Kansas Department of Agriculture News Releases

American Royal Association Announces Plans to Move to Kansas

The American Royal Association announced Tuesday afternoon that they have reached an agreement with the State of Kansas and Unified Government to relocate to Wyandotte County, Kansas.

In a room packed with agricultural industry leaders from across Kansas, the American Royal Association on Tuesday announced plans to move to Wyandotte County, Kansas.

Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey issued the following statement in response to the agreement:  “The American Royal is a perfect fit for Kansas for many reasons – from a shared rich heritage supporting animal agriculture to a commitment to providing high-quality agricultural education opportunities. But one of the primary reasons this move makes sense is our shared focus on continued growth and improvement. We know the future of agriculture in Kansas doesn’t look like the industry we grew up in; instead, we know that we’re going to have to build new partnerships, take chances on new technologies and new production practices, explore innovative marketing opportunities, and engage with and learn from our consumers and customers. The partnership we’re building with the American Royal is not simply about creating a new livestock show facility, but about developing a committed partnership to drive agriculture forward.”

The following statement was issued by Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soave:  “The American Royal and the tradition of excellence that it brings are perfect for the state of Kansas, its business climate and its quality of life. Together, our ability to innovate while maintaining traditions is part of what makes Kansas such a unique place to live and work. We look forward to partnering with the American Royal, the Department of Agriculture and the Unified Government as we move into the future and build on the already superb experience of living in Kansas.”

The full news release issued by the American Royal Association is as follows:

A NEW HOME FOR THE AMERICAN ROYAL

Association announces plans to move to Kansas

Kansas City, Kan. (October 25, 2016) — The American Royal Association announced Tuesday afternoon that they have reached an agreement with the State of Kansas and Unified Government to relocate to Wyandotte County, Kansas. 

“The American Royal currently hosts more than 50 events annually, attracting nearly 270,000 attendees and has an economic impact of more than $60 million annually. Last year we awarded $1.4 million in scholarships and support to our youth education programs,” said Angie Stanland, chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Royal. “Our priorities in the due diligence process were to find a regional home that would allow us to fulfill our mission, accommodate our growing events and allow for future growth. We have found the ideal location to do just that.”

The American Royal Association, which began as the National Hereford Show in 1899, has evolved into a comprehensive season of events and outreach including six equestrian shows, a livestock show, youth and PRCA rodeos, agricultural education programs and the world’s largest barbecue competition – the World Series of Barbecue©.

The new complex will include arena space, exhibit space, high-quality barn/expo space, and a new agriculture education center and museum. The agricultural education center will provide a state-of-the-art learning experience, covering all facets of the food and agricultural industry.The goal is to provide a unique, interactive food and agricultural learning experience, both indoor and outdoor, to instill a higher level of trust and knowledge about modern food and agricultural practices.

“I want Kansas City to be the world leader in agriculture technology and animal genetics,” said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. “The American Royal will serve as a focal point in helping us continue to build a vibrant animal and agriculture corridor from Wyandotte County to Manhattan, home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. This strong partnership between the state of Kansas, Unified Government and the American Royal solidifies the reputation Kansas enjoys as one of the world’s foremost producers and exporters of food and agricultural products.”

“Kansas is committed to providing opportunities to encourage additional growth and expansion of agriculture in the state and far beyond its borders" Governor Brownback continues. "A new home for the American Royal complex in Kansas enhances the overall agricultural focus in the state and elevates Kansas’ prominence in the U.S. agricultural industry.”

"I'm excited that the American Royal project, after several years of work, is beginning to come together in some very tangible ways," said Mayor Mark Holland, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas. "The new vision for the Royal that has emerged is a hub and showcase for agriculture and animal science. This new hub has the potential to be a game-changer for the Animal Health Corridor and the Midwest."

The addition of the American Royal in the region will enhance the focus on agriculture that has been supported by the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame (NAC) in nearby Bonner Springs. The NAC board expressed its support of the American Royal’s plans: “This is an exciting opportunity for the American Royal and National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame to work together to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the state’s leading industry.”

Agriculture is the largest industry, economic driver and employer in Kansas. It accounts for 43 percent of the state's economy and employs 12 percent of the state’s workforce. In 2014, Kansas exported more than $4.7 billion in agricultural products. Kansas is among the nation’s leaders in the production of wheat, sorghum, cattle and beef processing. Serving as the home for the American Royal will enhance the overall agricultural focus within Kansas and elevate the state’s prominence in the U.S. agricultural industry.

About The American Royal Association

Woven through the history of Kansas City since 1899, the American Royal inspires and cultivates dreams by providing agricultural competitive learning, educational experiences, and scholarships. The American Royal is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization that contributes more than $1 million annually through youth education programs and scholarships. Over 270,000 attendees annually attend American Royal events that generate over $60 million of economic impact. To learn more about the American Royal visit americanroyal.com.

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