Rahjes Wears Two Hats

When Ken Rahjes is not wearing his broadcasting hat (agview.net, Agra, KS) he is working as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives. To the question of what is on the pulse of farmers, he said, “This could be described as ‘the winter of our discontent’ as it has lacked moisture in the form of snow or even rain. The warm temperatures have some farmers itching to start with field work. In fact, in mid-February we saw some anhydrous ammonia being applied. It looks like this will be a year when the wheat will use up many lives to make it to harvest.”  He adds, “The farmers we talk to are watching the commodity markets to see any positive signs, but there have not been many. There seems to be a sense of optimism for the future, just not the immediate future. Many feel if they can make it through this cropping year, they may be okay.” Ken continues, “I have been visiting with bankers and other lenders, and they are being very cautious and encouraging farmers to stay the course or back off a little. Trade is the great unknown in our country. Many in rural America voted for President Trump, but they have concerns about what the future looks like for agricultural trade. People in our area are excited about Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and what that means for agriculture. They are hoping Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and other regulations are limited or eliminated.”

Describing the other “hat” he wears as a legislator, he said, “As a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, the first quarter of the year is spent in Topeka discussing passing bills. I still maintain my daily schedule of reporting agri-business information on the AgView.net Radio Network for stations in Kansas and Nebraska and update the AgView.net website and associated social media sites (Facebook and Twitter). He admits to having to be ‘pretty good’ at time management to get it all covered, but though he does not get to as many meetings as before, he remains in contact with agricultural leaders. “Being a farm broadcaster, I believe, makes me a better legislator as I have to remain aware of what is going on around the world, in state and local with agriculture and business interests. So, I don't get too focused on what is directly in front of me, but I keep a broad approach to any subject. It also means long hours, but just like anyone involved in farm broadcasting or farming and ranching – you work until the job is done.”