Gov.-elect Laura Kelly decided to nominate an official at the Kansas Livestock Association to serve as state agriculture secretary and turned to a former state budget director to lead the state Department of Administration.
Mike Beam, a senior vice president at the livestock trade organization with more than 5,000 members, was chosen by the incoming governor to head the Kansas Department of Agriculture. He's also executive director of Ranchland Trust of Kansas, which is affiliated with the KLA.
The administration department in state government will be led on an interim basis by Duane Goossen, who has served as state budget director, administration secretary and in the Kansas House.
"Mike Beam and Duane Goossen have both been working to improve Kansas for over 30 years," said Kelly. "At this time of crisis, their experience and knowledge will be critical to rebuilding our state and making sure all communities can thrive."
Kelly said the agriculture department would work on expanding farm markets domestically and abroad.
"I’m inspired by their (Kelly administration's) respect and admiration for our state’s farmers and ranchers and excited about their commitment to pursue rural economic development initiatives," Beam said. Goossen was secretary of administration from 2004 to 2011 and led the state budget office from 1998 to 2011. He was in the Kansas House from 1983 to 1997. He's worked on transition teams for Republican Gov. Bill Graves and Democratic Govs. Kathleen Sebelius, Mark Parkinson and Kelly.
Goossen was a critic of 2012 income tax cuts signed into law by former Gov. Sam Brownback, who had sought to eliminate the Kansas income tax. Goossen raised concerns financial ramifications of Brownback's tax policy while a fellow at the Kansas Center for Economic Growth. The 2012 income tax program was mostly repealed in 2017, despite a Brownback veto. "For the last eight years, Duane traveled the state sharing details about the state precarious budget situation, the consequences of bad policy decisions, and the way to fix the mess," Kelly said.