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Gov. Parkinson names Rep. Josh Svaty Acting Secretary of Agriculture


Governor Mark Parkinson has named Representative Josh Svaty as the Acting Secretary of Agriculture as outgoing Secretary Adrian Polansky takes a new post heading the Kansas Farm Service Agency with the United States Department of Agriculture.

"Farming is in Josh's blood--he's the fifth generation to farm in Ellsworth County," Parkinson said. "He's demonstrated tremendous leadership in the Kansas House of Representatives and he's going to do a great job leading the Department of Agriculture. I know that Josh has loved serving the people of the 108th, and is excited about now serving the entire state as a Cabinet Secretary."

The Svaty Farm is a diversified operation in the heart of the Smoky Hills that includes wheat, milo, soybeans, corn, sunflowers, a cow-calf heard and sheep.

Josh has served as the State Representative of the 108th District in Kansas since 2003 where he served most recently on the committees for Energy and Utilities; was the ranking member on Agriculture and Natural Resources; and is on the joint committee on Energy and Environmental Policy. Josh has spoken nationally and has testified before the United States Congress on matters of energy, agriculture and water policy. Josh also serves on the national advisory council for his alma mater, Sterling College.

Currently, Josh, his wife Kimberly and their baby son, Jackson, live in rural Ellsworth County.

This nomination is subject to authorization by the Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee to exercise the powers, duties and functions of office during the interim period until the full Senate can consider the nomination. Acting Secretary Svaty will assume all secretarial duties following Secretary Polansky's last day on July 17.

"I'm glad that we'll be able to continue working with Adrian Polansky over at the Kansas Farm Service Agency," Parkinson said. "In today's troubling economy, we rely on our bedrock industries like agriculture more than ever. Adrian will bring a lifetime's worth of experience back to this post, and I know that he will serve Secretary Vilsack, the President and all of Kansas well."

Adrian Polansky was appointed secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture by Governor Kathleen Sebelius in February 2003.

Polansky is a lifelong Kansan and owns Polansky Farms and Polansky Seed, both in Belleville. He has received many honors and awards which recognized his efforts to build a more efficient and cost-effective government and for outstanding leadership and management contributions made to the Farm Service Agency. In 1986, he was named wheat man of the year by the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers; and received the outstanding service to agriculture award by the Kansas Crops and Soils Industry Council.

Along with his duties as secretary, Polansky served on the Governor's Council on Homeland Security; the Kansas Task Force on Methamphetamine and Illegal Drugs; and as chair of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture's biotechnology task force.

The Farm Service Agency administers and manages farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs as laid out by Congress through a network of federal, state and county offices. For more information, please visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

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