee is $25 by credit card. Problems registering should be addressed to Rich Llewelyn at rvl@ksu.edu.

Those unavailable to stream the webinar on March 11 can still access a recording by registering for the webinar and paying the fee. Following the webinar, instructions to view the recording are distributed.

This will be the last webinar before Farm Bill decisions must be made at the end of March.

For more information: Rich Llewelyn, 785-532-1504, rvl@ksu.edu

Community invited to Distinguished Young Alumni presentations Feb. 24

The K-State Student Alumni Board, a program of the K-State Alumni Association, will honor the 2015 Distinguished Young Alumni Award recipients Corey Fortin and Matt King on Feb. 24.

The award, established in 2012, recognizes two K-State graduates who are younger than 35 and are using the scholarship, leadership and service experience they acquired at K-State to excel in their professions and contribute to their communities.

Fortin and King will return to campus Feb. 23-25 to visit with student groups and university classes. The K-State community is invited to attend their keynote presentations Feb. 24 in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union. Fortin’s presentation will begin at 4 p.m. A casual reception will take place from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. outside Forum Hall, followed by King’s presentation at 5:15 p.m.

“We encourage everyone to join us for the keynote presentations, which are sure to be inspiring to current students as well as alumni,” said Amanda Lee, assistant director of student programs and Student Alumni Board adviser. “This year’s recipients truly embody what it means to be a K-Stater and are not only succeeding professionally but also are using their time and talents to better their communities.”

Fortin, a native of Oberlin, Kansas, is a commissioned member of the United States Foreign Service with the United States Agency for International Development in Uganda. USAID is the lead government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient democratic societies to realize their potential.

While at K-State, Fortin served as a member of Agriculture Ambassadors, Student Senate, Alpha Zeta agricultural honorary, Agriculture Council and 4-H, among other roles. He graduated from K-State in 2006 with degrees in agribusiness and animal sciences and industry. Fortin also earned a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas.

King, a native of Wichita, Kansas, is a fund analyst for the World Bank Group, an international development institution in Washington, D.C., that provides finance and technical assistance to developing countries. King helps manage two funds capitalized at $283 million that support energy access, renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects.

While at K-State, King was the co-founder of the nationally recognized K-State Proud campaign and president of Student Alumni Board, among other roles. He also was selected for Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. He graduated summa cum laude from K-State in 2007 with a degree in political science and natural resources and environmental sciences before continuing his education as a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, where he earned a master’s degree in environmental change and management.

More information on the Distinguished Young Alumni program is available online.

Written by:

Andrew Zender, Division of Communications and Marketing
azender@ksu.edu

New instructions available for the OSU-KSU Farm Bill Decision Tool aide

Need to compare the Price Loss Coverage, Agriculture Risk Coverage and Supplemental Coverage Option programs? The OSU-KSU Farm Bill Decision Tool allows for easy comparison based on individualized farm data. But how does it work?

What is needed?

  • Windows computer
  • Microsoft Excel 2007 or newer, with macros enabled in settings
  • The decision tool 

Quick instructions to use the tool
View excel tutorials: Microsoft, AgManager.info
Full decision tool manual here.

  1. Select state, county and crops from the pop-up menus.
  2. Enter lease percent share.
  3. Enter actual production history (if considering SCO), followed by base acres and FSA yield, reallocated base acres and updated FSA yield. The tool will calculate the reallocated base and updated numbers for you, so follow the prompts to double-click to run the update screen, select the number of tracts and enter yields and planted acres from 2008-2013. Return to Updates routes you back to the main update screen. This should fill in the reallocated base acres and updated FSA yield on the main worksheet screen, too.
  4. If considering the ARC-Individual or SCO, enter the estimated planted acres of each crop for 2014-2018.
  5. Double click to enter Marketing Year Average price forecasts for 2014-2018. The tool automatically uses FAPRI forecasts from the University of Missouri. Run a couple of scenarios with these estimates and some higher and lower for optimal results. This is the most critical piece in the tool because prices for the next five years determines the highest returns.
  6. Now, explore difference scenarios with ARC-County, PLC Information, ARC-Individual and SCO information. Additional information is needed for each program except PLC and you can then look at projected payment each year of the Farm Bill. Return to Start Page takes you back to the main screen.
  7. Finally, click View Results on the main screen to compare all your options.

Contact the Farm Bill team with questions:
Mykel Taylor, mtaylor@k-state.edu | Art Barnaby, barnaby@k-state.edu | Robin Reid, robinreid@k-state.edu

2014 Farm Bill logo

Service-oriented leadership key for Kays

Dedicated, selfless, driven and genuine were the words that first came to mind for those who know Garrett Kays, junior in agricultural economics. Kays, student senator and legislative assistant for the Governmental Relations Office at K-State, was recently selected as one of K-State’s nominees for the prestigious Truman Scholarship.

Each year, K-State ngarretkaysCOAominates a select few students deemed outstanding by their professors and peers with an interest in public service for the Truman Scholarship. K-State is allowed to nominate up to four students to compete against over 600 students from around the U.S.

While his godmother Diane Johnson, executive director of the Livestock Publications Council, said that he used to be a shy child, she said it’s clear Kays has come out of his shell.

“His mom would always want to get pictures of him every time I saw them,” Johnson said. “And he was so cute because he would always do what his mom said but as he got older, he and I got closer and now we do a bear hug every time we get to see each other. Now he’s just so friendly; how can you not like Garrett Kays? He’s so easy to like.”

His ease with people brought him to join Alpha Gamma Rho, his older brother’s fraternity, where he became friends with Logan Britton, senior in agricultural economics.

“He’s a very selfless person,” Britton said. “He doesn’t like to talk about himself. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him and watch him grow here at K-State.”

That being said, his growth as a person began before he came to K-State. Johnson said his parents raised Kays with strong family values, and taught him to work hard and do things for himself.

“He’s a very selfless person. He doesn’t like to talk about himself. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him and watch him grow here at K-State.” – Logan Britton

According to Kays, Monica Murnan, who ran a program at St. Mary’s-Colgan High School, taught him to open his horizons and interact with different kinds of people. He also credited Chuck Smith, his high school football coach, with helping him develop into the person he is today.

“I can’t remember how many times – whenever he had the opportunity to talk about football – that he’d talk about his players becoming better gentlemen, becoming better Catholics, becoming better community servants,” Kays said of the coach who had been with St. Mary’s-Colgan for 27 years. “Sometimes during summer weights, we wouldn’t even do weights. We would go and pick up trash at the cemetery. He taught me about being a good football player and being a good competitor, but he taught me the most about being a gentleman and being a good contributing member of the community.”

Contributing to the community spilled over into every aspect of Kays’ life. From serving as an Ag Ambassador to serving in the Student Governing Association, Kays has devoted his time at K-State to serving others. This is something he said he hopes to continue with after graduation.

Kays wrote his policy proposal for the Truman scholarship about the things he hopes to achieve long term.

“My policy proposal is regarding U.S. agriculture aid programs,” Kays said. “Currently, we spend about $2.2 billion in (agricultural) aid across the world. Problem is in a short run, this has no positive implications other than making sure people are nourished for a short period of time. We’re giving people a fish, but not teaching them how to fish.”

“I saw his picture on the wall of Rhodes and Truman recipients and I thought to myself, ‘I want to be on that wall.’” – Garrett Kays

After pursuing a doctoral degree, Kays said he hopes to work for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which oversees the Feed the Future Initiative. The initiative is based around doing research for agriculture in impoverished countries at land-grant universities. The subject hits close to home for Kays, as four of the initiative’s 24 labs are located at K-State. Kays said he hopes to see the program use local and regional goods instead of shipping goods abroad to help solve short and long-term problems in the 19 focus countries.

“I want to be part of the decisions that help form agricultural aid policy across the world,” Kays said. “I see an opportunity to make it more effective and efficient with U.S. taxpayer dollars, as well as solving issues with food and security.”

His passion for problem solving was ignited by a Pre-K agricultural literacy program that Kays and his older brother Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness, started to teach 3-5 year olds about agricultural basis.

“He’s very much about public service and making as big of an impact as he can,” Reagan Kays said. “He’s very service-oriented. He’s way more than me; he wants to be a public servant and change the world. He doesn’t settle with things. If he thinks something needs to be changed, he’ll make the steps to change it.”

Garrett Kays’ desire to apply for a national competitive scholarship began early on when a student from a neighboring town that had been destroyed by a tornado was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship.

“I remember on my campus tour, I walked by the plaques that they have on the left there at Hale Library,” Garrett Kays said. “I saw his picture on the wall of Rhodes and Truman recipients and I thought to myself, ‘I want to be on that wall.’ I saw this guy from my home county, a guy who probably showed at the same county fair that I did, and was involved in rural and agricultural activities receive this prestigious award so even before I came to K-State, applying for these national scholarships had piqued my interest.”

An award of this caliber is no small feat, but his friends and family believe there is nothing he can’t do. Reagan Kays said he feels that his younger brother’s passion, patience and selflessness make him an ideal candidate. For Britton, the maturity and dedication that Garrett Kays brings to the table is what sets him apart from the rest.

“In Weir, Kansas, nobody thinks that they can take their interests to a national level,” Garrett Kays said. ”To me, winning the Truman would show that no matter where you come from, you can make a difference.”

Written by: Bridget Beran

Photo by: Cassandra Nguyen

K-State Collegian

K-State’s 102nd Annual Cattlemen’s Day Planned March 6

Kansas State University’s 102nd Annual Cattlemen’s Day will be held Friday, March 6 in Weber Hall in Manhattan.

Weber Arena buzzed with conversation during the exhibit portion of the 2014 Cattlemen's Day event.

Weber Arena buzzed with conversation during the exhibit portion of the 2014 Cattlemen’s Day event.

The day will feature presentations, breakout sessions, a commercial trade show and educational exhibits, plus morning refreshments. Lunch will be sponsored by U.S. Premium Beef and commercial exhibitors. Doors will open at 8 a.m. for registration when the trade show and exhibits will be available. The program begins at 10 a.m. More information and advance registration is available at http://www.ksubeef.org.

Bob Langert, McDonald’s Corporation vice president for corporate social responsibility and sustainability will give the keynote address, “What is a Sustainable Beef Industry?” The presentation will focus on sustainability from the consumer perspective, how it influences reactions by the foodservice and retail sectors, and ultimately, how it may impact demand for beef and future beef production practices.

K-State agricultural economists Glynn Tonsor and Ted Schroeder will give their perspectives on the short- and long-term cattle industry outlook, plus key drivers that will influence future U.S. and global beef production and markets.

Other presentations by K-State specialists, Kansas Water Office and University of Florida-Marianna, include:

  • Zilmax – The Reintroduction;
  • Animal Welfare and the Consumer;
  • Sensory Attributes and Beef Flavor;
  • Synchronization Strategies for Breeding Females;
  • Crossbreeding Programs for the Beef Herd;
  • Drylot Production for Breeding Females;
  • Antibiotic Use in Beef Production;
  • Water Resources and Implications for Agricultural Practices;
  • Interface Between Endangered Species and the Beef Industry; and
  • Update on Pasture Burning Regulations.

Cattlemen’s Day will conclude with K-State’s 38th Annual Legacy Sale at 3:30 p.m. at the Stanley Stout Center. The sale features more than 70 Angus, Hereford and Simmental bulls, five show heifer prospects, more than 30 bred females and six registered Quarter horses. Sale details can be found online at http://asi.ksu.edu/bullsale.

Story by:
Mary Lou Peter, K-State Research and Extension
mlpeter@ksu.edu
http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/

For more information:
Eve Clark – 785-532-1280 or evec@ksu.edu
Dr. Dale Blasi – 785-532-5427 or dblasi@ksu.edu

Chuck Munson, Distinguished Alumni, and wife Deanna featured in Kansas Profile article

It’s time to name the Grand Champion at the American Royal. And here it is! But this isn’t the grand champion steer, it is the grand champion steak. The American Royal has wisely started to honor a top quality end product, in the form of a steak, as well as the traditional grand champion steer. The Grand Champion steak for 2013 is from the Munson Angus farm near Junction City, Kansas. The Munson family are high quality beef producers and innovators in marketing their product all the way to the consumer.

Deanna and Chuck Munson are owners of the Munson Angus farm and a new restaurant, Munson’s Prime, in Junction City. Counting their grandchildren, there have been six generations of the Munson family in Geary County going back to the 1870s. In 1924, they started breeding Angus cattle for their superior meat production and quality.

Charles and Deanna and son David now operate some 200 Angus cows and 2,000 acres of pasture plus 3,000 acres of crop ground. Friends and neighbors started buying Munson beef directly from the farm and then the Munsons opened a retail outlet for fresh beef in Junction City. One constant through all the years had been the hearty meals prepared for family and farmworkers each day, and those could be marketed to others too. The Munsons discussed trying to get all their enterprises under one roof.

Meanwhile, a Munson steak was entered in the competition at the American Royal. The purpose of this competition is to identify the best tasting steak in America. The winner, based on a sensory lab and trained judges, was the steak from Munsons.

In January 2014, the Munsons bought a closed restaurant building located near I-70 in Junction City, gutted the entire building and started over. The result is a beautiful building with native stone, attractive wood, comfortable leather chairs up front, digital photo displays, and lots of seating.

The restaurant is called Munson’s Prime. It includes a retail store plus a restaurant with hearty farm and ranch meals offered for lunch, plus a bar and grill and a steakhouse which is open Thursday through Sunday nights plus midday on weekends. It even has a drive thru.

Years before, Deanna Munson served on the Geary County Fair Board and volunteered to make homemade ice cream to sell at the fair as a fundraiser. “I made 65 gallons using borrowed freezers from all the neighbors and every sink in my house,” Deanna said. It was a huge success, but it was so much work that Deanna vowed never to do it again.

At the state fair, Deanna saw a wagon carrying two ice cream freezers selling ice cream. The Munsons ended up buying an ice cream wagon like that which they then used at the county fair.

Then the Munsons saw a larger, stationary ice cream machine while visiting Silver Dollar City. It inspired them to put a similar machine in their new restaurant, Munson’s Prime. Every piece of this new, ten-foot tall ice cream machine was built by the Munson farm crew in their farm shop.  It includes four five-gallon ice cream freezers set in attractive metalwork complete with pulleys turning belts. It’s a whole lot easier than making it by hand, but they still use the original recipe of Deanna’s grandmother with locally-grown Jersey milk.

In addition to Munson beef and homemade ice cream, the menu features as many other locally-grown products as the Munsons can find. This supports local and rural growers. One man is raising an entire garden to supply Munson’s Prime next year. Sweet corn, for example, comes from a farmer near the rural community of Tampa, population 112 people. Now, that’s rural.

For more information, go to www.munsonsprime.com.

It’s time to leave the American Royal, where a steak from Munsons was named Grand Champion. Now that beef is available through a retail store and restaurant in Junction City. We commend Deanna and Charles Munson and family for making a difference in their marketing of beef. I think the way they champion the beef industry is grand.

Story by:
Ron Wilson, K-State Research & Extension News
rwilson@ksu.edu

The Huck Boyd Institute can be reached at 785-532-7690

Wichita Farm Bill meeting videos now available online at AgManager.info – 4 meetings left to attend

Coverage from the 2014 Farm Bill meeting held in Wichita (Jan. 12, 2015), is now available online at http://www.agmanager.info/policy/commodity/2012/default.asp.

There are 4 videos that include Art Barnaby’s presentation, 1 video including Jody Campiche’s cotton presentation (Oklahoma State University Agricultural Economics), 1 video of Mykel Taylor’s presentation, and 1 video of Wichita’s FSA representative, Sean Rafferty.

On this page, click the link in the “download” column to view these videos in a new window.  When in the new video window, select the “info” button in the video browser to show links to more information. If you have questions about these videos or need assistance, please contact Rich Llewelyn at rvl@ksu.edu.

Remaining meetings occur:
Feb. 10 - Phillipsburg
Feb. 11 - Hays
Feb. 12 - Frankfort
Feb. 13 - Atchison
These events are free, however have been full at every location.  Reserve your seat by contacting the local county extension agent for each location, details can be found here.

Health Care Access ‘Doctors Up’ Local Economies

Many thoughts go into choosing a place to live and work. Access to affordable housing, high-quality schools and a comprehensive health care system are among those considerations that typically rise to the top of the list.

“Access to health care service is one thing you want for yourself and your family,” said Blaine Miller, administrator for the Republic County Hospital in Belleville, Kansas. “If you have a robust hospital with doctors and the health care services you would need, the likelihood of going there is better than going some place that doesn’t have those health care services.”

Economic development, particularly for rural communities, relies on quality of life attributes such as health care, which can include access not only to hospitals, but also physician offices, pharmacies, ambulatory care, dental care, nursing care, and wellness and fitness centers.

These establishments can contribute directly to the local economy through employment and income from items such as retail sales and tax revenue, said John Leatherman, professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University and director of the Office of Local Government, K-State Research and Extension. A sustainable health care system has many other indirect economic benefits, including attracting and maintaining other business and industry growth, and keeping retirees in the local area.

“The local health care industry contributes about 10 to 15 percent of the total economic activity in any given Kansas county,” Leatherman said. “Hospitals are often the second largest employer in a county, followed only behind local government and the school system. Indirectly, it allows other businesses to have access to a healthy and productive workforce.”

Leatherman, a specialist in community and regional economics, studies the health care industry in Kansas by analyzing three main items: the economic contribution of local health services in Kansas’ counties and the state as a whole, the health care needs in rural communities and the direct feasibility of various health services brought into a community.

His work is part of the Kansas Rural Health Works (http://www.krhw.net/) program, and his most recent state report, “The Importance of the Health Care Sector to the Kansas Economy,” (http://www.kha-net.org/Communications/MediaReleases/101030.aspx) was released January 2015 with funding provided by the Kansas Hospital Association and K-State Research and Extension.

Building local economies
The report shows the estimated total economic contribution of health services in Kansas. Health services directly and indirectly support 357,408 jobs in the state, which is up nearly 9,000 from a year ago and have gradually increased over time following national trends. National employment in health services has increased 75 percent from 1990 to 2010 and by about 350 percent since 1970.

The Kansas health care industry contributes an estimated $17.5 billion in income, retail sales of $5.5 billion, and sales tax revenue of at least $340 million for the state alone, according to the report.

Nationally, the health sector is projected to continue growing in its share of the gross domestic product. In 1970, Americans spent $74.9 billion on health care, which was 7 percent of the GDP. In 2012, health care costs increased to about $2.82 trillion, or 17 percent of the GDP. If trends continue, the cost by 2023 will be $5.16 trillion, or 19 percent of the GDP.

Leatherman said even during the U.S. economic recession in 2009, all industries shrunk except for health care, which may have slowed in growth but continued on an upward trend despite tough economic times.

“When you think about the kind of spending we do for health services, it’s quite considerable, and spending continues to grow,” he said. “For communities to have greater economic viability, they will want to capture a piece of that growth.”

Building healthy communities
During his career in the medical field, Miller said he’s noticed that an aging baby boomer population combined with issues associated with obesity and other lifestyle choices have made health care a growing demand.

“We’re also seeing a younger population bring in mom and/or dad into the community so they can be closer and take care of them,” he said. “That increases our older population.”

Leatherman agrees that health care access tends to attract and retain a population of older adults, who tend to control, even at modest levels, economic dollars made possible through government assistance programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

“Many of these older people rank health services No. 1 or No. 2 for community importance, only behind protective services such as law enforcement,” Leatherman said.

Miller said people of all ages in the community need to have access to primary care services. These services might include such practices as health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention, counseling, patient education, and diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (http://www.aafp.org/about/policies/all/primary-care.html).

In addition to primary care services, each community typically has specific needs, which is where the community health needs assessment comes in to help inspire change and make a community overall healthier. Miller said about 10 years ago, the needs expressed included more specialist doctors and facilities, but the most recent assessment showed the need for wellness activities.

“People were asking, ‘Where can we go when weather is bad and walk for exercise?’” Miller said. “With our city and county, we are now working on a trails program to create opportunities where people can go out and safely walk as a form of exercise.”

Key challenges in rural areas
Having access to sustainable health care is something people shouldn’t take for granted, Leatherman said, but many don’t think about health services until they need them. Many challenges remain to keep local health services intact, such as acquiring and retaining qualified health professionals to rural areas, and properly defining priorities and resources.

Miller said getting physicians and other health professionals to come to rural communities and stay is always an issue. To help with this, his hospital and hospital board supports scholarships funded by a bequest and provided to health staff members to advance their education and certification if they plan to stay and work in Republic County.

Additionally, Miller said Republic County participates in the Rural Opportunity Zones program through the Kansas Department of Commerce (http://www.kansascommerce.com/index.aspx?nid=320), which has allowed the hospital to support a physical therapist and medical technologist on student loan repayment.

Telemedicine, or providing health care at a distance, also helps increase health care access to people who live in rural areas, he said. The Republic County Hospital partners with Pawnee Mental Health in Manhattan, for example, for patient evaluations via telemedicine.

“Those technologies allow you to stretch the physician’s capabilities and keep those patients from having to travel as much,” Miller said. “They may have an initial face-to-face evaluation, but the follow ups can be done via telemedicine. We are exploring this option for oncology services.”

Miller added that in Republic County, he’s been fortunate to have a fairly stable medical staff and community support to allow for building projects and advancements to the hospital. But, differences exist in the health services and financial support available in communities throughout the state.

“The Kansas Hospital Association has a technical advisory group looking for an alternative care delivery system for hospitals that are struggling financially to maintain primary care services and keep people in the community,” he said. “Distance really is our enemy out here in the rural areas.”

Leatherman said he has witnessed rural communities coming together and developing initiatives to keep their health care services strong. In addition to hospital administrators, it takes government, business and civic leaders to join in the effort.

“Many communities value health services similarly, but when you have a gap, it is keenly felt,” Leatherman said. “When it’s important, there is money to be had, but it takes defining priorities despite resources.”

Through these and other challenges, however, come many more rewards, Miller said. Working in the health care industry, particularly in rural areas, is a call to service. It means caring for friends, relatives and people you know, which is likely why the motto of the Republic County Hospital is, “Our family caring for your family.”

“Health care is getting more and more challenging with all of the budget cuts, the cuts to Medicare and all of that,” he said. “The reward is being able to continue providing those necessary services in spite of all of those financial challenges, being able to embrace change and being able to do a better job at what we do with less. When you accomplish that, it’s a job well done.”


Story by:
Katie Allen
katielynn@ksu.edu
785-532-1162
K-State Research and Extension

For more information:
John Leatherman – jleather@ksu.edu or 785-532-4492, http://www.ksu-olg.info/
Blaine Miller – bkmiller@rphospital.org or 785-527-2254

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,900 other followers