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Kansas Secretary of Agriculture announced

TOPEKA, KAN.--Gov. Mark Parkinson appointed a 29-year-old Democratic state lawmaker who is a fifth generation farmer to head the state's agriculture department on July 14.

Josh Svaty is among the youngest people ever named to the post, but the Democratic governor said Svaty's age was not a concern and that he will bring energy and know-how to the position.

"He brings a wealth of experience to the position. He knows the ropes, farms himself and understands the trials and tribulations that our farmers go through every day," Parkinson told reporters. "He represents a new generation of leaders in Kansas, among our best and brightest."

The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation, which is expected.

Svaty replaced Adrian Polansky, a Republic County farmer who has run the agency since 2003 and will head the federal Farm Service Agency in Kansas starting next week. He held that job during the Clinton administration.

Svaty's appointment drew praise from the state's two chief agricultural groups, the Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas Farm Bureau.

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