Kansas Agriculture Emergency Response Corps

KAERC logo
Agricultural emergencies threaten not only the health and well-being of animals, but also the health and well-being of humans. These incidents, especially those involving a foreign animal disease, could lead to a wide range of consequences, including the loss of large numbers of livestock and agricultural products and a decrease in food quality and security, and could potentially result in devastating human health consequences affecting the community. For these reasons, it is critical that we take necessary precautions to prepare our state and our communities for these types of incidents.

During a large-scale incident, the limited state and federal staff cannot fill all necessary roles; therefore, the Kansas Department of Agriculture is looking to utilize the community and their wide range of skills. It is here that we recognize the need for an agricultural emergency response team. The Kansas Agricultural Emergency Response Corps (KAERC) will be comprised of volunteers who will be trained and prepared to respond rapidly and efficiently to an agricultural emergency. KAERC volunteers will work alongside the Kansas Department of Agriculture in response and recovery situations. 

KAERC Overview

The vision for the KAERC is a well-trained team of professionals, whose purpose is planning for and responding to agricultural incidents within the state of Kansas. This includes volunteers and agencies from many different backgrounds, possessing a wide range of proficiencies. The KAERC is to be an extension of the KDA staff with the same expectations as those within the department. Community members bring a variety of skill sets to the table. By utilizing these different skill sets, the KAERC can extend beyond the field of veterinary science to include a wide range of career specialists that are valuable in response to an agricultural incident. These volunteers will be able to choose the roles they feel comfortable in and will operate under the direct supervision of KDA.

This volunteer team of professionals will offer a wide range of skills, backgrounds and knowledge in preparing for and combatting an agricultural emergency or foreign animal disease. It is this multi-disciplinary feature that strengthens our forces. KAERC volunteers will be well equipped to deal with any agricultural emergency that threatens our state. KAERC volunteers will gain valuable emergency preparedness knowledge, skills and experience, giving them the tools to not only aid the state, but their communities and families. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to gain meaningful and trusting relationships with the KDA and other team members, as well as other cooperative state and federal agencies.

In addition to these roles, the KAERC volunteers will assist in public education and community outreach programs. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help provide education and awareness on emergency preparedness to the public, as well as to serve as an advocate for the program.

Volunteer position descriptions and application info

Click here to learn how to get involved with the KAERC. 

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Find out more about the Kansas Agriculture Emergency Response Corps.
  • What is the KAERC?

  • How do I join the KAERC?

  • Is there an age requirement or limit for belonging to the KAERC?

  • What types of tasks can I perform as a KAERC volunteer?

  • Who manages the KAERC?

  • Will I be a state employee if I join the KAERC?

  • Where do I get more information?

  • How can I obtain KAERC outreach materials?

  • Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be a KAERC volunteer?

  • How many KAERC volunteers are there?

  • Are there standards of behavior for KAERC volunteers and their programs?

  • What are the benefits of affiliation with KAERC?

  • Is it mandatory to join?

  • Are there training requirements for KAERC volunteers?

  • Will this program be in alignment to the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS)?

  • Once I’m a member of the KAERC, can I volunteer at any disaster?

  • Will I need to undergo a background check?

  • Can I get paid for being a volunteer?

  • How long could I be deployed?

  • Will I be deployed out of state?

  • What if I get hurt?

  • Does membership in KAERC provide job protection if I am activated and deployed to a response?

Training Opportunities & Important Dates

Click here to learn about training opportunities and dates.