The Kansas Department of Commerce this week kicks off its 41st Annual Wheat Harvest Program, which remains the only free employment service in the nation that connects farmers with custom wheat cutters.
The Department will coordinate the program through Topeka and administer it through 15 Wheat Harvest offices, which help match farmers with harvest crews, provide information on temporary jobs, and post harvest-related information. This year's Wheat Harvest offices will be located in Anthony, Bucklin, Caldwell, Colby, Coldwater, Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend, Greensburg, Kingman, Kinsley, Lyons, Oberlin, Pratt, and Wellington, with Commerce workforce development center staff operating offices in Hays and Liberal. The program will begin in south central Kansas.
"The Wheat Harvest Program is one of the Department's oldest and most distinctive programs," says Commerce Secretary Howard Fricke. "We are proud to be the only state in the nation to provide a free employment service to connect farmers and harvesting crews. The program clearly benefits the agricultural industry, an industry that is crucial to our state economy."
Office space and utilities for the program are provided by local businesses or government entities, with Commerce providing personnel and telephone service. The Department's reliance on local public and private sector support helps to ensure the program remains cost effective for the State and its taxpayers. The Wheat Harvest offices are only open during the harvest.
"The individuals, businesses, and local government entities who contribute their time and resources are vital to the continuation of this service," Fricke says.
Daily program information will be made available beginning the first week of June in the Wheat Harvest Bulletin, which is distributed via fax, the postal service, and the Department's public Web site at www.kansascommerce.com. Information will also be transmitted to Commerce field offices and broadcast daily from several radio stations in western Kansas and Nebraska.
For more information about the Wheat Harvest Program, contact Joyce Heiman with the Department of Commerce at (785) 296-7435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.