Butler County Farm Bureau Association (BCFBA) in partnership with the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce held their 2022 Primary Election Candidate Forum at the El Dorado Civic Center on Wednesday, July 27th. The event was free and open to the public.
In attendance were:
Doug Blex, State House Rep., District 12
Will Carpenter, State House Rep., District 75
Patrick Penn, State House Rep., District 85
Chuck Schmidt, State House Rep., District 88
Steve Fellers, Butler County, District 4
Vince Haines, Butler County, District 4
Darren Jackson, Butler County, District 4
Sasha Islam, Butler County, District 5
Dan Woydziak, Butler County, District 5
Following the welcome and introductions, State House Representatives were given 5 minutes each to provide a public statement.
Candidates for County Commissioner were given 3 minutes each to make a prepared statement and 2 minutes each to answer questions after which each candidate was allowed 2 minutes each to make closing statements.
Following the Forum, candidates were available for 30 minutes to answer questions from the public.
In attendance were District 12 Representative Doug Blex, District 75 Representative Will Carpenter and District 14 Senator Mike Fagg. They spoke to Butler County residents about the work they are currently doing on their behalf and answered questions.
Representative Blex represents House District 12 which spans parts of 5 counties; Mongomery(part), Chautauqua, Cowley, Butler and Elk. Blex serves on the Health and Human Services Committee, is Vice-Chair of the Local Government Committee and is on the House Taxation Committee.
“I always enjoy the Farm Bureau forums,” said Representative Blex. “I feel like I get some really straight-shooting of what the issues are.”
Representative Will Carpenter represents House District 75 which serves the cities of Cassoday, El Dorado, Elbing, Potwin and Towanda and the townships of Chelsea, Clifford, El Dorado, Fairmount, Fairview, Lincoln, Milton, Murdock, Plum Grove, Prospect, Rosalia and SycamoreTowanda.
Representative Carpenter serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee and the Social Services Budget Committee, for which he is the Chair.
“I enjoy hearing from the folks back home,” said Carpenter. “They are my eyes and ears out there.”
Senator Mike Fagg represents Senate District 14 which covers 10 counties; Butler, Chautauqua, Coffey, Cowley, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Wilson and Woodson Counties.
Senator Fagg serves on the Agriculture/Natural Resources Committee, Ways and Means, Utilities, Financial Institutions/Insurance and serves as the Vice-Chair, Joint Committee for Education, Joint Committee for Mental Health, Sparks Sub-Committee for Modern and Efficiency.
“We had a lot of great questions,” said Fagg. “The only thing I wish is that we would have more people here because we need to get everyone involved, everyone’s thoughts and ideas need to be heard.”
Jeff Varner, Policy Chair for the Butler County Farm Bureau Association, said the event provided an opportunity for the public to visit with legislators.
“It’s always amazing what you learn,” said Varner. “We have worked hard over the years to hold events like this and plan several more in the coming months.”
“The whole purpose is to give the community a chance to talk to their representatives, see what is happening in Topeka,” said Phil Benedict, Executive Director of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce.
“We hope to have more throughout the year as this is an election year,” said Benedict.
The next Butler County Farm Bureau Association Legislative Coffee is scheduled to be on Saturday, March 26 from 9-11a at the Augusta Train Depot in Augusta. Representative Kristy Williams and Senator Ty Masterson will be in attendance to share the work they are doing in Topeka and visit with voters.
Farm to Fork and So Much More has another great event planned this year and it will be held on Thursday, July 1, 2021
“Enjoy a staycation of education, entertainment and fine dining while meeting the families of Butler County that feed yours,” said Tiya Tonn, Farm to Fork Coordinator.
“It’s a memorable experience that raises funds for the Ag in the Classroom Program of Butler County Farm Bureau Association,” said Tonn.
Last year’s Farm to Fork Family Edition was implemented to provide a socially distant option to the traditional tour and is being brought back again this year.
“The Family Edition allows guests the opportunity to tour at their own place and soak in the beautiful Kansas scenery,” said Tonn. “Guests selecting this tour option will be given educational and interactive packets along with children’s activities.”
The packet includes recipes and information designed to help guests learn about local producers and how they work to create their final products.
Family Edition Tour and lunch tickets cost $15 and include a locally produced meal. Those wishing to take the tour only can select that option and tickets are only $10.
The traditional tour returns this year after a hiatus last year due to the pandemic. The tour ticket includes transportation, lunch and a scenic Flinthills pasture picnic with locally produced wine and beer. Fulton Valley Farms is the tour bus point of departure and return.
The “Bounty of Butler Mixer and Feast” is an al fresco experience alongside a harvest field and can be purchased separately from the tour. Dinner tickets are $45 and can be purchased at Eventbrite as well.
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