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Why Agriculture?

Why Focus on Agriculture?

Kansas has a strong agricultural tradition that predates its statehood, and agriculture continues to be a significant contributor to the state’s economic well-being.  


Today, Kansas is a leader in wheat, grain sorghum and beef production. The dairy sector is rapidly expanding in Kansas and other sectors of animal agriculture are growing as well. Farmers and ranchers across the state are responding to demand from consumers to raise healthy, wholesome food and are also continuously striving to do better, raising more food using fewer resources. 


Agriculture is a critical part of Kansas’ past, and it is a key economic driver in our present, but it also holds great potential for our future. Kansas Agriculture at KDA


This article "5 Reasons Agriculture is Among Hottest Growing Industries" by Jeffrey Simmons outlines the importance of teaching agriculture to our students and its impact on our society. 


Agriculture was chosen as the focus for the career academy for several reasons:

  • Alignment with current district offerings at Walton Rural Life Center
  • Currently offer 14 ag-related courses at Newton High School
  • Ag supports 229,934 jobs in Kansas or 12% of the workforce
  • KS ag economic contribution is approximately $62.8 billion
  • 22 million Americans work in ag-related careers
  • Many opportunities for partnerships in our local community

Careers in Agriculture

Agriculture is much more than farming! Careers include communication, economics, education, engineering, agronomy, food science, animal science and more! To see list of potential jobs related to agriculture check out the career profiles at Ag



Economic Impact of Agriculture on Kansas

In the top ten by employment, Beef cattle ranching and farming, including feedlots and dual-purpose ranching and farming is the top employer in the agriculture industry with 42,228.4 employees. This table also shows the amount of jobs that are created by the agriculture industry in Kansas.


Description Total Employment Total Output
Beef cattle ranching & farming, includes feedlots and dual-purpose ranching and farming 42,228.4 8,857,751,387
Wholesale trade 11,700.7 2,824,834,123
Landscape and horticultural services 11,152.1 645,833,148
Animal, except poultry, slaughtering 10,692.0 7,992,778,951
Grain farming 9,421.9 4,613,027,909
All other crop farming 7,751.4 653,496,959
Truck transportation 7,713.3 1,317,414,292
Meat processed from carcasses 6,622.8 3,608,378,482
Farm machinery and equipment manufacturing 5,890.2 3,288,563,405
Real Estate 5,885.1 1,094,542,956


The Beef cattle ranching and farming, including feedlots and dual-purpose ranching and farming industry directly contributes approximately $ 8.9 billion to the Kansas economy. To see the estimated economic impact of agriculture, food and food processing sectors in Kansas as of August 2017, open the Kansas Agriculture's Economic Report.