The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 13, 1996 · Page 43
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 43

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, October 13, 1996
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Page 43
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THE SALINA JOURNAL COMING HOME SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1996 3 "THE ECONOMY TIED TO THE Oil and gas, agriculture dominate the economy By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING 'The Salina Journal i andy Hrabe can R tell you the last time farmers in his area produced a good crop. He simply looks up and down the main streets of Hoxie, Oberlin, Oakley and a dozen other to^ns in northwest Kansas. ' "See what year their trucks are, and that was the last good wheat crop," said Hrabe of the Hill City-based Northwest Kansas Planning and Development Commission. "If agriculture has a good year, the towns have a good year." This summer in San Diego, presidential candidate Bob Dole described the landscape of his youth. "I was born in Russell, Kansas, a small town in the middle of the prairie surrounded by wheat and oil wells," he told delegates to 'the Republican National Convention. . Things haven't changed much. Small towns are still dwarfed by the rolling fields of wheat and other crops that surround their borders. Oil wells still dot the countryside like giant grasshoppers near Dole's hometown of Russell and in other places such as Hays, Plainville and McPherson. Oil and agriculture continue to dominate the economies of northwest and north-central Kansas. "Everybody out here would like to diversify the economy of western Kansas," said Ned Webb, director of economic development ;in the Russell area. "That's going to take my lifetime and your lifetime and several other lifetimes to accomplish." But gradually, as both industries adjust to national and inter- ihational forces outside their con- Itrol, changes are taking place. The area's dependency on the two industries is not as strong as it was in decades past. The Kansas oil and gas industry, for instance, employed 40,000 ^workers in 1983. That figure dropped to 20,000 after prices plunged in 1986, and the decline has continued. In terms of revenue, however, oil and gas still contribute more than $2 billion to the state's economy. ! A recent upturn in price has sparked optimism in the oil patch and plans for new wells. But the turnaround has not meant an increase in employment as companies have made do with the workers they have. "This industry has been in very, very difficult times for about 10 years," said John O. iFarmer III, who returned to Russell in 1969 to join his family's oil business. "We're about as optimistic now as we have been for a long time that this thing has turned in our favor. All the commodities, including grain, have had !a good year. We may be in a cycle where commodities will do He and others think rural Kansas should use its farm base to expand. "As the farms get larger and larger and one person is able to farm 10 times as much ground as they did 30 years ago, we're trying to get some value added industry to take the raw products we produce," Hrabe said. "Instead of just corn leaving the area, we have cornflakes leaving the area." In late 1995, the Kansas associations of corn and wheat growers formed the 21st Century Club, an alliance of producers interested in the establishment of value added businesses in rural Kansas. The club is involved in U.S. Premium Beef, a beef marketing cooperative aimed at returning the profits of beef processing to producers rather than packers. Another venture should be announced by the end of the year. U.S. Premium Beef is based on the closed cooperatives of North Dakota, a leader in the effort to bring more profitability to agriculture. An example: Dakota Growers Pasta Co-op was organized by 1,050 durum wheat farmers who better — that's what we're hoping." Hrabe, who in September analyzed manufacturing job trends in his region, found a wide discrepancy between counties. Some were a surprise: Ellis County, for instance, had a decrease of 20 percent between 1983 and 1993, the years Hrabe used for his study. Russell and Trego counties also lost ground. Top performers were Norton County with a 218 percent increase, Smith County with a 173 percent increase and Osborne County with a 171 percent increase. *'I would guess we're going to see this type of thing continue," Hrabe said. "The counties that are aggressive will do better. The counties that can't diversify beyond agriculture are probably going to have some problems." Do you realize that most 4-wheel drives are neglected? - Due to adverse weather conditions such as snow, mud and FRONT & REAR water, 4-wheel systems can nPIX/P QUA FT become worn out or damaged. Ulll VC ormr I •At least once a year you should have your front wheel bearings and axles repacked. ' AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS ALL 4-WHEEL DRIVES TRANSFER CASE Most Models In Stock COMPLETE ENGINE REPAIR MACHINE SHOP SERVICE J Salina's Own 4x4 Specialists! TINK'S AUTO REPAIR and 4-WHEEL DRIVE CENTER 729 N, Santa Fe, Salina 827-6204 Come in right now, buy one of our new Blasters and lift off for only $89 per month! Our Blaster has a 195cc two-stroke engine, wide powerband and a six-speed transmission. The light weight chassis has over seven inches of suspension. Hurry on in! Our $89 Blaster countdown is almost over! We Service What We Sell -Sim ply The Best- WKlMlotonDort* Open: M-F 8:30-6, Sat. 8:30-4 pm Salina 913-827-6743 129S.4th YAMAHA ATV'i with engine sizes ol 80cc or greater ere recommended for use only by those aoo 18 "" d olde ' "Yamaha recommend! thai all ATV riders lake an approved training course. For safety and training Information, we your dealer or call the ATV Safety IniUtute at 1-80M47-47W • ATV'i can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing; nevor ride on paved surfaces or public roads; never carry passengers; nevor engage In stunt riding; riding and alcohol/drugs don't mix: avoid excessive speed; and be particularly corolul on difficult terrain. On approved cr&Uil. Blaster MSRP $3,449 has a minimum monthly payment of $66.23 on the Yamaha credit card. 10.0% APR on balances up to $6,000.12.8% APR on balances over $6,000. $.60 minimum finance charge. Kansas farmers toil long hours on their crops, which average a return on investment of little more than 3 percent. Farmers are looking for ways to combine their capital and resources in ways that will produce a higher monetary return. paid $3.95 a bushel for delivery rights. The co-op built a $40 million pasta manufacturing plant and in 1995 returned 32 cents a bushel to members at a time when durum wheat sold for $6 a bushel. That brought the total return for member farmers to $6.32 a bushel, .a price they would have received even if wheat had sold for less on the open market. The payment was based on pasta profits, not the price of wheat. "We think that's a good model," said Lynn Rundle of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. "It combines the capital and resources of a farmer with the next stage, which is a better return." He said a food processors' return on investment is typically 15 percent to 20 percent, while returns on investment in agriculture are usually little more than 3 percent. "Will farmers always be content to pour energy and labor into assets that return 3 percent? We benefit most by being our own processor," Rundle said. "The bottom line is that we would like to see rural communities thrive by seeing farmers make more on their investment." • PLAN YOUR FUTURE OSTRICHES ^reasons why, Palen Ostrich ^ Junks you should seriously , • 'consider the Ostrich Industry. „ /, MEAKLEATHER-PROFiT; The Ostrich provides us with new, healthy, low-fat red meat and the most desirable leather. The meat and leather market is already established and we need a lot more people to raise them to keep up with the demands for the Ostrich products. Already a popular menu item at upscale restaurants, this meat delivers a red meat flavor with a lot less fat and fewer calories than beef. Chefs find that the meat has a great ability to accept their favorite spices and recipes, allowing them to practice their an. Ostrich require only a fraction of the land, equipment and facilities as other livestock. They take less man hours of work per pound of meat. They have no odor, do not make noise, and are easy to handle and work with. The chicks can reach marketable processing weights at 10-12 months of age. There is a demand for the ostrich, so if you are interested in learning more about how you can be a part of this fast growing industry, just give us a call. We would be glad to help you. We have available for sale a number of good quality breeding stock. We are offering farm raised ostrich meat for sale that has been produced and processed here in Kansas under U.S.D.A. inspection. The Following h A Sample Of Palen's Ostrich Meat Products Available Near You! OSTRICH STEAKS: Fat 0.5g • Cholesterol 15mg • Calories 180 100% OSTRICH GROUND: Fat 3.5g • Cholesterol 65mg • Calories 130 OSTRICH SUMMER SAUSAGE: Fat 2g • Cholesterol 30mg • Calories 70 LOOK HERE! All Natural Red Meat With 1/2 The Fat, 3 Times The Iron, And Yet, Less Cholesterol Than Chicken, while giving you the wonderful taste of the healthiest red meat in the world! Why not give your health the "Best"! You Only Have One Life To Live-Feed It With The Best! EAT OSTRICH , JJSDA Ostrich Meat Is Available At Paleia Ostrich Farm '-' . . - v ' • • , or The Following locations; « s. 215 W. jKirwin. Salma«'Vaji|isFinepmmg. J.200E Crawford, Salina ' Photos by DAVIS TURNER / The Salina Journal Although northwest and north-central Kansas are trying to diversify their economic base, oil and gas remain a major source of revenue. Each year, the state's economy is boosted with more than $2 billion in oil and gas revenues. ftalina Country Club. East Country Club'Road. Salina '• * Savu'te's fine Dining. 33033Sfi Bipadway,'Widiita trapper's Bar & Grill Simpson • BeloitCouriavaub.Beloit f Headquarters. Tipton * Buffalo Roam Sfeakhouse. Bud Palen • Glen Elder, KS 67446 • (913) 545-3291 • Mobile (913) 545-8501 And they never will — unless you point out that you're wearing Varilux* no-line bifocals. No lines. So you'll look better. What's more, you won't have to reforus between near and far. In fact, Varilux lenses help you see clearly — near, far and all the distances in between. Come in for a free demonstration. And prepare to liide your bifocals right on your face. VARILUX Optical Dispensers

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