MANHATTAN – The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) will host an Agribusiness Development Workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Belleville City Office, 1819 L St. in Belleville. This workshop will provide Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses with resources, and current business development and organizational contacts, to assist with startups or expansions.

The KDA Division of Agriculture Marketing received a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Development Grant to help fund this workshop.

Established in the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant is intended to help with technical assistance, training and other activities to allow small businesses in rural areas to expand.

“Agriculture, food and food processing accounts for 972 jobs or 31 percent of the workforce in Republic County,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “With more information and education, Kansas’ small and rural agribusinesses will be better prepared to serve as economic engines for rural Kansas, and we encourage farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses in the region to attend this session.”

Featured speakers at the event will include Belleville Chamber of Commerce/Main Street; Republic County Economic Development; the Kansas Department of Commerce; Network Kansas; Kansas Department of Agriculture; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Small Business Development Center; C&C High Tunnel Farms; Polansky Seed; and USDA. KDA will also hold additional workshops on Feb. 18 in Iola, March 3 in Dodge City, March 10 in Colby and March 24 in Marion.

KDA aims to provide an environment that encourages the fiscal growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy. This workshop will provide assistance to help make Kansas businesses more successful.

To RSVP, email your name and workshop location to events@kda.ks.gov.