Kansas Department of Agriculture News Releases

KDA Seeks Input Using Agriculture Workforce Needs Assessment Survey

In an effort to help support growth in agriculture, the Kansas Department of Agriculture is calling on industry partners to help identify workforce needs among agricultural employers in the state by conducting the second Kansas Agriculture Workforce Needs Assessment Survey. The survey will help KDA better understand current workforce issues, trends and needs within the Kansas agriculture industry to steer future discussions and identify solutions for positive changes for our state’s leading economic driver — agriculture.

Kansas farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, manufacturers and producers of agricultural products are all being asked to complete the survey to help KDA identify the number and types of jobs in the state’s agriculture industry, and the specific skills required for those jobs. A similar survey was conducted in 2015 with results released in 2016.

“We continue to hear from our stakeholders that workforce is their number one issue,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam. “KDA has partnered with several agriculture sectors to begin to mitigate the issue, but we know more needs to be done. This survey will help us better understand the employment needs of all employers in agriculture and help promote long-term workforce solutions for Kansas agriculture.” 

The survey is currently being offered online at agriculture.ks.gov/workforce but also can be mailed to those who request a paper version. The survey will be open until April 8, 2022.

“Agriculture accounts for $47 billion in the state’s economy and supports 12 percent of the state’s workforce,” said Russell Plaschka, KDA agribusiness development director. “From information and conversations from past Ag Growth Summits, across all sectors of Kansas agriculture, we hear the need to continue to identify the specific jobs available, and the skills needed to fill open or new positions. KDA will continue to work with industry and education partners to close specific skill gaps between education and the workplace as well as refine programs that provide our young people experiences that help them find a career path.”

KDA’s mission includes serving Kansas farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and the customers they serve. A current priority is growing agriculture in the state, eliminating barriers to growth, developing workforce, and building marketing activities in-state, out-of-state and globally.

For more information on the Kansas Agriculture Workforce Needs Survey, visit agriculture.ks.gov/workforce or contact Plaschka at 785-564-7466 or Russell.Plaschka@ks.gov.