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Serving: KS

Kansas businesses receive Governor’s Awards of Excellence

Colby Lysne/Getty Images Cows grazing in pasture
CALF CARE: Farmers and ranchers raising calves now have access to the free Calf Care and Quality Assurance program online at Modeled after Beef Quality Assurance principles, this program addresses the particular needs of the calf-raising industry, and had input from the beef and dairy sectors.
Kansas Digest: Businesses recognized, broadband expansion, calf care, USDA celebrates 160th anniversary

Gov. Laura Kelly announced KanPak, an Arkansas City-based manufacturing company, is the winner of the 2021 Governor’s Award of Excellence, the top award given to a business by the state.

Founded in 1965 as Kansas Food Packers, KanPak began as a family-owned dairy company producing juices, coffee drinks and ice cream treats. In the decades since, KanPak has grown to be an industry leader and innovator in aseptic beverage and dessert packaging technology. KanPak’s customers include national brands such as Chick-fil-A, Whataburger and 7-Eleven. Once a small operation, KanPak now distributes products worldwide.

Also recognized were:

  • Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Pittsburg, Hospital or Non-Profit Award
  • Dodge City Brewing, Dodge City, Retail Award
  • Landoll Corp., Marysville, Business Innovation Award
  • NIC Inc., Olathe, Service Award
  • Paul Porter, Iola, Welcome Back Award
  • Waylon Sheetz, Belleville, Under 30 Entrepreneur or Businessperson Award

Broadband development

Kelly also announced the 11 recipients of the Broadband Acceleration Grant program, resulting in more than $10 million of investment in high-speed broadband access across 10 rural Kansas counties.

Launched in 2020, the Broadband Acceleration Grant is a 10-year, $85 million program that will bring critically needed broadband access to Kansas communities. The program is administered by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development and funded through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). This second year of the program brings the total broadband infrastructure investment in Kansas communities to more than $70 million since 2020.

Calf Care and Quality Assurance program

Farmers and ranchers raising calves now have access to the free Calf Care and Quality Assurance program online at The program was developed with an understanding of the diversity of ranches, being science- and outcome-based, while maintaining facility type and size neutrality.

CCQA provides a framework that serves as a resource for anyone working in the calf-raising industry. In addition to the manual, online modules and self-assessment tools, CCQA will release an audit tool later this year. Completion of the online modules provides certification equivalent to Beef Quality Assurance certification.

CCQA certification helps ensure optimal calf health and welfare and is the first collaborative educational tool that provides guidelines for calf raisers. The program is a joint initiative led by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s beef checkoff-funded BQA program and the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management program. It’s managed by the National Milk Producers Federation with support from the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association, and the beef checkoff-funded Veal Quality Assurance program.

Happy 160th, USDA

According to the USDA, May marks the 89th anniversary of the FSA, and USDA marks 160 years. That’s a lot of years spent supporting the nation’s agricultural community with the critical programs and services they need to provide America’s food, fuel and fiber. When you stop to think about where agriculture was 160 years ago, the state of farming and ranching today, with all of the technological advancements, is nothing short of miraculous.

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