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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

December 7, 2021

K-State 105

Submitted by Ernie Minton

Last Friday, K-State officially announced the university’s Economic Prosperity Plan. This plan was developed in response to a request from the Board of Regents and highlights four areas of K-State’s unique strengths and our opportunity to build the Kansas economy. Those four key areas include food and agriculture systems innovation; digital agriculture and advanced analytics; biosecurity and biodefense; and K-State 105.

Successful implementation of K-State’s Economic Prosperity Plan will be a university-wide effort and will require partnerships with external stakeholders. However, as you can see from the titles of the four focus areas, those strengths originate (as did the writing of the plan) with the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. The concept of K-State 105 is to create an “every town to gown” initiative by leveraging the talents and relationships of our extension professionals in research centers, experiment fields and county service offices throughout the state. The K-State 105 concept was highlighted by President Myers at the KSRE Annual Conference and other system meetings.

As extension professionals, I am sure you are wondering what your role will be with the plan, especially as it relates to K-State 105. As local unit extension agents, your role will be as it has always been – to build relationships with the citizens in your region and deliver the programming and resources necessary to tackle our Grand Challenges. With the launch of the Economic Prosperity Plan, we will be looking to leverage those relationships to help connect university and state economic development resources to your communities. This may mean drawing on existing extension campus partners in the Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, or Health and Human Sciences. But likely it will also mean building new relationships with other colleges and external partners.

I encourage you to explore the university’s Economic Prosperity website. In the coming weeks, additional information and resources will be added to the website. In the spring, the College and KSRE will host a series of workshops to begin charting a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to successfully implement the Economic Prosperity Plan. At present time, not all the details and next steps are known. I appreciate your patience as we work together to develop those details and next steps.

I am proud the Board of Regents recognizes our success and ability to develop a new and stronger economy for Kansas. Let’s make this happen.